Overcoming Struggles Employees Face When Working From Home

Working from home can cause you to lose your sense of motivation. Mondays feel even more unbearable than you remember, and you look forward to the weekends more than usual. It’s suddenly easier to procrastinate and put deadlines off or wait until the last minute to get everything done.

The issues and tasks that felt so pressing in the office often just don’t feel the same way at home. Although your work may not feel as important, deep down you know it is.

Still, being aware of your lack of motivation doesn’t magically fix it. In fact, recognizing it may just make you anxious.

Solution: Change the Scenery

Sometimes a little change is all it takes to get your drive back. If you’re working in the same room in the same chair at the same time every day, it’s no wonder you’re going to feel less motivated.

Consider going to a workspace, coffee shop, or anywhere else that changes up the scenery that you’re accustomed to. If you have the space in your home, try carving out an office space that’s inviting and comfortable.

Many people make the mistake of working from their bed because it’s comfortable but doing so can be harmful to your sleep schedule.

Throughout the day, remind yourself why you chose the career path you did and know when it’s time to switch paths.

Struggle: Loneliness

Loneliness seems to be a common struggle among almost everyone. While some employees have always been remote, others were impacted solely by the COVID-19 pandemic and forced into it.

You’ve gone from being in an office with your favorite coworkers, laughing and chatting all day, to being alone at home. This would make anyone feel a bit lonely. Add mental health stressors on top of the isolation, and it can be hard to cope.

Solution: Connect with Others

Although you may not get to see your people in person, there are still plenty of ways to connect with them thanks to technology.

It may not feel the same, but it’s better than nothing and can help drastically. Try staying in touch with your coworkers regularly, especially those you feel closer to or who are like-minded.

You can text, chat, or even talk on the phone during lunch breaks or whenever you both need it most. It’s tempting to only talk about work but developing a more personal friendship can ease a lot of the loneliness you’re feeling.

You should also strive to make connections outside of work and see people in person when you can. Depending on your area, you may also be able to join a coworking space.

Although the other people won’t necessarily be part of your company, it will still feel good to have people close by and in person. You may also consider getting a pet, such as a dog or a cat. Owning a pet has been shown to reduce stress, loneliness, anxiety, and depression, among other things. If none of these things are working, seeing a therapist or other mental health professional is always a good idea.

Struggle: Miscommunication

Communication among employees and the company becomes even more of a challenge when everything is virtual. When everyone was in person, much of the communication was based on body language and tone of voice.

Misunderstandings, therefore, were a lot rarer because you could clarify your message immediately.

When that same communication is now solely through email, chat, or video, it’s a lot easier to have misunderstandings and forget important things. There are more delays in communication, mistakes caught too late, and deadlines missed when it mattered most. On top of that, the team morale is probably lower than ever.

Solution: Check-in Regularly

Although the team’s channels of the communication might look different, there are still steps that can be taken to make sure the remote experience is effective, productive, and feels just as connected. First, the head of the team should always check in with each team member regularly. This might be at the start of each week or once a month.

Employees won’t always tell you they’re overwhelmed with their workload or struggling with depression unless you ask, and especially unless they know you genuinely care. Team leaders should also create as many opportunities as possible for connection among team members. If everyone lives in the same area, try planning an in-person meet-up.

If not, there are virtual events you can hold online and conversations you start to get everyone talking. It’s important to know how to support each other best and to create a transparent line of communication that’s always open.