6 Mistakes That Ruin Remote Work

By
Justin Osborne
Contributor
Updated
October 14, 2020

The number of people who work remotely has increased dramatically over the last few months. Many businesses have adapted and shifted their businesses online, and many individuals are now adopting the remote work lifestyle.

However, the transition to working at home hasn’t been easy for many. Suddenly, the border between your professional and personal life is blurred. You save time because you no longer commute, but your schedule is so flexible that you cannot find your focus. Every small habit you adopt and every change to your lifestyle will have a huge influence on your remote work.

We have listed the mistakes that could ruin remote work and advice on how to overcome these remote work obstacles.

1. You Do Not Have an Office Space

Many people who started working remotely struggle with finding space in their homes to work from so they begin working in the bed, kitchen, or living room. However, these rooms are shared spaces, so the risk of being interrupted is high.

With that in mind you’ll easily get distracted by other household members, television, or chores you have to do, and because your schedule is not as strict now, you allow yourself to get distracted. Shiny object syndrome. This is the first mistake people often make when working remotely.

What’s the fix?

Having a space dedicated only for work. By doing this it will help you have a location to focus and eliminate the enemy of distraction (or at least alleviate it significantly). Buy a small office or rearrange your furniture to create your working space. Even if you have limited space, find a corner that you can set up a small desk in.

2. You Do Not Eliminate Distractions

When working remotely, it is up to you to decide how to organize your work day. Not keeping distraction away is a huge mistake many people who start working remotely make.

These distractions disturb your working process, and it becomes difficult to be productive. Unfortunately, these can lead to overtime, frustration, and anger, which will further affect your work process.

A good plan is to communicate with your family or roommates and let them know your working hours so that they won’t disturb you. Keep your phone tucked away far from your work space. Close all the tabs you do not need on your computer and only use the tabs you need to do your task at hand. Be sure to close your door for meetings or find a dedicated quiet space in order to stay engaged in the meetings.

3. You Do Not Have a Schedule

When working remotely, work feels more flexible. However, not having a schedule for your workdays will lead to low productivity and motivation to finish work. Also, you can end up doing overtime in parts of the day when you are tired and do not feel like working.

Use a similar schedule you had in the office to organize your projects, meetings, and tasks. For example your day could look like this.

  • 8:00 AM - Get dressed
  • 8:30 AM - Eat breakfast and pour yourself the magic elixir called coffee
  • 9:00 AM - Jump online and begin checking emails
  • 9:30 AM - Team meeting
  • 10:30 AM - Coffee break
  • 10:35 AM - Begin responding to emails
  • 11:00 AM - Project meeting
  • 12:00 PM - Lunch with the kids
  • 1:00 PM - Back online and move some projects along today
  • 1:30 PM - Begin projects and planning to tackle for the next day
  • 3:30 PM - Take a 10 minute break
  • 5:00 PM - Finish your day

4. Lack of Communication

One of the things that can lead to low work satisfaction when working from home is poor communication. You no longer meet with your colleagues face to face. You no longer drink your coffee in the morning and recap the previous day. Besides, live communication is better than written, and this might have a negative effect on your work. We are social creatures.

So how do you keep that connection while working remote?

Use more than one communication channel such as video conferencing, email, online messaging, and calls. Check out these 35 remote tools to help you. Our best tip is to over communicate and to make sure you connect with your clients. With your team be sure to meet once a week for updates and one-on-ones.

5. You Multitask

Multitasking is something many people think about as being effective. But in fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when working remotely.

Multitasking is an illusion. It might give you the impression that you can complete a lot of things at once and save time, but in reality it is more time-consuming than focusing solely on one task at a time.

A tip is to organize your days with tackling big tasks for a majority of the day and 2-3 small tasks. It’s a good way to keep yourself on track and actually be productive.

6. You Do Not Take Time for Self-Care

It may sound unrelated to work, but self-care is important when working remotely. You might be tempted to work more and sleep less. These are your foes because they steal away the time you should spend practicing self-care.

There are many stresses in life that you need to take time to take care of yourself or you’ll burn out quickly in all aspects of your work and personal life. That’s a bad formula.

What are some easy tips to get on the right track to self-care?

You can take an hour to exercise (it makes a difference) with a walk, yoga, or even run up and downs your stairs! Just be sure to get moving and no walking from the bedroom to the kitchen is not enough to keep your body and mind healthy!

Have start and ending work times so you can dedicate the nights for your family. Try to never miss a family meal it’s time to connect with everyone on how their days went.

Be creative with your friend time. You can occasionally combine your friend time with family time by doing a game night. Another idea is to do morning coffee talks with a video call and taking even 15 to 30 minutes can make a big difference for you.

Overall, your personal hobbies, family, and friends can supply you with the energy, motivation, and determination you need. They can help you relax and be at peace.

Conclusion

Remote work is something many people want to do. It comes with a lot of flexibility, but at the same time, people often make mistakes that prevent them from reaching their true potential and productivity to enjoy remote work.

In summary, avoid making these common mistakes by having a clear schedule and practice self-care. Organize your work space, eliminate distractions, avoid multitasking, and communicate effectively. Here’s your recipe for remote work success!

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