Mistakes To Avoid When Transitioning To Remote Work

Due to recent events with COVID-19, more and more people are transitioning to remote work. And once you consider the flexible working hours and not having to suffer daily commute, you will quickly see why remote work will become more popular. So, if you have the chance to transition to remote work, should you go for it right off the bat? Well, in our view, there are a couple of things to keep in mind and mistakes to avoid when transitioning to remote work.

Most important mistakes to avoid when transitioning to remote work

While there are numerous benefits to remote work, there are certain downsides that people are usually unaware of. Unfortunately, these downsides can be a significant factor in how productive you are and how well your remote work suits you. But, fortunately, most of these downsides are simple mistakes you can prevent. So, before you decide that remote work is for you, make sure that you aren't making any of the mistakes we are about to mention.

Jumping into it without preparation

The first mistake that people make is that they jump into working from home without any prior preparation. They think, "Work is work. What is there to prepare for?" And, while your work might be similar for the most part, there are some essential differences for which you need to prepare. Once you decide that you are going to work from home, start researching. Different jobs have different requirements, just like different people require different work conditions. So, do yourself a favor and research what other people went through. By doing so, you will spare yourself from many issues and needless struggles.

Not having a home office

The second mistake that people often make is that they don't set up a home office. They pick up their laptop, sit at their dining table, and start working. While this can work for a day or two, you really need to avoid permanently working in your living area.

Now, you may think that this doesn't apply to you and that you are one of the few that can work wherever, whenever. But, trust us, when asking, "Does everyone need a quiet workspace?" the answer is a universal yes. A designated home office will help you focus on your job and stay productive. It can be surprisingly easy to procrastinate, especially if you cannot physically separate yourself from everyday life. So, even if you don't have enough room for a home office, at least try to designate a space where you will work and only work.

Not making a schedule

One of the things that people often enjoy about remote work is that they don't have to stick to a schedule. Many remote jobs don't require you to clock in at a specific time, which gives you the freedom to work whenever you feel like it. But, as it turns out, this is the wrong way to go about remote work. Humans are creatures of habit. Therefore, having a schedule to follow is not only beneficial for your productivity but mandatory for long-term success. You should rise and go to bed at roughly the same time if you are to maintain your health and help your mind rest. So, even if you have the liberty to postpone work, or stay up late, don't use it often.

Focusing on work hours instead of on productivity

Another common mistake that remote workers often make is focusing on work hours. Here it is crucial to make a distinction. If your type of work is based on the hours you spend working and not on the product of your work, you definitely should focus on the hours. But, if you are paid on a project basis, you need to keep track of your productivity. In most remote jobs, nobody is going to pay you for working 6 hours straight.

Instead, they are going to pay you for a finished project. So, use the freedom of your job to be as productive as possible. If you feel that you are unproductive, take a break. Do not make the common mistake of wasting time believing that you are productive. An experienced remote worker knows how to get into the right mindset for work and knows when to stop working and take a break.

Neglecting self-care

Working in an office allows you to vent with your colleagues. To unburden some of the stress by talking it out and even making a couple of jokes. Furthermore, by knowing that other people are going through similar issues as yours, the whole problem of handling them seems much more manageable.

Unfortunately, this is something that you don't have as a remote worker. Whatever you are going through, you will be at it alone. This is great for more introverted people, as they are usually not keen on sharing. But even the biggest introverts gain benefit from discussing their job with their coworkers. So, do yourself a favor and don't neglect self-care. Find ways to deal with stress and to vent out your frustrations. In the long run, you'll be doing yourself a world of good.

Final thoughts on remote work

While there are other mistakes to avoid when transitioning to remote work, we feel that these are the most common. In the short term, none of them have a considerable effect. Unfortunately, this is precisely why people continue making them, as keeping track of yourself is surprisingly hard. So, the last piece of advice we have for you is to keep close tabs on yourself if you've just started remote work. People quickly become stressed out, unproductive, and overall unhealthy. And the important thing to realize is that it is entirely up to you whether this will be the case.


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