Blog , Health and Wellness

The Challenges and Joys of Working From Home

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson

The number of people working from home increased during the global pandemic. In some industries, such as technology solutions, ecommerce, financial services, and more, the shift to work at home rather than in the workplace remains strong. Per, up to 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025. This growing trend may be beneficial toward seniors who prefer to work a longer length of time overall from the convenience of home using high-speed internet access. Many business professionals smoothly adapted to the change thanks to technology which allows them to get their work done in a home setting. For example, computers enable them to attend virtual meetings and utilize emails and other online communication venues. There are numerous benefits associated with working from home, including increased comfort, schedule flexibility, and no commute. As ideal as it sounds, working home from can pose some problems. Here are three common work-from-home disadvantages and ways to troubleshoot them:

  1. Lack of balance: Working from home can affect the balance between professional and home life. The Guardian reports that employees who worked from home during the pandemic spent longer at their desks and faced bigger workloads than prior to the pandemic. Per data from the business support company NordVPN Teams, the average length of time an employee working from home in Austria, the UK, Canada, and the U.S. was logged on computers and demonstrated an increase of more than two hours a day. Home workers were also found to take shorter lunch breaks and worked through sickness as well. Businesses are happy to retain employees who are dedicated to their jobs and are productive. But failure to separate work and home life can ultimately lead to burnout. To prevent this from happening, maintain regular office hours and begin and end work at the same time every day. Also, be sure to take a lunch break. Eat nutritiously and go for a walk each day to support good health.
  2. Feeling isolated: Working from home can increase feelings of social isolation. People, by nature, generally seek out and enjoy the company of others. Many thrive through teamwork and a sense of community. However, working from home lessens face-to-face communications and the ability for employees to interact and encourage one another. Thus, working from home can trigger feelings of seclusion and loneliness. The HRDirector explains that 67% of workers aged 18-37 stated that since working remotely, they find it harder to make friends and maintain relationships with work colleagues. A whopping 71% felt that work colleagues became more distant and 54% attributed it to remote working. To stop this from happening, be sure to maintain healthy relationships with likeminded people. Join a business group where people can connect or regularly meet some co-workers to facilitate being part of a team.
  3. Lack of boundaries: It is every good employee’s desire to be engaged and productive. But working from home can mess with this. A barking dog, a nagging child, a talkative spouse, a loud television, or a ringing doorbell can be disruptive and even aggravating. Per a 2021 TINYpulse survey, remote employees experienced the highest level of burnout (85.65%, 24% more than in person) when compared with in-person or hybrid employees. Skillcrush explains that it’s vital to institute rules and routines to develop better boundaries and reduce work-from-home stress. The creation of a dedicated workspace enables employees to close the door and be in a distraction-free zone. To prevent distractions, be direct with family and friends. Directly tell them when you’re available and when your time is off-limits. Also, do your best to stay on task during office hours. For example, getting a glass of water should not turn into folding laundry. If necessary, delegate tasks to others so that you can concentrate on work.

Since the pandemic, working from home has become a trend that is likely to stay viable. It can be beneficial for some employers who seek smaller in-house staffs and thus it can save them overhead costs. Most employees enjoy working from home and being in a comfortable environment. On top of some possible tax benefits, there is zero commute, more flexibility, and no annoying coworkers to deal with. But, to make working at home a success, one must strive to balance home and work life, maintain healthy social relationships, and set boundaries to get things done. While it may be preferable for some, it may not work for everyone, so it’s important to decide what’s best for you.

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