For those of us who’ve spent years trudging through a long traffic filled commute, working from home on a daily basis sounds like a dream come true, but think again.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of us to work from home indefinitely and it’s slowly revealed flaws in the thinking written about in the opening sentence.
Some folks have an ideal situation with a work-from-home office and live alone or with someone who doesn’t have to work during this season. But those who have to share a small space or try to get on video calls on a crappy internet connection might be missing the office at this time.
Here are 5 ways working from home can be difficult.
If you live in a small apartment with a spouse that also has to work from home, finding a place where you can both work peacefully can be impossible. And if you add kids into the equation, it becomes an even more daunting a task to actually be productive in this environment.
Schedules vary greatly, and some workers such as teachers require a large amount of space to stage lessons for their students. This could relegate their spouses to working in another room.
Using video calling apps like Zoom and Go To Meeting have become commonplace for most businesses and organizations during this time. However, not everyone can easily use the software and certain activities just don’t adapt well to a video call.
Teachers losing connection in the middle of a lesson or technology workers getting booted off in the middle of a presentation in front of a client are nightmare scenarios that we wouldn’t have to deal with if we were at the office.
Access to Resources
When working from home, we have limited access to resources required for us to complete our tasks. We often have to provide our own tools and during a pandemic, shopping for goods is difficult and requires an annoying mask.
Tasks like printing a large amount of documents or getting our laptops repaired by IT are now next to impossible to do at home.
Interaction Is Limited
If you are working on a difficult task and need one of your co-workers or bosses to walk you through it, you simply won’t have the type of access you’d have at the office from your home.
You’d have to get on a video call, share your screen, and hope that their equipment is functioning properly in order to figure out how to complete the task. Walking up to their desk while at the office is a lot easier.
Also, if you have friends at work, you won’t get to see them and building relationships with other co-workers is next to impossible. Liking the people you work with always makes the job easier and losing the ability to do this is detrimental to the workforce.
Your Home Is No Longer a Safe Space
When I’m home I want to do things that I normally enjoy while I’m not working. I’m tempted to turn on the TV, write, or play a video game during hours that I should be working. Being home can put you in a relaxed mood or even push you to work on fixing things around the house.
Home should be a safe space free from the menial tasks at the office. An office environment definitely puts some people in a space where they’re ready to work and focus only on that while at home you could be distracted by the other people living with you.
BONUS: Long Meetings Are Brutal on Video Chat
Long meetings are difficult as it is, but joining them on a video chat while you have the distractions of your home around you is damn near impossible.
If you’re not presenting or speaking regularly during the meeting, paying attention consistently can prove to be extremely difficult. It takes a strong effort to stay focused and it is much easier to conduct these kinds of meetings in person. Hopefully we’ll get back to the office soon.