Remote work has changed my outlook on the work-life balance spectrum. Working from my living room table leaves me with a sense of security and protection from what the masses would call, corporate politics. I personally have not encountered this in my current job when I make my once-a-week onsite visit, but I have been in the job back in late 2021.
Working from home enables me to have access to this grasping change in power between the employee and employer. It helps me prioritize what I need to thrive in my career. As I thrive, I occasionally find myself experiencing common challenges while working remotely.
Common challenges most people experience:
Working in different time zones
I work for a company that spreads across the globe and I'm always collaborating with an international team to verify project information and analytics for the websites I work on. Sometimes that means their day starts, and my day ends.
Managing home distractions
I live at home with my parents and sibling. It's common to multi-task between working through a meeting and having to mute my audio to tell them to keep it down. If you've ever had a household member stick their head inside of your Teams meeting, you can relate to this challenge.
I am finding trouble with collaboration for a few reasons. One reason is, that it's summertime. It does not come as a shock when your senior leadership is on a week's vacation, leaving you with all of the project responsibilities. Another reason, when I'm working with international teams, it's not just the time zone but also the language barrier. One thing I say can mean a different thing across the seas.
It's hard to always have a "get it done" attitude when you feel moments of anti-motivation. If you know clients will not review your deliverables until the next Monday, what's keeping you on the computer from this Wednesday to Friday? What motivates you? A promotion? Increase in pay? Having a work-life balance? It's a hard concept to manage. Because sometimes your 100% effort will not be 100%. It may be 45% Monday, 75% Tuesday, and so on. It's going to happen more commonly than you realize. I think if you set a standard and goals to maintain it, finding your why will give you the motivation you need.
Every project has its moments that'll leave you thinking you bit off more than you can chew. So it's common to find yourself working past your scheduled time. It's also more challenging when your work is accessible through your personal devices (phone, personal laptop, etc). One work notification will have you questioning if you're off the clock.
I have a boss who does not expect me to work past my scheduled hours. But in her case, she is always working. By the start of the next day, I look through my email and see she's sent out notifications at 8 pm, midnight, 2 am, and so on. Why I am successful in unplugging from work, but my boss cannot? The question alone helps me understand and display the art of unplugging your work once the work day is over, and it's here to stay.
As I say, the challenges mentioned above are the most common obstacles faced as a remote worker post-Great Resignation. Everyone will experience this as long as working from home remains. However, there is a bigger issue that evolves from those common challenges.
The biggest obstacle you need to handle most: establishing boundaries.
Working at an office is easier in the days of modern technology and Web3. Each moment onsite is doing work things, engaging with work colleagues, and talking about work events.
Life at home is all personal all the time. So what happens when your home space becomes your workspace? Challenges are always a given in this scenario because the boundary lines are crossed and intersected. So how does a person like me redefine what boundaries are?
Have a workspace just for work
Utilizing a workspace helps you maintain the boundary between home and work. A space just for work helps you stay in work mode. As soon as you step into your workspace, the time for distractions and relaxation is on do not disturb.
Set a strict schedule
My job has an unofficial, yet regular 9-to-5 schedule. So it's essential for me to set a routine. Having structure allows you to focus on work during those hours and relax outside of that time. It's one of the classic boundary-setting ways to perform!
Doing work without taking breaks is the fast-track lane for developing burnout. You need a few breaks throughout the day to refresh your mind and sharpen your focus. Make sure you take your lunch, go out for a walk with the dog, fill up your gas tank, or take a power nap.
Distractions will reveal themselves all throughout your home. Khloe may want to exercise in the yard, there could be some episodes of your favorite show to binge watch, or cooking your favorite food. It's vital to limit distractions during work hours. When you're working, your job needs your full attention. Save the distractions and use them during your regularly scheduled breaks.
I may sound a little biased, but the advantages of working at home have changed the landscape of the job market for the better. However, to continue the process of normalizing remote work, it's up to employees to keep the proper boundaries in place. Setting boundaries between work and home life will not always be clean the first time you do it. Some days, it'll be on time, and other days, the lines will get blurred. What matters most is your effort to keep the boundary line as balanced as possible.
About the Creator
Writing about life experiences, personal finance and, career insights that impact the millennials and Gen Z culture.
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