The concept of working from home has received an immense impetus from the ongoing crisis caused due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. More number of employees or workers than ever before are carrying out their job duties from their home. Corporate and technology experts suggest that employers should formulate effective strategies and implement useful measures for making remote working a part of business operations in the Post-COVID-19 world.
With an objective to stay prepared for similar emergencies in the future, the majority of the business firms have either completed or are in the process of making new policies and modifying existing policies for ensuring smooth workflow in times where remote working becomes essential. While some companies have been leveraging the work-from-home concept for many years, others are helping their staff adjust to the circumstances for running the business uninterruptedly.
Both small-sized and large-sized organizations are saving huge costs of infrastructure and basic facilities, for example, property maintenance charges, electricity bills, and stationery expenses. However, along with organizations, employees should also get benefitted. People who are working remotely for the first time are facing various challenges, such as maintaining productivity, ensuring coordination, and adhering to deadlines.
Why remote workers can commit mistakes?
As mentioned above, many individuals have never worked from their homes previously. So, these individuals make unintentional mistakes that can affect their level of concentration, productivity, or job satisfaction. Needless to say, committing mistakes in the present time can prove to be harmful to both employee and employer as many businesses have already shut down.
So, achieving efficiency and showing great performance are important for protecting your job and helping your company survive this crisis. Remote working has its own set of benefits or advantages that can be reaped by the workforce. Saving of time spent in commuting and cooperating with co-workers regarding the temperature of AC or heater are a few of these advantages.
However, a large number of remote employees end up suffering from negative consequences, such as ill-health, mental stress, lack of direction, and so on. Therefore, it’s highly essential that you are equipped with sufficient knowledge on how to succeed while working remotely. You should have a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” ready with you. We have mentioned some critical mistakes that most people make while working from home in this blog post to make your task easy.
Which mistakes do you need to avoid at all costs?
Whether you are a novice remote worker or are a competitive remote worker, you should never commit mistakes listed below. Now, it might be possible that you have been making one or more of these mistakes unknowingly but haven’t experienced any repercussions yet.
The reason attributing to this fact could be that you might haven’t realized the repercussions even if you have faced them. Moreover, the current trends and future expectations demand that you should be the best version of yourself while working remotely.
Common Mistakes to Avoid While you are on a Work from Home
Lacking discipline and enthusiasm
Even the extremely experienced, talented, or dedicated employees find it hard to show the same level of discipline and enthusiasm as they show in the office. You might be able to identify with a situation wherein you have snoozed the alarm clock to get a little more rest or left your work half-completed to binge-watch a Netflix series.
Well, you are not alone, as thousands of remote workers sail in the same boat. But this is not the right approach for working from home. You must put the same kind and level of effort in your job while working remotely as you would do while working in an office. You should develop a sense of self-discipline to stay motivated and work properly even if no one is monitoring or supervising you.
Working in a disciplined manner helps you to maintain the required quantity and quality of work and avoid taking excessive and long breaks.
- Be serious toward responsibilities assigned to you and fulfill them on time
- Practice the virtues of honesty, transparency, integrity and ethical conduct
- Don’t develop unproductive habits, like watching TV during work hours
Not using a dedicated workspace
We are sure that employees who have never worked remotely before or haven’t worked remotely in a long time will be missing the chair and desk used by them in their office. It’s a natural phenomenon that human beings get habituated to things, situations, and routines easily. Executing the same tasks in the same environment on a daily basis makes you feel at ease.
This feeling of easiness or comfort enables you to stay happy, and thereby, get encouraged to perform at your peak every single day. So, you should create a dedicated workspace by using the basement, spare room, or an unused area in your home. Your workspace should have a nice desk, a comfortable chair, device (desktop or laptop), a water bottle, and necessary supplies (stationery, etc.).
You should see that your workspace gets adequate lighting in the form of natural sunlight and/or electric lamps. Your workspace should have proper ventilation as well.
