Working from home (WFH), which used to be a dream for many, has become a reality following the COVID-19 pandemic. You may love attending Zoom meetings in your pajama pants and hanging out with your cat all day, but you may also have discovered that remote work has some drawbacks. Let’s look at four of the biggest challenges of working from home you may be facing and how you can overcome them.
How to Deal With 4 Big Challenges of Working From Home
1. Computer Vision Syndrome
The new normal of working from home has led to increased incidents of computer vision syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain. CVS encompasses a range of eye problems caused by staring at a screen for hours. Dr. Jordan Marr, Master of Optometry from Mouqy, says that signs that CVS may be affecting your work performance include:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Dry eyes
- Red irritated eyes
- Difficulty in focusing
- Neck or back pain
What to Do to Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome
Try to avoid long unbroken sessions of screen time. Follow the 20-20-20 rule, i.e., take a break every 20 minutes for approximately 20 seconds and look at something about 20 feet away.
Also, pay attention to the room’s lighting, the position of your body, and the flickering and glare that may be coming from your screen.
2. Privacy and Security Threats
Working from home exposes you to various cybersecurity threats. However, you can mitigate most cybersecurity work-from-home risks fairly quickly by following best practices, including:
- Using antivirus and internet security software.
- Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Paying attention to password protections.
- Relying on a cloud-based storage solution.
- Securing your home Wi-Fi.
- Paying attention to email security and being wary of email scams.
- Investing in a sliding webcam cover to prevent hijacking of your webcam.
3. Losing Motivation
It’s easy to lose motivation when working from home, whether as a remote employee or a self-employed freelancer. The lack of interaction with coworkers and external inputs can make you lose motivation and the sense of your long-term career goals.
You may also have difficulty sticking to a routine or succumbing to unhealthy habits. Perhaps you forget to exercise, eat your meals at random hours, or graze the contents of your fridge all day.
While your working hours are probably more flexible, you need to have the discipline to manage your time effectively. Without a disciplined approach, you may find yourself procrastinating.
How to Be More Motivated
Make a list of your long-term goals relating to your career and also your financial and personal aspirations. Post them on the wall next to your computer and revisit them regularly so they stay fresh in your mind. Make sure your boss understands your career goals so they can keep you accountable.
Attending events and conferences in your field can provide a significant motivational boost, especially if in-person ones begin to turn up and you can get out of your home office for a time.
4. Not Allowing Yourself to Unplug
Living and working in the same space blurs the lines between your personal and working lives. You may find it difficult to switch off and relax once your working day is supposed to be over. It was much easier when you got home from your commute and made yourself a martini before dinner! WFH makes it more challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
How to Have a Normal Life
Set up a dedicated office space that’s out of bounds for your kids and your pets. If possible, keep the door closed and ask your family members not to interrupt unless there’s an emergency.
Try not to get distracted. A pile of dirty dishes or a living room rug that needs vacuuming might start calling your name. Then, a 20-minute break can turn into an hour and a half.
At the end of your working day, do your best to pretend that your office is inaccessible until the next morning. You could even hang a sign on the door: Do Not Enter Until 9:00 a.m.
Challenges of Working From Home – Final Thoughts
How we work has changed forever, and it seems like there is no going back. Almost overnight, you may have cleared out your desk and left the office, not knowing when you would return. You may never have suspected that, down the line, there would be the possibility of not returning at all.