Many people dream to work from home. The idea of getting up and taking a laptop, getting yourself a cup of coffee, and working by sitting on a terrace of your house or in a comfy chair sounds really great. Remote work brings many benefits, however, many freelancers working from home soon start complaining that they become frustrated, bored, and need more space than home.
Recent remote work research by Buffer reported that 99% of respondents who participated in the survey prefer working from home. Not many realize the impact on working from home. People should be prepared that working from a cosy place that you always associate with comfort, warmth, and relaxation can be challenging. Our homes are filled with distractions, this is why a home office is not as sweet as it sounds.
Working from home requires time to adjust. While in the office, there are only a few little things that can distract you, but your home is full of them. To get used to work from home and make it productive, one needs to create a routine and know-how to not get distracted by all that comfort.
Those who work from home usually describe their emotions and feelings in the following way. They say they feel disconnected from people, especially those who work from home alone. They also say that can’t switch off from work at the end of a working day. They say they find getting motivated difficult since working from home makes them feel relaxed. Many remote employees complain about not seeing or understanding their progress.
The above-mentioned complaints often lead to insomnia or sleep problems. This is when the help of a psychologist may be required. It’s important to understand what problems you can face if you chose to work from home. When you know what difficulties you may face, and what the solutions to them are, you won’t feel apprehensive.
From this article, you will find out how to maintain your mental health while working remotely.
Top 5 Problems Remote Workers Face When Working From Home
If you are thinking of starting working from home or have just started, these are the 5 common problems that experienced freelancers face. To enjoy working from home and avoid the negatives that come with remote work, know 5 common problems, and know the ways to deal with them.
1. Loneliness and Isolation
Many think that once they start working from home, they will get a lot of free time to spend it with their loved ones or pets. Well, it can happen partially, but you still will have tasks and deadlines to deal with. You will save time on travelling to and from work, but you won’t be able to walk your dog for hours, go out with friends or spend a romantic time with your partner who may also work from home.
Many freelancers experience loneliness and isolation. Some find being isolated from coworkers hard. Experiencing the feeling of loneliness for a long time can lead to depression. To avoid it, create a routine which will allow you to go out, meet people, call your friends, and spend quality time with your family. Even if you work from home, there should be framed. You may choose to work from 9 am to 5 pm, from 12 pm to 8 pm or any other time.
However, you should have breaks and you should leave your home office to meet people and socialize.
The boundary between work and home almost disappears for people who work from home. Working where you sleep, eat, do your yoga, and hug with your partner while watching a TV can make you feel stressed. It’s important to create a working space that you will associate with work only. Working on a laptop while in bed, answering emails in the kitchen while cooking yourself a lunch are the ways to complicate the problem.
Avoid bedroom and kitchen. These are two places where you will feel distracted the most. So, set up a comfortable corner with a desk, chair, and make sure that the light is good. It’s best to sit by the window. Getting sunlight, looking at the sky, and nature will keep your mind fresh.
3. The Feeling of Being Useless
Many remote workers have reported that they feel useless. Such a feeling may come from working from home doesn’t really allow you to feel like you are achieving goals. It would be great if you can still chat with your coworkers and manager to feel organized and productive. This way, you will also know what tasks others do and how good you are doing.
To avoid the feeling of being useless, write down tasks and deadlines. Always try to meet the deadlines, therefore, you will achieve goals, move forward, and feel proud of yourself.
4. Facing Distractions
The main benefit of working in the office is having as few distractions as possible. There are not many things that can capture your attention apart from tasks that have to be finished by a certain time or date.
When working from home, you may have to deal with kids wanting to play, a dog barking, neighbours playing music loud, etc.
5. Poor Infrastructure
While in the office all infrastructure is set up perfectly, you may face such problems as poor wifi signal and slowly working laptop. If you decide to work from home, then everything should perform excellently. Make sure your Internet works good, so you can perform quality voice and video calls.
Your device must operate faster since you may need to open several tabs, download files and software for advanced implementation of tasks. Such issues as poor internet and a slowly working laptop will make you hate your job. You will be frustrated and waste your precious time. Before you start working from home, assess your infrastructure.
Now you know what problems you may face so now it’s time to talk about how to avoid them and create a comfortable space and how to organize your days to be productive.
8 Best Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Health When Working From Home
Since we have already discussed all the possible problems that can come with working from home and solutions to them, we just want to add some tips that you can start practising today and seeing the benefits.
1. Digital Detox
Staying online for hours hurts emotions, blood pressure, and mood. If you work from home, you should do a digital detox. Use your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone during working hours
Once your working day is over, they don’t check your emails, review assigned tasks, and write a plan using your device. It would be a great idea to shut your laptop or keep your phone away. This will help you to rest your mind and gain energy from interaction with your family, reading a book, watching a film, or walking in the fresh air.