- Make sure that your furniture and sitting posture are ergonomically correct
- Keep your workspace clean at all times by using the cleaner or disinfectant
- Don’t eat any food item or drink any beverage at or near your work desk
[Note: If you don’t have a suitable piece of furniture or equipment, for example, chair, lamps, etc. for setting up your workspace, you must buy it once the lockdown gets lifted in your region.]
Falling prey to various distractions
Have you ever faced a situation wherein you got distracted by the knuckling sound made by your colleague and after staring at him or her for 5-10 seconds you realized that you are supposed to work as you are in the office? Most people get distracted by the activities happening in the workplace. So, it’s not difficult to comprehend that distraction becomes an even bigger issue when a person works from home.
You can easily get distracted by a bird chirping in your backyard, a neighbor completing a do-it-yourself carpentry project, or a chat notification on your mobile. So, it’s in your best interest to avoid getting distracted by controlling your temptations and increasing your concentration power. During your work hours, you should not think about any other task, for example, household chores.
You need to set boundaries for performing excellently even if it requires sitting at a place away from your kids or partner as no excuse is tolerable by employers in today’s time.
- Set up your workspace away from the TV, home audio system, and children’s room
- After determining boundaries, stick to them for achieving consistency in your work
- Don’t do household chores during your work hours as it’s distracting and wrong
Neglecting the work-life balance
Many remote employees, especially the ones who experience the work-from-home way of life for the first time, complain of having a poor work-life balance. As a result, they always find themselves overburdened with work and not capable of having enjoyment. If you can relate to this, you should take some steps to draw the line between your personal and professional life.
The first step to maintain a healthy work-life balance is preparing a routine or schedule for every day. From waking up in the morning to going to bed in the night, all your daily activities should be allocated proper time in your schedule. Decide the time at which you would start and stop your work as well as take lunch, coffee, and recreational breaks and inform your manager or boss about the same.
Poor work-life balance not only reduces your productivity but also leads to building up of physical and mental exhaustion, job dissatisfaction, and frustration over time.
- Take regular breaks and spend them by talking to friends or cultivating hobbies
- Always take a lunch break away from the desk and try having lunch with family
- Don’t reply to work emails, phone calls, and chat messages after the work hours
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Failing to track progress in work
You must have heard of the common argument that remote workers are not as dependable and successful as in-house or full-time employees. But success depends on the performance, hard work, and creativity of an individual rather than his or her working mode or work hours. You need to consider work-from-home from a long-term point of view.
Just like employees working in an office follow the goal sheet to improve their performance, achieve progress, and earn rewards in the form of increment or promotion, remote workers should also do the same. You have to keep track of your day-to-day tasks and understand how you contribute to the growth of the organization you are working for.
Create a to-do list and stick it to your work desk every day for getting clarity about all the activities, setting priorities, and maintaining a record of completed tasks.
- Ask your manager or team leader to define short-term and long-term goals for you
- Divide goals into smaller targets and make realistic plans to accomplish them
- Don’t miss the deadlines for project delivery as it will harm your reputation
Staying out of touch with colleagues
More often than not, lack of communication and miscommunication have proved to be major hindrances in the way of remote working. In every organization, irrespective of its size or type, seamless communication is important for meeting deadlines, changing procedures, resolving problems, and much more. In-office employees can communicate easily by meeting each other or through the intercom.
But employees who work from home face the trouble of not being able to send the right message to the targeted recipient in time. So, you must discuss modes of communication with your supervisor or manager beforehand. Nowadays, most companies rely on free or paid software that can be used for chat messages, audio calls, and video calls.
Communicating with colleagues on a periodic basis helps you to stay active and build team spirit. You can share the news about your small and big victories as well as failures with your colleagues.
- Take part in daily, weekly, or monthly conference calls and online meetings
- Keep your employer or team leader updated with the status of your tasks
- Don’t engage in unnecessary chit-chat while using work communication tools
If you are an ardent follower of news regarding the corporate world, you would agree with us when we say that the ‘work-from-home’ concept is here to stay. Treating it as a temporary arrangement can have a negative impact on your career graph. You must make yourself comfortable working remotely. Employers play a strong role in making their employees adapt to this working style. They should keep the morale of their staff high and guide them at every step.