This article (Tech alone does not make working from home easy!) was first published on Thrive Global
Silicon Valley’s billionaire hero and co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel’s go-to interview question is “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”
Here is his answer:
“Most people think the future of the world will be defined by globalization, but the truth is that technology matters more.”
Now coming back to the current scenario:
Organizations across the world collectively responded to the pandemic by adopting remote working overnight. As it was the only way to go, employees have found themselves working from the comfort of their home.
Luckily, in this technology era, we have tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Quixy to back us up at our homes. Zoom and Meet have become synonymous with video conferencing while people can collaborate effortlessly on Teams and Slack. With the advent of no-code, organizations have effortlessly automated their processes with tools like Quixy.
While we can agree with Peter Thiel and appreciate the latest technology tools for making the whole work from home situation possible, we can also admit that there are more challenges to this situation than what the tech can address. Let’s discuss some of these challenges here, along with the possible solutions.
Humans are social beings and require interaction with other people to sustain. Being confined to our homes can feel claustrophobic and lonely. However comfortable, there is no watercooler or tea breaks to swap jokes with your co-workers at home. And if we’re honest, videoconferencing tools such as Zoom might do the job of connecting us but it is just not the same as face-to-face interaction.
Here is how to deal with isolation and limited interaction-
The uncertainty of a pandemic can be overwhelming right now. From meeting deadlines on a daily basis to not knowing when your life will resume back to normal, the work from home situation can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety.
Here are some tips to deal with this feeling-
It’s difficult enough to have meaningful in-person meetings involving multiple team members. It gets all the more difficult to be on the same page as everyone works from home.
When in the same room or floor of an office, asking colleagues for information or updates does not seem like a task. Even so, it can be difficult enough to have meaningful in-person meetings involving multiple team members. It gets all the more difficult to be on the same page as everyone works from home.
While talking, humans rely on nonverbal communication. Emails, phone calls, and even video calls, can be confusing to interpret. It can be very easy for someone to misinterpret an email or text message due to lack of tone.
How to avoid communication issues:
1. Schedule weekly online meetings with important teams to check on each other’s progress throughout the week.
2. Make use of collaboration tools to keep track of all communication and information on one platform.
3. Check your tone while communicating digitally or make use of videoconferencing to discuss important and sensitive matters.
When working at home, you do not have a clear geographic division between workspace and personal space. Until now, your home has been a haven for leisure, the place you used to come back to after a hard day at work. With the introduction of “office work” in this space, it can be confusing to tell the difference between work and leisure.
People often feel like they’re never off the job and feel the need to check emails and get done with work that seems to be never-ending. A sense of guilt also sets in when you indulge in a long break.
Ways to overcome this challenge:
Ultimately, the clearer the lines you draw between your professional life and personal life, both in space and time, the more you can keep the two reasonably separate.
The world was used to commuting to work, working for a set number of hours and then logging out at a particular time every day of the week. This was possible when people had somewhere to be at a certain time, to work.
Now with the remote working scenario, there seems to be no concept of “normal business hours”. Without a schedule, you might find yourself sleeping in or procrastinating with the promise of getting to work later. And after all of this struggle, you realise the day is over and you have not done what you intended to do.
Here are the ways to managing your time:
Even with a working schedule and a dedicated space to work, distractions and interruptions always seem to spring up when you’re working from home. With your daily house chores and personal belonging scattered in your environment, it can be hard to stay focused on the task at hand. Other distractions such as television and books can get in your way. Additionally, family members or housemates seem to never hesitate to interrupt you at every opportunity they get.
How to Avoid Distraction Doom:
When you aren’t surrounded by other professionals or supervisors, it can be hard to stay motivated. You may slowly lose vision of your long-term goals and plans as the current scenario may seem to be never-ending. To add to this feeling, pyjamas and a comfortable seat on the couch often don’t give the same kind of inspiration you get from a formal outfit and an office chair.
Ways to stay motivated at home:
Despite the challenges above, remote work has become the only way to work in the near future. Once you overcome these challenges, you will surely enjoy flexibility and freedom while working from the comfort of your house.
Quixy Ranked #1 No-Code Platform in G2's Fall 2021 Momentum Report