Many companies and organizations are now understanding the benefits of working remotely. Moreover, the current pandemic situation has forced various businesses to entirely work online.
This led to most employees working from their homes in various time zones across different locations. But there are many common mistakes that they need to avoid to ensure that they stay productive and meet their goals.
This article is very helpful if you are someone who is just about to start working remotely. But if you’ve been doing this for quite a while now, you may gain some insights here. Keep reading.
6 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Working Remotely
Working remotely comes with a lot of advantages for employees. Moreover, companies often focus on empowering employees with constant support and smooth onboarding to help them get more familiar with a remote work culture. However, there are certain mistakes that employees should be aware of while working remotely.
1. Not following a consistent schedule each day
A lot of remote workers work alone. They don’t report to a manager who can keep them completely accountable for every task and deliverable on their plate. Because of this, it becomes easier to waste time and procrastinate instead of being productive.
To prevent this from happening, make sure to come up with a proper schedule and allocate time accordingly according to your project deadlines.
During your free time, maintain productivity by focusing on how you can improve or enhance your skill set. Also, it can be very easy for you to skip meals during remote working hours. This can affect your health and energy levels. See to it that you also follow a regular eating schedule.
2. Poor posture while working
In a remote work culture, it’s common for employees to be lazy and work straight from their bed or couch. Working for long hours in a fixed sitting position in front of the laptop or desktop can cause major health problems.
Poor posture while sitting for long hours can lead to back and neck problems, shoulder ache, and cause stress in your joints and ligaments.
You should make a habit of taking regular breaks from your remote working hours to give your body time to rest. Also, set a goal to get physical activity.
Stretch, do some cardio or a bit of weight lifting to improve blood flow throughout your body. Exercising also prevents you from gaining extra pounds. It helps improve your sitting posture as well.
3. Not keeping work and home life separate
Working remotely from home gives you more freedom to manage your working hours. Moreover, it saves you time and money on daily commutes and other extra expenses related to working at a traditional office setting.
But since you don’t have a fixed 9-5 schedule anymore, it can be a little difficult to maintain proper balance while working from home.
Due to this, most remote workers end up working either a few hours or an unhealthy amount of overtime. To avoid this, you need to stay away from distractions. This helps you focus and avoid extending your work hours to cover missed deadlines.
Having a designated working space area within your home is also the key to separate work and home life. If you don’t have an appropriate working space within your home, you might choose an external one. This can be either coffee shops or a local library but you need to ensure that there’s good internet connection.
4. Lack of face-to-face communication among remote employees
Virtual teams often miss out on informal everyday interactions. While in the office, things like chatting in the breakroom or to discuss problems on the coffee run are very much common.
But due to a remote work culture, some employees may feel isolated. As a result, they’re less likely to contribute actively to the team.
This will affect both the team spirit and trust between team members. Also, it can be very much difficult because of the challenges associated with cultural differences. Miscommunication can be a major problem in virtual teams across the world.
To prevent this, the virtual team leader should recognize team diversity through online social meet-ups. Also, it helps to share each team member’s experience, background, and personal information with other members.
Moreover, to minimize conflicts, every team member should agree to certain protocols for communication that will be in alignment with everyone’s expectations.
An example can be the maximum response time to respond to emails or messages.
5. Poor internet connection and work set-up
Remote working requires a laptop or desktop and a high-speed internet connection. So, it is important to have all things in place so as to avoid any technical issues or difficulties while connecting with the rest of the team members or working on projects.
A high-speed internet connection is essential so that there are no connection issues while on a virtual meeting. Also, it ensures that you’re able to download and upload large files over the server. See to it that your laptop or desktop has a good PC configuration which includes high RAM, large storage, latest operating system, and long battery life to name a few.
Since many software applications such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom put a heavy load on the CPU, it is best to have a proper configuration for your laptop. This will help to avoid issues related to hanging or black screen appearing suddenly on your PC while working.
6. Changing your sleeping pattern
Remote employees are often working in different time zones. And while collaborating through virtual meetings, you may need to manage your time in accordance with various time zones of different team members.
It can be very early in the morning or late at night which may affect your sleeping pattern. So, it is important to discuss with the team members to come up with a common time that is feasible for every team member to connect.
If you decide to work at odd hours during the day, make sure that it does not adversely affect your health. It’s important to understand that lack of quality sleep can lead to various health issues including cardiac problems, diabetes, stress, and lack of concentration to name a few.
These are some of the common mistakes to avoid while you are working remotely. It will take time and effort to get accustomed to this remote work culture and you will be experiencing a learning curve.
While honing your time management skills and productivity, don’t ignore basic things such as your sleep, health, and nutrition. You should not sacrifice them to make remote working work to your advantage.