Thanks to technology and the soul-crushing insanity that is Philippine traffic, working from home just makes more sense nowadays. Just picture it: no more rush hour traffic, no more restrictive business clothes, and no boss hovering over your shoulder to make sure you’re not just scrolling through social media on company time. But working from home isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Remote work comes with some real challenges — but thankfully, (almost) nothing you can’t fix.
1. Your place is so distracting you can’t get anything done.
Though some people are easily able to get more things done when working remotely, most telecommuters struggle with the many distractions of the home environment. This could include sick kids, attention-seeking pets, or even just Netflix.
The Fix: If you have space, dedicate a room to your home office and remove as many distractions as possible. Or if you really can’t focus, you could always head out to your nearest co-working space or public library to actually get some work done.
2. Your family/roommates won’t stop pestering you.
The people you live with may have gotten so used to seeing you loafing around the house watching YouTube that they assume that’s what you’re doing when you’re on your laptop. Cue: requests to do errands, badgering for attention, etc. This doesn’t just stop you from being productive, but can also put a serious strain on your home relationships.
The Fix: Set clear boundaries. If you have a designated workspace, let them know that it’s a place of business and should be treated accordingly. Or you could just tell them not to bother you at certain hours of the day.
3. You never change out of your PJs.
Yes, this is a bad thing. Perhaps staying in your ratty old PE uniform and boxers all day sounds like a dream right now, but not putting in the time to make yourself presentable could quickly take a toll on your sense of self-worth. It’s a slippery slope. Wash your face, at least.
The Fix: Now I’m not saying you should be slipping into a blazer and tie every day. Just changing into comfortable yet presentable clothes can give you the extra confidence boost you need to conquer the day’s task like a bo$$. Plus, if you suddenly get roped into a surprise video call, you’ll be ready.
4. You’re more likely to run into miscommunication problems.
Sure, telecommuting may mean not having to see that annoying coworker’s face every day, but you’re also losing out on everyone else’s non-verbal cues, and vice versa. Someone could take your simple lack of a smiley emoji as rudeness, or light-hearted joke as an insult. It’s just too easy to be misunderstood when you’re not getting any face time.
The Fix: Put in the extra effort to make sure you’re not stepping on any toes unintentionally. As soon as you notice a disconnect, address it immediately because the longer you let any trace of resentment stew, the worse it could get. This could mean hopping on a phone call instead of just chatting, or even on a video call if that makes communication easier.
5. You have a hard time getting people to take you seriously.
Even though telecommuting is becoming more and more commonplace, plenty of people still can’t get their head around the idea of someone staying home all day to work. Some folks may look at your job like it’s just a hobby, and treat you like a barely-employed bum instead of the capable professional you are.
The Fix: Show them that you take your job seriously by keeping a work schedule and sticking to it. If folks see you playing video games during office hours, you shouldn’t be surprised if they start questioning your work ethic. And when given the opportunity, talk about your work accomplishments to give people a clearer idea of what you actually do all day. It’s not bragging, it’s hyping yourself up.
6. You miss having coworkers.
Not having coworkers in close proximity means not having anyone to gossip with on your coffee break or turn to for support when you’re at your wit’s end. Working from home can feel isolating, and if you don’t do something about it, you could go for days without talking to a single soul, which is obviously no bueno for your mental wellbeing.
The Fix: Be intentional in setting up social interactions so you won’t feel so alone. This could mean setting up a physical meeting or video call with colleagues and clients, or simply going out to get coffee with a friend. Don’t let telecommuting turn you into a hermit.
7. You’re more likely to burn out.
Sure, working from home gives you more flexibility, but it also makes it trickier to establish a work-life balance when the boundaries between the two are so blurred. People who work in an office are often told to never bring work home, but what about those of us whose home is their office? If you catch yourself still plugging away at your laptop way into the wee hours of the morning, you’ve got a problem.
The Fix: Set limits on your work. This could mean accomplishing only a set amount of work a day, or making it a point to shut down your laptop at a certain time.
8. Your home WiFi is spotty AF.
Unreliable internet connections are the bane of every telecommuter’s existence. Sure, you could always use your phone data, but that’s not exactly sustainable if your home internet breaks down once or twice a week.
The Fix: Change your ISP. If that’s not possible, try a co-working space. If that’s too expensive, go back to working at the office. It just be like that sometimes.
Got any more suggestions? Share them with us below!