- Jun 13, 2018
I absolutely love working from home. Becoming home-based has helped me balance work life with family life. It’s lessened the stress in my life - mainly because I don’t have to drag myself out every morning and deal with the horrible traffic. While other people’s commutes take hours in packed trains and buses, my morning commute is walking into the next room.
That said, there are still a lot of challenges to working from home. I certainly face my fair share every day. The adjustment was also pretty challenging. Transitioning from a noisy office to a noisy home takes some getting used to.
To help you on your own work from home career, here’s a list of common pitfalls you need to avoid or work around. A fulfilling work from home career doesn’t happen automatically; you still have to work for it. But hopefully, this list will make things a bit easier for you.
Here are the common pitfalls us work from home peeps need to avoid:
Not keeping a set schedule
Just because your office will be one room away, that doesn’t mean you can lounge whenever you want. Working from home is still work. You still need to get stuff done, on time, all the time. I found the quickest way to become non-productive is by not maintaining a set schedule.
By treating this as actual work (which it is!), and trying to stay on schedule, I can become more productive. And this gives more time for family and personal stuff!
When you’re working, you need to establish that you’re in work mode. Nobody should bother you for home-related stuff, as much as possible. I know that’s pretty much impossible - I had a toddler who had a habit of crying out just as I was getting into the zone. But these boundaries are mostly there to remind you that you’re in work mode. When something distracts you, attend to it if you must, then go back to work.
Not having a dedicated workspace
This is tied closely to the boundaries issue. Our brains love routine and reminders. When you have a dedicated work space, you’re subconsciously telling your mind that it’s time to work. The worst thing you could do is work in bed - when you do, your mind gets mixed signals and won’t know whether it’s time to rest or work.
Space can sometimes be hard to come by at home. And that’s okay. You don’t need to set aside an entire room for working. When I started, my workspace was a little nook under the stairs. The workspace can be a spot in the kitchen, or a corner in the laundry room. It doesn’t matter how big or fancy the space is. What matters is that it is a designated workspace.
Not staying motivated
When you’re working at home, you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck. As much as I hated having a boss checking up on me every day, it did keep me motivated. With no one watching you constantly, you will have to dig deep and find your own reason for staying motivated. For me, it was my daughter. All my work is for her and her future. In effect, she’s now my boss!
Neglecting physical and mental health
Just because you’re not running from one meeting to another or embarking on a tiring commute doesn’t make working from home “relaxing.” You will still be subject to quite a bit of stress. And because you don’t have to move much, there’s a high probability of gaining weight.
So don’t neglect working out and taking frequent breaks. When you’re working from home, it’s much easier to find time to exercise, so no excuses!
These are my tips on how to avoid common work from home hazards. Now it’s your turn to share! How do you maintain sanity and productivity while working from home?
Let’s hear your stories!