Working from home, on your own time and schedule is amazing. Finding a work is much easier when the barrier-distance is eliminated. I am writing this article from home, in the confines of my personal office, while sipping a fruit juice and only the sounds of kids outside.
This is really amazing, but there are some downsides associated with working remotely. These downsides can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
To be a successful remote worker, there are certain pitfalls you need to watch out for and avoid when Working from home. This will help you not only to good money, but also improve your health.
1. Social isolation
Traditional work culture is changing at an alarming rate. Working remotely provides benefits for both the employer and the employee. But not working physically in the same office side by side with other co-workers can leave you isolated, especially if you live alone. Remote workers are spread across cities and even countries, many coworkers have never met or spoken on the phone.
Relationships, communications are often carried out through technology, and feeling left out of the bigger “company picture” is quite easy. A study in Harvard involving 1000 workers revealed that remote employees feel left out and shunned.
Working from home is easy, you stop to grab a bite, watch your favorite program and head to bed. This lifestyle can be lonely, depressing, such that it affects you mentally if you don’t try to socialize during the day. The biggest pitfall of working remotely is isolation, it doesn’t have to be that way though. To break this isolation, here are some tips.
- Join a lunchtime meetup group, you would even start one.
- Meet other remote workers in your community, this could also be an avenue to network.
- Look for a coworking space in your community, rent a space or desk for a change of pace once or twice in a week.
- Join a walking, yoga or exercise class during lunchtime to lift your spirits.
- Once in a while, work in a coffee shop, the energy and buzz can help you to be productive
- Do a volunteer job at a local animal shelter, or any volunteer group of your choice.
2. Lack of work/life balance
Work/life balance refers to allocating quality time for both personal and professional life. But for many of us who works from home, our work/life balance is nonexistent. Talk to most remote workers, you realize most work all day in their pajamas. This work life which blends personal life and work creates an unhealthy balance.
So how can you create a suitable work/life balance? Start by creating your personal workspace. This can double as your personal office, it could even be your kitchen table or dining room. But once you are confined in your workspace, its all work. However, stepping out of that space means – personal time.
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This also entails getting dressed and leaving for office as you would to a real outside office – suits and heels are not required. Once you enter your personal office, imagine you are no longer at home. This will help you to be more productive throughout the day. Cultivate the habit of saying no to family and friends who believe seeing you at home means you are available at their beck and call.
If you get paid only when you work, you will realize time is money. Stay focused and be highly productive during your work time. This goes a long way in helping you achieve a work-life balance, from which you can make enough money to cater for personal activities.
In addition, take vacations! Studies revealed that vacations reduce stress, and help improve sleep, focus, makes you happy, plus reduces the risk of heart disease.
Make sure to take a vacation!
A study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine carried out on middle-aged men who were at high risk for heart disease discovered that those who went on a vacation at least once a year had a 21% less chance of dying of any cause other than old age. The likelihood of death from heart disease were down at 32%. Spending quality time with family and friends should never be underrated!
3. Poor boundaries with work hours
Working from home often means deadlines across different time zones. This simply mean you could be on call morning, noon and at times late into the evening and maybe 24/7. After the day job, unplug and set clear working boundaries with coworkers and employees, when you are available and when you are not. Not doing that could leave you stressed, resentful and depleted. Remember, once your stress levels hit the roof, your health and productivity will plummet.
Breaks are important during the day, it will help you clear your head, reduce stress and improve your decision-making ability when you are back at your workspace. Working remotely when done right can be hugely rewarding, satisfying, providing a healthier, happier and productive work culture, no matter the distance between you and the office.
These are downsides to Working from home. If there is any other you would like to include, please let me know in the comment box.