10 Things Nobody Tells You About Working Remotely
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do business. For some time, many believed working remotely simply was not realistic for most companies.
For the past year, though, a significant number of individuals in every profession have been working remotely, and survey after survey suggests the result has been higher rates of employee retention and satisfaction, low turnover rates, added independence for employees, and great productivity rates.
Remote work, though, certainly has its drawbacks. Here are the most common complaints among employees.
I do not feel like I am part of the company.
When you work from home, you are isolated from all other employees, so it is fairly routine to feel left out or not feel that you are not part of the company. This is a common feeling that occurs in everyone at some point. Because you no longer have regular one-on-one meetings with the manager, you do not interact with any other staff, or you never hear the latest office gossip, you might feel completely isolated. To get around this feeling, make an effort to speak to your colleagues after work hours to catch up on all the latest news. They will be more than glad to hear from you as they are also in the same boat as you.
I have trouble networking.
When you work remotely, networking can be a little more complicated. Because you are at home, the chance to meet other people or hear about other jobs (even within your own company) can be difficult. Without regular people-to-people interactions, the only way to build a network while at home is through email, text, or social media.
My manager has ridiculous work expectations.
Managers often have unrealistic expectations when you telecommute. They feel that just because you do not commute, the time saved can be put forward to working extra hours. Moreover, unlike working in the office, there are no distractions in the home, and there is a certain expectation that you will accomplish more or even exceed all the deadlines. The only way to get rid of this unrealistic expectation is to speak to the manager about what and how much work is expected daily.
I never get a chance to exercise.
When you work in an office, you are always on the move: taking the stairs to the cafeteria, walking to see the manager, taking a coffee break, going for a walk during lunch break, or chatting with someone at the copier. At home, though, you’re likely confined to your desk chair. This lack of physical inactivity does take a toll. Many people working at home tend to gain a significant amount of weight. The key is to take a break from the work routine every few hours and walk outside.
My back hurts.
For most people, telecommuting means working on the PC for long hours. In the office, people do different tasks, and not all the time is spent on the PC. The constant time on the keyboard and PC screen can lead to eyestrain, headache, neck stiffness, stiff fingers, sore elbows, and most importantly, low back pain. Piriformis syndrome is on the rise among those who just sit all day while working on the PC. It is a result of constant nerve compression, and the pain can be excruciating. The only way to prevent it is to take frequent breaks from the screen.
I’m so lonely.
In the office, you are always surrounded by other people, so it’s hard to get bored, but it’s tough to get out and talk to other people when you work from home. After all, there usually aren’t that many people to interact with within your home office. That might increase your productivity, but the constant isolation can also be detrimental to your health. To prevent loneliness, take a break every few hours, get outside, walk to the corner store, buy a coffee, and watch the people pass by.
I have to be my own tech support.
Most people who telecommute quickly find out that they quickly have to know absolutely everything about their company’s server, software, apps, and more. While most people are fairly adept with technology in their own lives, handling things on your own for work can be an entirely different matter. For most people, the first few weeks and months of telecommuting are spent figuring out how to handle task after task without readily contacting for help.
My wi-fi isn’t as good at home.
High-speed internet connections at home are a serious issue for many who work remotely. Relying on slower connections just isn’t possible for virtual meetings, webinar presentations, and other day-to-day tasks. Investing in a reliable connection is a must, but that can be difficult if fiber connections aren’t available in your neighborhood.
I don’t manage my time well.
When you work from an office, everything is structured. You probably have a set arrival time, break time, lunchtime, and even leave time. When you work from home, though, time management is an issue. Most people feel that they can start working from home anytime; they can wake up late and finish well into the wee hours of the morning. It’s easier to get distracted at home, too, thanks to family members, kids, pets, and guests. Handling that is an absolute must as well. All managers have certain expectations that you will devote the same number of hours working from home and be available during the day. Not being available and not completing the work are two common reasons people are frequently terminated from their home jobs.
I just do not love it.
What most people do not realize is that telecommuting requires a lot of dedication and motivation. Working alone at home with no one to monitor you can lead to laziness and lacking productivity. In reality, telecommuting is not for everyone; to be successful in this space means you have to be dedicated at your job and do everything just like you would at work, but the only difference is you are working from home. If you think remote work translates to all-day PJs and late alarm clocks, this may not be the right space for you, and that’s okay!
Working from home is not for everyone. While staring at your screen from your home office might sound like a good deal, doing it every day from early morning till late afternoon is tiresome and can be monotonous. If it’s not working out for you, it may be time to reevaluate or just readjust your expectations.