Earlier this week, in part one of this two article mini-series, we covered the advantages of working from home. We talked about the joy of no dress code, no traffic, and less distractions. Beautiful stuff....right? Well, with many things there are often two side to the story. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad, and there are certainly challenges when it comes to working from home. Luckily there are methods for overcoming these obstacles.
Here are some of the challenges that come with working from home and our recommended methods for managing them...
Working from home can most definitely impact your domestic situation. Laundry piles up, miscellaneous paperwork gets shuffled to the side, the dishwasher fills up while a pile of dirty dishes await in the sink...mess always seems to find the busy. When working from home it’s easy to get distracted by chores that need to be done. You’re in a productive mindset, and ready to hit the ground running; so you clean the entire house because you're at home and can do things like that. The only problem is that though the house is spic & span, it’s 3pm, and you haven’t returned a single email. Maybe next time those dishes can wait.
Uncontrollable External Environment
One great thing about having a traditional office, is that it can act as a space that promotes productivity. It helps to keep the external environment muted. This is not so much the case when you work from home. Whether it’s your annoying neighbor's incessant knocking at your door, the symphony of leaf blowers, or the chorus of dogs barking at any number of things, maintaining a quiet work space at home can prove quite challenging. It can be a real test of patience and will.
Lack of Camaraderie
While some people thrive in an independent work space, others perform their best while in close proximity of fellow colleagues, and being in the constant hustle-and-bustle environment of the typical office space. Without having coworkers near it can be difficult to turn to someone to bounce an idea off of or share a document in a timely manner. This challenge becomes even more prominent when you are tasked with working on a team project. The truth of the matter is, some people need that collaborative environment and find it very difficult to work from home in an isolated space.
Requires You to Be Self-Motivated
It's difficult to be motivated when you don't have to show up to a separate environment, and get into "work mode" upon arrival. When working from home, you don't have a manager across the room or down the hall. You also don't have other individuals surrounding you with their head down, demonstrating what you "should" be doing. With the freedom to do what you wish and act how you wish, staying on task while working from home can be difficult. There's simply less extrinsic incentive. For many people it's very challenging to get the work done without a physical presence around for motivation.
You're Always At Work
For some people, it’s difficult to leave work when they work at a traditional office. This challenge is multiplied when your home is your office. Working from home can cause certain individuals to be more susceptible to becoming workaholics. They struggle to quiet their mind after a long day of work and cannot shutout their to-do list. When you work where you live, escaping the office is never really an option.
You don’t get out as much
Just because working from home makes it easier to use your breaks to “get out”, doesn’t necessarily mean you will. When you don’t have to tactfully schedule gym time, or yoga class in between driving to and from work, you may find yourself skipping that part of your routine all together. Somehow it becomes easy to go a week without hardly seeing any sun, and even though you blow through your daily checklist like never before, your vitamin D levels and maybe even some social connections may fall to the wayside.
We're glad we could share some of the challenges of working from home with you. We hope some of the solutions we've pointed out can help with your daily home office routine. As fellow home base warriors we know all to well the pros and cons of the home office. What would you add to the list? Let us know about your experience working from home in the comments below!