Before the pandemic, many people believed remote work was mainly reserved for those that lived far away from the office or work for a digital-only company. As more and more individuals are forced to work from home due to COVID-19, it’s become apparent that many do not understand what working remotely entails. Working from home is more than sitting in your pajamas and watching tv while you’re working. To help inform individuals what it’s like to really work from home, here are a few common misconceptions and the truths behind them.
Getting dressed is pointless
Truth: Dressing up can improve health and how well you work at home
Although you aren’t leaving your house, getting dressed is not a waste of time. Putting on a professional outfit as if you were going into the office can help you feel more motivated and confident. Often, our appearance can influence our productivity, moods, and sometimes our entire day. How many times have you put on a nice outfit or gotten a new haircut and felt like you could conquer the world? Being confident in your look is key, so while oversized shirts and sweatpants are great, don’t let it turn into an everyday look. To help yourself feel as confident as possible, make sure all aspects of your appearance are in top shape. Whether you need concealer for a pimple or are experiencing hair loss, simply correct the imperfections and enjoy your improved look. Make the most of everyday and dress for success!
Working at home is less stressful
Truth: Most people experience the same levels of stress, if not more
A common misconception is that working at home is less stressful than working at the office, and maybe that’s true for some people. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Generally, if your work life was pretty hectic while at the office, it’s probably going to be just as hectic when you’re working from home. For most people, their responsibilities remain the same, and just their work location changes. Additional problems like miscommunication can arise as well since people cannot simply walk into their coworker’s office anymore to ask a question or get help with something. Now people have to rely primarily on emails and video conferencing tools. While these tools help to make communicating easier, people can experience complications with scheduling, wifi connection, and more.
Managing work-life balance is easier
Truth: It can actually be worse depending on the person
Working from home should mean that you have more time to spend with your family and more free time in general, right? No, that’s actually where people are wrong. Yes, maybe you can see your loved ones more often now that they aren’t in school or at the office, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can interact with them the way you’d like. In the end, people who work from home are not on vacation. They still have to work and do most of the same things they had to do before the quarantine. So for many, the work-life balance is completely the same as it was before the quarantine. Some might be even worse since people tend to feel guilty over taking breaks. Time tracking apps can help you to find a way to balance both your work and your life.
Telecommuting isn’t as productive
Truth: Some individuals are more productive at home than at the office
Yes, some people are guilty of watching Netflix while working, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t productive. Often, employees work harder and longer since they aren’t getting up as frequently for impromptu meetings, coffee runs, and bathroom stops. It’s easy to feel bad about taking breaks at home because you don’t want to be labeled as an unproductive employee, but try to refrain from that way of thinking. Taking an excessive amount of breaks in an hour is one thing, but taking the time to go to the bathroom, stretch your legs, or get a snack should not make you feel guilty. Intermissions actually make people more productive because you feel more refreshed afterward. That’s not saying that distractions, like children, cannot make working remotely really difficult. Going to a quiet room with a door or turning off the television while you’re working can improve how much work you get done.
While it’s easy to believe that working from home is nothing more than a small vacation, that’s not the case. Remote workers have to be just as hard-working, dedicated, and determined as they would be in the office. If you are someone who works from home, you deserve a pat on the back for doing a great job, and if you know someone who is working remotely take time to acknowledge the hard work they do every day even if its from the comfort of their house. Remember that everyone’s work-from-home situation is different, so don’t compare your productivity to anyone else’s and just focus on doing the best you can!