common-struggles-of-working-from-home

Common Struggles of Working From Home and How to Deal With Them

Are you working from home? Do you find your setting difficult to manage? You’re not alone. 

Thousands of workers have switched to working from home—some by choice, and others are forced by the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

This article will walk you through the common struggles of working from home and how you can deal with them. 

Working From Home Is Not That Easy

Did you know? Before the spread of the COVID0-19, 4.7 million people were already working from home. That’s about 3.4 percent of the US workforce. In general, 18 percent of people work remotely—either at home or in cafes or coffee shops. 

So if you’re working from home, you’re one of the millions of people who enjoy the perks of working comfortably in your own abode—no commute and no dress code.

But the work-from-home setup is not that easy. Just as how roses have thorns, working from home also does have its own sets of challenges— its thorns so to speak. 

[Interesting: Parenting And Teaching: How To Find The Perfect Balance]

The Common Struggles of Working From Home

Loneliness

Working from home has many benefits, but many remote workers find themselves dissatisfied because of the lack of face-to-face communication with others. In fact, 19% of remote workers report loneliness as their biggest challenge. 

working-from-home-can-cause-loneliness

Loneliness is not something you can ignore. When one feels lonely for so long, it can impact their psychological and emotional health, which results in reduced productivity and a weak immune system. 

[Must Read: Effects Of Social Distancing: How To Overcome Social Recession]

Working way too much

According to a survey, 44 percent of companies don’t allow their employees to work from home. The reason is that they fear their workers will slack off because there is no in-person oversight. 

The truth, however, is that remote workers tend to overwork themselves. When you work at the same place where you live, it’s difficult to put a hard line between personal life and work. Overworking yourself can be exhausting and can have lasting harmful effects on your health. 

Many people working from home admit that they tend to forget to take breaks. Working from home means your home is your office. That’s why there’s always that impulse to finish one small task—until you realize that you’ve been overworking yourself. 

Prioritizing tasks

People working from home are good at time management, at least relatively, since they can finish their tasks without physical oversight. 

While other people might find it hard to stick to a schedule and manage their tasks, remote workers find it much more challenging, especially when they have free-from and flexible days or employers and managers from the other side of the world.

working-from-home-procrastinatng

You see, a remote worker who can manage his own time can get tempted to finish one episode of his favorite Netflix series, do some DIY projects when procrastinating on a task, or go for a quick walk in the park. 

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Inconsistent pay

According to a recent survey, 23 percent of remote workers consider themselves as freelancers. 

When you’re employed full-time, there’s that relief knowing that you would be paid at the end of the month to cover your bills no matter what happens. But it’s a different story for remote freelancers. 

working-from-home-inconsistent-pay

In a 2015 survey by the Freelancers’ Union, they found that 71 percent of freelancers have trouble getting paid at some point in their careers. When clients don’t pay, freelancers spend precious time chasing payments. And when that happens, they often find themselves having trouble meeting their financial obligations.

There are also cases where freelancers face payment disputes with clients, which affects their cash-flow.

It’s not just about money, but also about the workload. Some days freelancers are loaded with work, and some days there isn’t enough work to do. 

Team collaboration

When you’re in an office, it’s very easy to ask your colleagues for updates and information. There’s that coworker sitting next to you who can quickly answer your queries. But you don’t have that when you’re working from home. 

Email and messaging apps have been helpful, yes, but they can also add a layer of challenges. Your messages can be easily misunderstood, and instructions may not be as clear as to when you give it in person. 

How to Deal With Them

So how can you come around the challenges of working from home?

Set virtual parties

How do you fight loneliness? There are actually tons of solutions! Setting up virtual parties with your coworkers is a great way to combat loneliness. Or, you can organize a face-to-face meetup with a colleague or friend. 

When you’re working from home, you must communicate regularly with other people. It can serve your mental and emotional health in the long run. 

organize-virtual-parties

Another solution to fight loneliness is to set up a channel or select a communication app where everyone in your team can talk about non-work-related topics. 

Monday virtual meetings are also a good idea to discuss the entire week’s plan. You can use this time to ask your colleagues for updates and company progress. 

Set boundaries

Do you find yourself constantly overworking? 

Creating a daily schedule can help you manage your work and personal time better. List the things you need and want to do in your calendar. 

It’s vital to include quick breaks in your schedule, too. When it comes to work, remote workers are as enthusiastic as those in actual offices. And sometimes, they get too enthusiastic about work that they forget to give themselves a break. 

If that’s true for you, do yourself a favor and set time to break. Stretch out and replenish your body with water. Grab a quick snack and go out for a while and breathe fresh air. 

Moreover, it also helps if you make it clear to your coworkers that you are leaving. And when you do, make sure to turn off work notifications or better, switch off your computer. 

[Must Read: Top 12 Best Reminder And Planner Apps For Students]

Plan your day

If you find it challenging to prioritize your tasks (or if you are prone to procrastination), we highly suggest that you plan your day. Use the 1-3-5 rule: complete one big thing, three medium things, and five small things per day. 

You might also want to consider installing distraction-limiting tools. LeechBlock, for example, is an app that lets you set a time limit to block websites that distract you. 

Plus, work on tasks according to how much energy they require. Your energy wanes throughout the day, so you sure don’t want to work on a task that requires the most energy. 

[Read: Top 8 Best Homework Planner Apps To Keep You Organized]

Get paid on time

If you are a freelancer, we have practical tips that can help you avoid chasing payments:

  • Create a Freelance Contract and send it to your clients.

Sending your clients a contract can help prevent late or nonpayment issues. The agreement must include what your clients can expect from you and how much they will be charged. 

This reduces the client complaints about the quality of your work being not what they wanted or priced higher than they agreed before.

  • Request a deposit upfront

Requesting a deposit upfront can prevent the likelihood of nonpayment issues. This is also to secure payment, especially from first-time clients. 

  • Invoice often

Send invoice by milestones, especially if it’s a huge project you’re working on. For smaller projects, you can send an invoice after the work is done. Make sure to specify the due date on your invoice. A friendly phone call to remind your client about the payment is good. Remember, the older your invoice, the harder it is to collect it.

  • Make the payment process easy for your clients

Ask your client about the easiest way for them to pay you. Some freelancers do not like getting paid via a credit card because of the charges. But sometimes it’s better to accept transaction fees than chasing payments or not getting paid at all. 

Communicate with your team

communicate-with-your-team

Yes, it’s hard to collaborate with your team in a remote setting, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Use business communication apps like Slack to exchange ideas with your team. 

If you need to give out specific instructions, you can use video conferencing apps like Zoom or Skype to have virtual face-to-face collaboration with your team.

Conclusion

Working from home is not as easy as it sounds. While it has a lot of benefits, it also comes with struggles. Still, you can be a star remote worker despite the challenges. 

Related Questions

What kind of work can I do from home?

The top work-from-home jobs this year are virtual assistant, medical transcriptionists, web developer, social media manager, freelance writing, and data entry.

What are some of the advantages of working from home?

When you work from home, you don’t have to worry about commuting daily. And if you’re an employer, hiring remote workers means you don’t have to pay for office space, supplies, and snacks. Plus, you can hire the best wherever they are.

Do you have more tips for people working from home?

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