2020 was a year where at least one of the wishes of working from home came true. Yes, many people had been longing to work from home either because they wanted to spend more time with their family or they wanted to save themselves from the hassle of a long commute. Working from home gives you more work-life balance and gives you a chance to contemplate your future as well.
So, what are the common mistakes that we are making while working remotely? These involve not having regular catch-ups with managers, relying on old technology, working all day, not maintaining work-life balance, thinking remote work is easy, and using your living space for working remotely.
Remote working is not as easy as it sounds. Sure, it has its own pros but if you do not plan everything seamlessly, you can find yourself floundering. If you want to work like you were working from the office, then you need to lay out a plan and make sure you follow it.
The future is still unclear and we are not sure for how long we will have to work from home. So, if you want to prove yourself that you can still maintain your KPI’s even by working from home, then you should make sure to avoid the below mentioned mistakes if you want to keep on working from home.
1. Not having regular catch-ups with your manager
Well nobody was ready for this big transition and nobody ever thought of working from home for months now. While remote working is happening, and everyone may or not be happy about it. If you are remote working and you are loving it and keeping up with your performance, then this is something you should bring it up with your manager during the catch-up.
Maybe when the world gets back to normal and the lockdown is lifted, the employees might have to go back to work, but if you are working in a better way from home, then you should communicate this to your manager openly. This pandemic has changed the dynamics of working and if remote working is going well in your case, then there is no need to return to the office once everything normalizes.
There is no doubt that employees perform better when they are happy and when their mind is relaxed, so if you are going to push your employee to get back to the office then this can actually put him back. So be open about the changes and new ways of remote working.
2. Do not rely on old technology
While we are away from our colleagues and teammates, yet we still have to stay in touch to get updates regarding the new initiatives, meetings, clients and whatnot. Back in the office the only mode of communication everyone was relying on was either skype or emails. While we all are away now and yet we have to attend virtual meetings, webinars, so we should adapt to new team chat software as quickly.
Zoom, Teams, Outlook, and Slack are the new apps and found to be more reliable for employees working from home. In the beginning, employees may feel or experience some difficulty in understanding these apps but once you get hold of them, you will enjoy using them. Zoom is perfect for holding meetings and webinars on a large scale while the outlook is best for sending updates.
3. Do not work all day long
Remote working does not mean that you have to work past your working hours. People think that if they are working from home then they cannot consume their breaks as they did back in the office, or they have to work past their working hours because their work is not finished yet. Employees are not bound to stay online all the time and reply to every single email or call they get outside their working hours.
Even if you are working from home, you are allowed to go on breaks, have your meals and browse social media as you did in the office. One of the biggest mistakes employees do is that they do not file for Sick Leaves even when they are sick. It is recommended to take breaks, file for PTOs as these will boost your morale and will improve your performance.
Just make sure your mind is relaxed when you are not working and you are getting enough sleep. If you feel, then talk with your manager and discuss your working schedule with him so you do not have to work all the time.
4. Unable to maintain work-life balance
Working from home does not mean that you should be working all the time, or it doesn’t mean you should be running house chores during your office hours. When work and home come under one roof, many people struggle to maintain a work-life balance. When you are working your mind will go to some unfinished house chores and while running errands your mind will be on the next presentation. This practice is absolutely wrong and employees should avoid it at any cost. This is going to disrupt your routine and you would not be able to perform either of the duties well.
Set up a schedule or set working hours when all you will be doing is sending emails, attending meetings, and completing the tasks. Outside those working hours, complete your house chores, make food, do laundry, and then switch back to your tasks. If you are having problems in creating a daily schedule to practice balancing work and life, CBD can help you with this. Using CBD capsules in the morning can help to give you some clarity and calm when planning for the day.
Keep your priorities set as this will help you stay focused and perform better.
5. Do not take remote working easy
Working from home for some people is more convenient than going to an actual office. They think that there is no one to monitor their performance, no manager peeking through their cubes, no competitor but this is where they are wrong. Maybe the manager is not physically present but he is continuously gauging your performance. He knows everything you are doing in your working time.
If you are doing something wrong or if you are not completing your tasks, then there are numerous ways your manager will instantly know that you are not performing your duties well.
Your KPIs or your performance measuring parameters will instantly go down the set mark.
So, to avoid any conflict with your team or manager you should not take remote working as a piece of cake. You should continue doing work with full devotion and honesty as you were doing when your manager was keeping a check on your performance physically. Be honest not with yourself only but to your work, team and manager also. You can work from home and still pull in those amazing performance numbers and show to your manager that no matter what the circumstances are, you are pro at what you do.
6. Avoid working from your living room
People think that with remote working comes the liberty of working from anywhere. Just like we talked about working on weekends, avoid using your living space for attending virtual meetings or doing your office work. This way you will be easily distracted and will not be able to focus on work properly.
Designate a proper working space, where you have all the necessary resources. Keep a comfortable chair and table and ensure the lightning is proper. This will help you mentally by keeping the workspace separate from leisure space.
Working from home is not as easy as it sounds because there are tons of issues that occur in real-time. Like your internet stops working all of a sudden, or your system is not responding to the VPN connection. All such technical or non-technical issues should not make you any less motivated. Talk around with your manager, have regular weekly or monthly catch ups and discuss your progress and seek advice on how you can improve your performance even by working from home.
Frequently asked Questions
What are the common challenges faced by employees while working from home?
There can be technical and non-technical issues while working from home. Issues like poor internet connectivity, unstable VPN connection, power outage, these are some issues which are beyond human control. So, employees should be ready to face such difficulties and should communicate these issues to their employer immediately.
How to maintain effective communication while working from home?
Working from home can be challenging at times but this situation can be controlled if you communicate effectively with your manager. Try to have small catchups weekly or bi-monthly and utilize them properly and discuss