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Dealing with 4 Challenges of Remote Work

Remote work, also called work from home (WFH), became a popular term after the pandemic, but many workers have been working from home long before 2020. Some people love WFH and will never return to commuting or working at an office.

The perks of remote work are numerous, but the lifestyle isn’t for everyone. The main difference is that WFH easily blurs the lines between work and home life. It’s easy to check work email while having breakfast in your pajamas or throw a load of clothes in the laundry in the five minutes you have before a meeting starts.

Remote work also comes with its unique challenges. If you haven’t tried work from home yet, consider these four challenges before you start. If you work from home, what do you think about these challenges with the lifestyle?

Lack of in-person interaction

You might think it’s a nice break from your coworkers if you’re working from home. No more co-workers interrupting your work to ask annoying questions. No more distracting noise from an open-office design layout.

For those who love socializing, you will miss having lunch with a co-worker who is your friend. You’ll miss the conversations you have whenever you collaborate with a team. You’ll have virtual team meetings, but you must stick to the topic and finish on time before people leave for other meetings.

Remote work is perfect for those who love to work without interruption. You can avoid water cooler conversations with coworkers (although you might have them with those you live with). You can work in peace and get what you need done on time. The time you save from your commute is spent finishing work early so you can do other things after work.

A workplace that you live in

Working from home is quite literally working from your home. It may be difficult to draw a distinct line between your home life and work life. A home office with a door that you can open and close helps to create a physical separation between your two lives, but if your desk is in your living space, such as your kitchen, that distinction is harder to make.

You may be expected to check your work emails first thing in the morning, as well as in the evening. Remote companies with staff that live across the country function best when people are more flexible about when they work and when they check messages. You may need to be more adamant about your office hours and when you check messages if you want set hours away from work.

Work may also feel more intrusive because your coworkers have a window into your personal life when you have a virtual meeting. They can see what you have along one wall of your home office. They can hear if your children are talking loudly in the background.

Living where you work has its perks. You don’t have to spend time packing your lunch the night before. No trying to figure out what food is good to transport in your lunch bag and convenient to eat in the office. It will be like eating at home on the weekend.

During coffee and lunch breaks, you can be more productive: you can throw a load of laundry in the washer, take out the trash, or dust off some furniture. Best of all, if you have a flexible schedule and if you’re drowsy, it’s easy to take a comfortable nap.

Different dress code

Remote work is very easy on your clothing budget. You can wear the same clothes that you wear on the weekend to lounge around the house. Or you can dress up in office wear if that’s your preference to get in work mode.

The only time dress code matters is during virtual meetings when you are on camera. You may want to dress up a little and wear a sweater or shirt instead of your hoodie for a meeting with new clients or company members you don’t work with regularly.

New level of IT skills

“Avid problem solver” will become one of your top job skills. As a remote worker, you’ll encounter tech issues with internet availability, virtual meeting mic or camera issues, or other issues with your computer.

Without someone from the company IT department to save you, you’ll need to resort to your resourcefulness to fix those tech issues. Either you’ll be calling favors from friends and family, or reading up on technology so you can become your own expert.

Key Takeaways

Does working from home appeal to you? Those who prefer it love the flexible work hours, the short commute, and the relaxed dress code. With today’s technology, remote work will continue to be an option for the workplace.

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