Working from home: the pitfalls, and how to avoid them

Working from home often seems like the dream - and it actually can be, for employers and employees alike. A study by ConnectSolutions showed that 77% of remote workers get more done in less time when working from home due to fewer distractions such as meetings, conversations and noisy coworkers.

That said, staff who operate remotely will encounter issues of their own that they’ll need to overcome to stay at their productive best. That’s why we’ve put together a hit list of the top working-from-home pitfalls, and how to beat them.

 

24 July 2018

1: Loneliness

While working from can feel liberating at times, there’s also the risk of feeling isolated. We recommend a regular meeting/call that all staff can attend or dial into so everyone feels included and part of the team regardless of where they are based - a great way to start the day!

 

It can also be a good idea for staff to stop by the office on a regular basis to check in with the rest of the team.

 

Regular staff socials are a handy way to bring in-house and remote employees together so everyone is able to work in the place that best suits them without missing out on building relationships - and having fun! - with their fellow employees.

 

2: Reduced home/life separation

Though commutes for in-house staff can be tiring, they’re also an opportunity to create distance between work life and home life. Travelling home from the office can help people to leave work stress at their desk. On the other hand working from home means that there’s no clear divide between business and pleasure, so it can be much more difficult to switch off.

 

A useful way to tackle this is to create a strict daily structure and schedule - then stick to it. Once working hours have been set, home-workers should avoid checking emails or even opening their laptops outside of these - and managers need to ensure they support this expectation by not contacting staff during non-work times. It’s also useful for home-working staff to have a particular space in their home where they work each day, rather than typing at the kitchen table or sitting on the sofa. This should help to mentally set aside work every evening, ready to come back to it with a fresh mind the next morning.

 

3: Disconnection from group work

In 2018 there’s really no need for remote workers to be out of the loop when it comes to group projects. Technology is on your side here: Dropbox and Google Drive are perfect for exchanging and sharing large folders of files quickly and easily, while Slack is just one of many messaging services that can unite staff, wherever they’re working.

 

4: Losing focus

It’s amazing how alluring doing the dishes, putting the washing on or popping to the Post Office can become when the alternative is tackling a difficult piece of work. Self-discipline is key to working remotely, but setting targets around productivity levels and having check-ins with a line manager can help home-working staff focus during work hours.

 

It’s well worth tackling these potential pitfalls to help employees adapt to working from home. Not only can remote work result in increased productivity, but a study from Telework Research Network showed that it can also save businesses thousands of pounds each month per employee, boost morale and improve retention rates.

 

To find out more about how remote and flexible working can benefit your business, get in touch today.