These days the new normal is working from home remotely. An end to waking up early and not having to negotiate crowds in the daily commute, nice isn’t it?. You can work from the convenience of your SOHO (small office home office). Just the dream scenario many a working employee desired and here it is, a reality which we are all struggling to come to terms with.

What looks like it is easy when you begin implementing it many would agree that it was a much better life when you had prioritise to go to the office and work with your colleagues by our side. The coronavirus led WFH (Work from home) has brought about a big challenge, which none of us foresaw - the juggle between our professional and personal life like never before. What has happened as a result of this new adaptation is decreased productivity and increased mental stress. Companies and professionals are now coming to realise this and many are working towards resolving these issues while retaining the quality of life of the employee and ensuring productivity for the employer.

WFH - Challenges and solutions

Productivity & Time management

Multiple distractions and personal / official responsibilities going around in the work environment can hamper productivity. House maintainence, kids craving attention while office calls are in progress, unannoucned visitors and then friendly neighbour dropping by while you are busy, and if thats not all calls from your work mates for meetings and what not. There is no limit to problems you see. Managing both work and family responsibilities are not a great mix for productive professionals.

How to solve : Set a time-table. Separate office and house work into different time sets. Inform family about your busy and free time. Setting priorities and deadlines and sharing them with your family can also do wonders. Time-management apps are the way to go. They help you prioritize your work when required and allow you room to plan your personal tasks and get you enough time to spend with your family.

No IT department

Technology and work from home go hand in hand! Many of us are not efficient enough on the tech front and in the office environment our colleagues were always our saviours but with work from home, we are the techies and the IT department.

Way around : Prefer a laptop over a desktop because the battery keeps you safeguarded against sudden power cuts. It’s light, you can move around and sometimes multitasking is easier. Use cloud storage for saving data loss related headaches. Use a mobile connection with good data capabilities in case the Wifi decides to throw tantrums. Buy and extra paid headphones/earphones, mouse etc. Basically Prepare.

Lack of real interactions

Communicating via emails, whatapp, video chat and voice chat is the order of the day. Lack of frequent face-to-face communication and not knowing the circumstances of the colleague you are reaching out to often results in huge misunderstandings and confusion within the teams.

Way around : While video chat is as close to real as possible with online meetings software like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc., the other solution is to just keep in touch at regular intervals - say every few hours. Use tech solutions and increase frequency. Feel free to call up at times to discuss small issues.

Cross continent team challenges

Work from home has made cross continents workforce management easier. The big issue with international Teams working together is the difference in time-zones making it difficult for people to collaborate and work simultaneously.

Way around : Be Flexible and request the same of your colleagues. Set up with SOPs which will reduce the lag in delivery. Email or whatsapp your query for others can reply at their convenience and use timelines / deadlines.

Office or Family Dilemma

Start by fixing the number of work hours and the schedule. Try to use choosing best-undisturbed working hours. It could be a continuous 8 hours or 4 and 4 hours or 3 hours with an hourly break etc,. There are many many tools to enhance productivity - just google. Many employers like a content writing company offer flexible work hours so you can spend time with family issues when required.

Worried about missing out stuff

Actually its a misnomer that if are not physically seen doing work we will be excluded from promotions and bonuses. The result of our work shows and that’s what matters. So get to the point with your employer about KPI and KRAs etc Productivity of self and teams is what makes companies successful so engage in regular communication and support office virtual team meetings and fun time gatherings.

Health issues while working from home

Ahh! Home sweet home. The easy environment, binge eating, sitting in awkward positions in front of the screen all day. Exercising and staying active takes a back seat and can lead to health issues such as weight gain and joint pains.

The answer is in a disciplined approach and curtailing unhealthy habits. Eat on time, exercise daily and become a role model.

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