Working from home gives workers more flexibility but can also be more distracting. Kids, pets, chores, lawnmowers—there’s just a lot going on. We wanted to check in with our readers and see whether they are having difficulties holding themselves accountable when working remotely, so we held a poll. Here’s what they had to say.
Seventy-four percent of respondents said they did not have an issue holding themselves accountable. That means only 26% found it hard to manage their time at home.
For those who find it difficult to hold themselves accountable, we asked what the toughest challenges are. Here’s a summary of that information, as well as our take on how to overcome those challenges.
“Time management: I start off by doing chores, dealing with the dogs, and relaxing, and then it’s hard to find time to start working.”
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Managing your work-from-home schedule isn’t easy, especially when you factor chores and pets into the mix. Start things off by writing out your schedule for the day. How long will chores take? How long will each work task take? If you itemize your agenda for the day and cross out each item as you finish, you’ll see how you’re progressing. Sometimes actually visualizing what you have to do and what you’ve achieved can make everything more manageable.
“Other people ask me to do stuff while I’m working.”
It’s easy for a spouse or parent to ask you for help, because it looks like you’re available, even though you might actually have a tight deadline on a project or need to make a certain amount of calls before lunch.
Sometimes it’s worth sitting down with your family and letting them know you won’t be able to do chores or chat during the workday. Tell them you’ll be happy to help after hours, but your boss expects you to be working during the day and you don’t want to miss deadlines.
“My employer wants to keep track and make sure I’m getting my work done on company time, so I need to prove I’m accessible at all times, either through an email or voice mail.
For those of us who don’t work in deadline-driven environments, showing your boss you are in fact up and working and not asleep is important. Usually this can be achieved through more communication than normal, meaning you confirm emails your boss sends, you call when you have questions, etc. It might also be a good idea to set a daily meeting with your boss where you outline what you’re working on each day.
“Social isolation. I miss people.”
Family can be distracting, but working hours by yourself without seeing anybody can be just as rough. Check in with your manager and see if you can schedule Zoom meetings and review your schedule to see if you can put a few ‘social breaks’ into each day. Taking a few minutes to check in with friends and family can make you feel less alone.
If you’re looking for more tips on staying productive when working from home, we’ve got a blog for that. Check it out and let us know what you think!
Do you have any other issues with working from home? Let us know in the comments section below!