Working from home can add multiple benefits to your life–even in areas you may not expect, like your health or your finances. There can also be negative sides of remote work you may not consider before starting.
Like any issue you may experience in an office, however, there are ways you can combat these negatives to optimize your work-life balance. Here are the worst things about working from home–and how you can combat them.
While office life can be bleak at times, some enjoy the camaraderie of having coworkers. If you have coworkers with whom you have great chemistry, the transition to being on your own for the majority of your day may be somewhat jarring.
That’s why it’s important to consider this isolation and how it may impact you when planning your workday. You can regularly schedule social activities–mostly outside of work, but sometimes during the workday–to break up this isolation.
For example, if you have a lunch break, pick one day a week to go out for lunch with either friends or family. If your home is relatively close to your company’s office, schedule the occasional visit for either status updates or friendly lunches with colleagues. If you need to communicate with a colleague, opt for phone calls over emails unless you need a paper trail.
By inserting small social connections during your day, you help stave off any loneliness the work from home lifestyle may bring about.
Sitting all day
When you have a home office, you may end up spending the majority of your day seated at your desk. Health experts have decried this new trend of extended sitting, saying how risky it is for our health.
That’s why you shouldn’t do it. Get a standing desk or a desk converter that allows you to toggle between sitting and standing throughout the day. Invest in a comfortable, ergonomic chair for when you do sit.
Give yourself a little time each hour–or every other hour if it suits your schedule better–to get up and take a small walk outside or around your home. It may even help to stretch. The key is to take several small breaks throughout the day to make the workday easier on your body.
Your work life bleeds into your home life
When your office is the same place as where you live, it can be hard to separate the two. When your office is in another location, it’s a bit easier to distinguish the two. Working remotely from home can lead to you spending more time doing work when you don’t know when to “punch out.”
There are ways you can structure your remote work day so work doesn’t take over. Have a set schedule that your colleagues are aware of. Let them know that barring an emergency or special project, the time at which you’re done working for the day is really your “quitting time.”
This is where you may need to show tough love with your family or friends. Some people hear that you work from home and think this gives you a license to not work as hard or take unaccounted for personal time off during the day. Establish clear boundaries with your family or anyone else you may have contact with during the day that your work time is the same as if you were in an office.
It also helps if set up a work station in a room separate from the rest of your home. Have a designated area for work and if anyone is home during the day, let them know to keep the interruptions to a minimum.