• Daniela Jiménez

3 Common Home Office Problems and How To Solve Them


In sight of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many companies have implemented hygiene and security measures to prevent unnecessary face-to-face interactions and limit contact. One of the most common ways to achieve this is to have collaborators working from home, and while many might have been excited about this at first, now they might start to feel isolated and wanting to get back to their offices with their coworkers and friends.


This is a completely normal feeling for those who aren't used to working from home, specially ini the midst of a pandemic where official recommendations are not to leave your house but for essential things like going to the doctor or getting groceries. As for regular home office workers there was always the option of working from your favorite coffee shop but now that that has beed limited too, most people are discovering that this new way of life can be stressing and tedious.


Here we list three of the most common problems that arise during home office and our recommendations on how to solve them:


ISOLATION

If you're used to working in an office is quite possible that your day to day is marked by different interactions, problems are solved creatively as a team and you speak to people about work constantly. Even non work interactions such as going to get coffee and impromptu outing to restaurants or bars after office are an integral part of an office setting. When you start working remotely, all these interactions, social and work related, disappear. It's kid of shocking that all those small things that were automatic go away, now people actually have to put in effort in order to connect with others.


When this realization dawns on people, feeling isolated is a normal thing so they start focusing more on work hence forgetting to take breaks to connect with others. It is normal that their focus is on performing at work thee sam way they would in their offices and forgetting that an integral part of being good at their jobs is having a social life within their offices that makes them more productive and at ease.


SOLUTION

One of the upsides that we're living in a XXI century pandemic is that technology has advanced so much that we're able to connect with others from the safety of home. From Apps like Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts let people communicate from anywhere and even though it's not the same than hanging out with your friends drinking a glass of wine, communication via the internet can help you calm down your anxiety and stress. Even platforms like Netflix created things like Netflix Party, a new way of watching movies with friends and comment on them.


LACK OF STRUCTURE

When you work in an office a certain structure is kind of imposed over you, you know at what time you have to be there, when to eat and when to leave. Most of your day is dictated by a system that was created by someone other than yourself, that's mainly a reason why you were probably very excited to work from home. You felt freed from a set of rules that were imposed on you, but now, a month or weeks into the process, you're starting to miss the structure your life had. Working from home can be hard for many, super flexible hours let you dictate when to start and when to finish, there's not an actual time tablee of when to do what and that might make you feel like you're spinning out of control.


It's normal that so much freedom is making you feel like you're spinning out, flexible hours can actually turn into too long work hours, because you focus so intently on work that you forget to take breaks or eat. Also, it can be the complete opposite, that normal work hours turn into too short work hours, there are too many distractions in this new working environment, you might be falling back on assignments and spending too much time wondering around.


SOLUTION

We recommend you to write down in a calendar the things you'll do in relation to work, you may need to stay in contact with your team throughout the day so apps like Monday are perfect for keeping you in track with achievable goals. You'll have a clear view of whaat you have to do for the day, giving you structure and organization. you'll notice that by doing this you're more effective and that your performance is better. You might even discover that you're a lot better working from home that what you initially thought.


BURNOUT

Even though burnout is a common thing among office workers, it's even more so with a home office setting. From the moment you wake up until you sleep, you can be working, you're so focused on getting everything done you start forgetting basic things. This might sound great, being so focused you're so productive but it's actually not, you might start forgetting to eat so you eat anything not having a healthy and balanced diet, you adopt a more sedentary lifestyle: all this makes your stress levels rise because you're not taking time to distract yourself like you would in a normal office setting.


SOLUTION

Plan your day a night before, this will make you feel more relaxed about knowing what you have to do the next day. Block specific hours to take short breaks and to eat, one of the most common home office mistakes is eating while you work so try to block an hour or two to do this and eat in a different area from the one you work in. Destin a time during the day in which you'll do something different, this will help you disconnect from your work responsibilities. There are apps like Calm in which you can do guided meditations, Asana Rebel where you can find several exercises that go from yoga to HIIT that will make you feel active and energized after a long day of work. Don't forget that if your normal work day ended at 6 pm, you should do the same at home, turn off your computer and do something that will make you feel good about yourself.

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© 2019 by Daniela Jiménez.