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4 Common Mistakes When Working From Home and How To Fix Them

Now that we are entering year three of the pandemic, hybrid work is nothing new.

But being effective while working from home still seems like a challenge. Here are 4 mistakes you can fix now to be more productive while working remotely.

Lack of Daily Connection

When working from home, it’s easy to feel isolated and disconnected. Remember those impromptu water cooler discussions in the office? Those casual conversations helped to establish trust and build rapport. This small talk is more challenging with remote workers. To keep connection while working remotely, it’s important to make an effort to touch base daily. Your team chat tool is a great way to reach out, especially if you are not working in the same office. A quick “how is your day going?” goes a long way. My colleague who works out of our Connecticut office just sent me a quick message about his breakfast cooking prowess (or lack of). The result? A laugh and moment of personal connection.

Poor Home Office Set Up

Want to be efficient as possible at home? Then be sure your home office setup is just as effectively as your office setup. If you have dual monitors at work, then set them up at home as well. Invest in tools to be able to do your job competently both at home and in the office.

Only 66% of employees agree they have the technology they need to effectively work remotely.

When working from home, prepare for tech issues and have a backup plan. For instance, can you use a hotspot on your phone if you lose WIFI?

Web Cam Woes

Yes, Zoom fatigue is a real thing. And back-to-back Zoom meetings are exhausting. But think about why we all embraced video meetings during the pandemic – to keep a connection to the person you are talking with. In a report by Zoom, approximately 7 out of 10 (79%) of those surveyed believe that their colleagues pay more attention when the video is on, and 3 in 4 say the quality of their conversations improves. We’ve all been in video meetings in which one person did not have their camera on and we wondered “what are they doing?” That said, not all meetings have to be by video conference. Before scheduling a meeting, consider if it can be done via phone or group chat. Lastly, many video meetings have a feature where you can turn off the self-view so you are not staring at yourself the whole meeting.

Not Setting Boundaries

Research shows that employees working remotely face greater boundary issues and work/life balance struggles.

In the Buffer study on remote work, 45% of respondents reported working more now that they are remote. When working from home, it’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that you need to work harder. Part of this is breaking the habit of responding to work emails late into the night and on weekends.

We have all had that manager that sends late night emails. Which in turn, sets the expectation that you have to do the same. Addressing this at the highest level is a critical step in allowing employees to truly unplug at night and on the weekends. If you are a person that prefers to do focus work in the evenings (when the kids are in bed, for example), use a tool that can queue up your emails and send them in the morning. Ultimately, it’s up to you to set solid boundaries and healthy habits on how much you are going to work after hours and set limits on checking and responding to emails.

Have more questions about remote work? Check out this webinar, Maximizing Remote and Hybrid Work for Permanency or watch our Avoid Zoom Fatigue With This One Tip Coffee Break video.