- Your couch might be tempting, but a proper desk and chair setup is invaluable for both productivity and health.
- When working from home, it’s easy to blur the lines between personal and professional life. Setting clear boundaries and designating work hours can help maintain a balanced lifestyle.
- Remote work can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation. Regular interactions, even if virtual, are crucial for mental well-being and team cohesion.
Working from home. It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? No commute, no dress code, no awkward water cooler conversations about the latest episode of that reality show you’ve never watched. But as many of us have discovered, the reality of remote work can be a bit…well, let’s just say it’s not all pajamas and Netflix.
As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees have fully embraced this dream, working from home full-time, while a whopping 28.2% are straddling the line with a hybrid model, according to WFH Research. And this trend shows no signs of slowing down. By 2025, it’s projected that 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely, according to Buffer. That’s a lot of people trading in their business suits for sweatpants, and it’s not just a passing fad. A Buffer report revealed that a staggering 98% of workers have expressed a desire to work remotely at least some of the time for the remainder of their career
But here’s the kicker: while the freedom and flexibility of remote work are undeniably appealing, the transition from office to home office isn’t always as smooth as we’d like. In fact, it’s often a journey filled with unexpected pitfalls and hard-learned lessons. Here are five things I’ve learned the hard way about working from home.
1.Your Couch is a Siren, Not a Desk
When I first started working from home, I thought, “Great, I can work from my couch!” Oh, the naivety. The couch, my friends, is a siren. It lures you with its comfort, its proximity to the TV, its perfect positioning for a midday nap. But try to get some work done, and you’ll soon find yourself with a backache, a dwindling attention span, and a sudden urge to binge-watch every season of “The Office.” Lesson learned: Invest in a proper desk and chair. Your productivity (and your back) will thank you.
2.The Bedroom is for Sleeping, Not Working
This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for rest and relaxation, not a hub of work-related stress. Yet, a surprising 21% of remote workers find themselves setting up shop in their bedroom, according to Buffer. If possible, avoid joining this statistic.
Trust me, nothing kills the mood for a good night’s sleep quite like the glow of your laptop screen. Creating a clear separation between your workspace and your sleep space can significantly improve both your productivity and your sleep quality.
3.Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries
When your home is your office, it’s easy to blur the lines between work and personal life. I’ve found myself answering emails at midnight, working through lunch, and generally forgetting that there’s a world outside of my home office. The solution? Set boundaries.
Designate specific work hours and stick to them. Resist the urge to check your work email after hours. Remember, just because you can work anytime doesn’t mean you should. In fact, Forbes found that 69% of remote workers report increased burnout from digital communication tools, highlighting the importance of setting boundaries.
4.The Fridge is Not Your Friend
Working steps away from your kitchen can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you have easy access to snacks and coffee. On the other hand, you have easy access to snacks and coffee.
I’ve learned the hard way that mindless snacking can quickly become a habit when you’re working from home. My advice? Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks, schedule regular meal times, and for the love of all things holy, resist the allure of the fridge.
5.Social Interaction is Not Overrated
I never thought I’d say this, but I miss small talk. I miss the casual chats by the coffee machine, the office banter, the human interaction. Working from home can be isolating, and it’s easy to underestimate the value of social interaction. So, make an effort to stay connected.
Schedule virtual coffee breaks with your colleagues, join online networking events, and remember to socialize outside of work. This is especially important considering that 53% of remote workers say it’s harder to feel connected to their coworkers, as revealed by Pew Research.
Caption: The Allwork.Space team meets regularly to catch up on projects, and sometimes even to just talk and have coffee together.
6.You’ll Need More Than Willpower
Working from home requires discipline. A lot of it. With no boss looking over your shoulder, it’s easy to get distracted or procrastinate. I’ve learned that willpower alone is not enough; you need strategies to stay focused and productive. This could be anything from using a time-tracking app, to breaking your work into manageable chunks, to rewarding yourself for completing tasks.
Working from home is a bit like navigating a minefield in your slippers. It’s comfortable, sure, but it’s also full of potential pitfalls. But with a bit of trial and error (okay, a lot of trial and error), you can navigate the remote work landscape like a pro. Or at least, like a pro in pajamas.
Do you have lessons of your own you’d like to share with us? Hit us up on Twitter! Or, well, “X” now.