Monday, September 12th, 2022

Beware of the Pitfalls of Working from Home


by Rahimah Sultan






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There is an abundance of business advice to be had which includes delegating certain tasks so you can focus on your business. Although this is great advice, what if you’re a one-person business and you work from home?

Although you can run a small business on your own, it takes planning and a lot of patience.

Beware of the pitfalls of working from home so you can be successful. Here are four challenges that you need to avoid.



What are some pitfalls you need to avoid?



1. NOT STAYING FOCUSED

It’s difficult to stay focused with distractions from television, family members, and dirty dishes. And, if you’re new to working at home, it’s hard to feel like you’re working, because your home environment doesn’t feel like your work in an outside office.

Solution: If you’re not an expert multi-tasker like some people and you find your productivity is suffering, you should come up with a more formally structured day, as in a traditional office setting where you would not do home chores or run errands during work.

Create a dedicated area as your office, one with a door, if possible. At the very least, a corner just for work so that when you go there your brain signals it’s time to work. If you find yourself stuck from time to time, try a change of environment such as a cafe for an hour or take a walk outside.


2. LOSING BOUNDARIES

Although you should take advantage of the flexibility working from home provides, remember how easily time can be ripped away from your workday. After all, your work is just as real as any traditional office job.

Solution: At a traditional office job, everyone appears to understand your work schedule, and you’re not expected to get everything taken care of in one day. However, when you’re working from home, all those boundaries seem not to apply.

Although you should take advantage of the flexibility working from home provides, remember how easily time can be ripped away from your workday. After all, your work is just as real as any traditional office job.


3. WORKING TOO MUCH

The stereotypical working-from-home in pajamas and easy days is not the reality. When you work from home, you work longer days because there’s no separation between work and home. You don’t have a natural stopping point nor do you drive away from the office, and days get longer because it’s hard to put aside your work.

Solution: As with most jobs, there’s always going to be more to do. You need to regulate yourself and be disciplined and set a boundary between your work and personal life. Although this doesn’t have to be every night, if you’re serious about working from home for the long term, this lifestyle has to be sustainable. You’ll need time away from the computer and the stress of work.


4. FEELING ISOLATED

Not being in a traditional office setting with day-to-day social interaction can bring on feelings of isolation.

Solution: When you’re working from home, you’ll need to create social interactions. You can:

Schedule lunch or breakfast get-togethers

Use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter as your virtual “water cooler” during the day

Use real-time communications like skype, phone calls, or chat instead of email

Get involved with local meetups or networking groups

Spend some time working in shared office spaces



In summary, find a proper work-life balance. Schedule breaks on your calendar and don’t miss them. Note your in and off hours on the calendar and in your chat tools.

Outside of work take time to unwind and spend time with your family. Pursue your hobbies, make plans with friends, and occupy yourself with things that aren’t work-related.

So, beware of the pitfalls of working from home and use these four challenges as a starting point for overcoming pitfalls.



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