With much of the world going virtual since the COVID-19 pandemic, people everywhere are working from home now. What used to be a daydream has become a reality, and a lot of us are finding that the grass wasn’t quite as green as we’d imagined. Yes, there’s a dark side to working out of the office. But the good news is that by facing these issues head-on, you can improve the “office” environment and your workday.
Are You at Home or Work?
Blurring the boundaries of your professional and personal life isn’t always as easy as you might expect. When you’re working from your home office, there are extra distractions, like your kids or spouse asking for help or the TV tempting you to slack off.
Without set boundaries and structure, it’s hard to keep a balance. You can find yourself running personal errands at work time, or working late when you should be with your family.
It’s a hard schedule to juggle, and it’s becoming a problem for many people who can’t seem to find where one line ends and the other begins.
Who Are Your Coworkers?
Socializing at work isn’t always “acceptable,” but you at least got to know the people in the building with you. Now, employee turnover is high and interaction is low. Chances are, you’ll be getting on a Zoom with people you’ve never met, and that adds extra pressure.
When you’re supposed to be working as a team, it helps to know the nuances of the others involved. The right coworking software is essential if you aren’t face-to-face with the person tasked with the same project as you.
When Do You Go Outside?
Long before the pandemic, many of us weren’t getting enough fresh air as it was. With office hours becoming more like 7 to 6 instead of 9 to 5, when was there time to enjoy the sunshine?
At least you could breathe in the fresh air as you’d head to your car, right? And you could enjoy a bit of exercise when you stepped out for lunch.
Now, without the forced necessity of driving to work, we don’t ever have to leave our homes. Delivery drivers bring us food and groceries, giving us the freedom to work 18-hour shifts if we choose to.
The hustle-and-bustle of the busy workday has moved into our homes, making it less likely that we’ll get outside or active. The results are substantial. Our physical health deteriorates as we move less, and our already rocky mental health because of isolation takes a downward spiral.
It’s All About the Balance
The dark side of working from home can offset the advantages, or you can adjust your behavior to turn this into your dream job come true.
Set up boundaries in your home and your schedule to minimize distractions. Get to know your coworkers through the software your company provides, and make time in your day to get active. Get your own groceries, and head out for lunch to meet with your friends.
Working from home doesn’t have to be a dark, dreary thing. It could turn out to be the best job you’ve ever had!