5 Common Remote Work Mistakes and How to Bounce Back
Once just a workplace perk desired by many, telecommuting has slowly become the new normal. In fact, between 2005 and 2017, the number of remote workers increased by 159 percent, and the recent pandemic just speeded up the transition.
However, even though it brings plenty of benefits for employers and employees, working from home can turn into a real nightmare if not executed properly.
With this being said, we’ve decided to provide you with a few common remote work mistakes that affect your productivity and the ways to overcome them successfully.
Not taking days off
Sure, working from home is a lot more comfortable since we don’t have to show up in the office every day or put our formal clothes on. But just because we skip a few steps in our routine doesn’t mean we don’t need a vacation.
We shouldn’t make the same remote working mistakes many have made before us. Instead, we should take some days off once in a while. Believe it or not, taking a vacation can reduce burnout since it’s an excellent way for us to relax and destress. Regular days off can help us stay productive a year around and lower the health risks modern life brings.
If you manage a remote workforce, the best way to ensure your employees get much-needed rest is to hire a dedicated software such as Vacation Tracker. It currently comes as a Slack and Microsoft Teams integration, and it will help you manage your employee’s leave efficiently, avoiding risks of burnout. It’s easy to use and comes with competitive pricing plans depending on the needs and business size.
Checking it out won’t cost you a dime, so make sure to sign up for a free demo.
Not setting a routine
By working remotely, employees have greater control over their lives; they are more productive, happier, and engaged. On the other hand, employers have greater control over their budgets, as well as the chance to acquire and retain the best talent. However, remote work is not without its flaws.
By one survey, 84 percent of remote employees reported they worked from home instead of co-working spaces and coffee shops. Working and living in the same space makes differentiating private and personal spheres more challenging. Since we’re working from home, there’s nothing that signals our brain when work is beginning and when it stops, making it harder for us to get into a work mode and shut down at the end of the day.
This is why not having a routine in place is one of the biggest mistakes of remote work.
Setting a routine comes with plenty of benefits. First, it decreases stress. Our brains are not good at multitasking, and making too many decisions can put them in overdrive. What’s more, according to research, the more decisions we make, the more stressed we get and the less self-control we have. That said, if we have a routine in place, we reduce the stress we’re experiencing by making our day more predictable.
Second, having a predetermined routine will help us procrastinate less since we will already have a list of tasks to follow instead of contemplating what to do first.
To be the best productive self, and start your morning on the right foot, make sure to have a routine in place to jumpstart your day. Make sure to wake up and go to bed at approximately the same time. Don’t stay in your pajamas – dress up as if you were going to work. By doing this, you’ll be tricking your mind into separating your business hours and be more ready to slice off those tasks off your to-do list.
Not having a dedicated workstation
Not having a dedicated workspace is one of the most dangerous remote working mistakes we can make.
The reasoning behind this is simple – we will have a hard time making a difference between personal and professional space, and we will be more prone to distractions.
Even if we live in a small apartment, we can set up a work desk that will allow us to focus and mentally prepare us for work.
If you want to stay productive and efficient throughout the day, here are some tips on setting up a workstation at home.
- Place your work station by the window. Placing your work station by the window is the best idea since you’ll be having a lot of natural light to protect your eyes from overworking.
- Tidy up your desk. You should ensure your work desk is clean and organized since clutter can be distracting.
- Add some plants. Make sure to add some plants to your workstation since it will allow you to regain focus and be more productive. Attention restoration theory implies that nature has therapeutic benefits for us and helps us fill our batteries, regain focus, and increase productivity. This is why plants in the office can have a positive effect on us and our productivity.
Doing house chores during work hours.
Remote workers can easily fall prey to mixing professional with personal life. Sure, washing the dishes in between tasks might seem like the perfect opportunity to stretch a bit; however, juggling work and private life can become overwhelming pretty soon, and it will take a toll on our productivity and work quality.
Becoming too isolated.
Even though remote work means we switched our living room for our office, it doesn’t mean we should cut all communication with our team. In fact, communication plays a significant role in how we will perceive our workplace and how happy we will be at the end of the day.
That’s why you should ensure you’re engaging with your coworkers via Slack (or any platform you use for communication) and join them for a casual Zoom meeting at least once a week.
A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.