2. Schedule Your Day
Not many have scheduled their working time and created a routine. This is why they get easily frustrated, feel useless, isolated, and rarely meet deadlines. Being organized will save you from stress and frustration.
Knowing when it’s time to work and when you can switch off the WiFi button on your device will make you feel happier. You will be satisfied with the level of your productivity and have enough time to do things that you enjoy while off work.
3. Outline Your Goals
By being self-disciplined and obtaining organizational skills, you will be able to find the job of your dream and do it from home. Working from home requires self-discipline. You must be your own boss at home.
Outline your goals and organize your tasks for a day, a week, or a month in advance. This will keep you driven and won’t let you get distracted. You will know how much time exactly you need for implementing tasks, therefore, you will complete them on time and feel motivated.
4. Don’t Create Distractions
Many remote workers suffer from lack of time and fail to meet deadlines because they create distractions for themselves. When working from home, you must separate work from home tasks. It would be a bad idea to start baking a cake while working on a difficult task. You won’t be able to focus on both things at the same time.
Therefore, both cooking and work will suffer. Focus on work during working hours that you set up for yourself and once your working hours are done, you can start cooking, cleaning, and do things that you enjoy.
5. Set up a Working Place
You can’t work while lying in a bed or having breakfast. This is not productive. Anyway, you won’t get comfortable typing while lying in bed or while holding a cup of coffee or sandwich in one hand.
You must have a desk, a chair, and a good light. Think of your home office like a real office. It’s also recommended to have a shower and change your pyjama for casual clothes that you would feel comfortable in. Such a little yet significant detail will motivate you to work.
6. Go Outside at Least Once a Day
Have you noticed that those people who are depressed, rarely leave their homes? Living and working in a flat or a house without going out can very soon lead to feeling depressed.
You must go out for a walk at least once a day, no matter how busy you are. Moving, getting good blood flow, and breathing fresh air is a needed break if you sit in front of a device for hours.
7. Get Physically Active
Apart from going for a walk at least once a day, you should do sports. Do you like running? Do you prefer yoga? You can choose any kind of sports (walking is not counted) and do it every day.
Many remote workers have problems with spine, neck, shoulders, and hips. Not everyone remembers to keep a correct sitting position too. You should know that some of the side effects of sitting work are heart disease, obesity, and osteochondrosis.
It’s important to practice yoga, pilates, join dance classes, swim or speed walk to make your blood run well, to keep in shape, and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are planning to work from home, integrate at least 20 minutes of sports once a day.
8. Focus on the Benefits
Nothing keeps us going forward as understanding why we are doing it. There should be a reason to stay motivated. If you decided to work from home, there should be reasons why you like it.
Most remote workers have a flexible schedule, a cosy environment, tasty food, and snacks. They also save hours on getting to and from work. What a great benefit to not wake up at 6 am because there is always massive traffic on the way to an office. What an amazing benefit to not come home late feeling exhausted…you are already at home!
Working from home can be great after a break. If you have a big experience working in the office, maybe you will enjoy a new opportunity to work from home and applying skills that you have gained previously. So, focus on the benefits even though working from home can be challenging at times.
What Are the Negatives of Remote Workers for Businesses?
Like I have already mentioned at the beginning of the article, remote work becomes increasingly popular. Various surveys prove that a significant number of people prefer to work from home. In the US, the number of remote workers has doubled over the last 15 years.
People who are working from home say they have become more satisfied, happy, and enjoy flexibility. There is another advantage for businesses to let their employees work from home: they reduce costs on office management.
On the other side, remote work programs have one noticeable downside. Some businesses noticed that they struggle to create and solidify their companies culture. Remote businesses often suffer from engaging in team-building activities and lose the team spirit. Teams become disjointed, therefore, it’s more difficult to achieve goals.
However, if the company that hires you is happy with the tasks that you do and the goals that you help to accomplish, then you have nothing to worry about. The only thing that you should worry about is your mental health since all above-mentioned downsides that come with working from home can impact your mental state.
Working from home is perfect for startup and promoting your business without needing a spacious office, many employees, and a big investment. Learn to manage your time, separate work from personal life, and achieve big goals without wearing a suit to do great business.
Many companies allow their employees to work from anywhere. There have been great communication tools and software created so people can work from anywhere: not only from home but from coffee shops, airports while waiting for a flight, or sunbeds on beautiful beaches.
If you learn self-discipline and manage to achieve goals by working from home, then you are a much freer and independent person. Hopefully, all the recommendations that I have listed in this article will help you to start working from home or improve your routine.