Sadly, there are times when we find ourselves in a tough situation. The worse part is it is our own doing that sent us there. Take, for instance, the hotly-contested issue these days on mask mandates. While you may have a distinct opinion on the wearing of masks to protect yourself, others do too.
The problem is when you enforce your beliefs with so much passion you forget you’re stepping on someone else’s toes. That’s exactly what happened when on the first day of school an angry parent beat a teacher over mask mandate differences recently. The action could land the hot-tempered dad in jail as he bloodied the teacher’s face.
While you may find that situation absurd, know that it could mirror some things you may be doing on a daily basis. Many companies today, big and small, have adopted remote work as a solution to fight the virus woes. More often than not, as millions of Americans make work from home (WFH) their standard method of working, many of them will fall into mind-boggling pitfalls that basically undermine their productivity — and in the long run, their career.
Of course, you need not put yourself in such compromised positions. Doing so would be counterintuitive. But before you make a judgment call, you need to take a closer look at various actions that may appear harmless but actively undermine the careers of remote workers. Listed below are some of these most common pitfalls. Avoiding them like the plague should be wise.
Working in Your Pajamas
Ok, you may raise an eyebrow. But isn’t working in your pajamas alright since nobody sees you? To a point there, you’re right. Nobody sees you. With regard to your office mates, there’s no sin in working in your pajamas. What could be a point against you is your productivity.
Work is work wherever you do it. And that means being in the right set of mind and the right attitude. Working in your pajamas means you just woke up, have not done your breakfast but went straight to work. In short, you’re not giving your work your best shot. That can surely affect your productivity.
Above and beyond, take note that work demands your mental prowess is working in high gear. Keeping your pajamas only reinforces your thought of going back to your bed. The best way to get quality work done is to get ready for it just like when you go to the office. The more you treat remote work as real work, the better your results will be.
Working from the Couch or Bed
Just as your clothes show your attitude towards work, not being in a suitable workspace is also telling. When you’re on the couch, you’re prone to slouch. And that can affect your productivity. How else will you answer calls and take down notes than in a straightforward desk? Put in your kids who can join you on that couch and you’d lose your concentration in a snap of a finger.
For best results, have a designated workspace that comes with a door so you can focus. That way you can prevent unwanted distractions which could undermine your work.
To that end, invest in a comfy chair. Sitting for long hours on end can certainly take a toll on your back. A good desk large enough so you can put in your stuff (just like the office) should serve the purpose best.
In addition, don’t forget your lighting. Studies show cooler lights mean more productive remote workers. As much as possible, put your workspace near a window so you can get as much fresh air and sunlight as you need.
Also make sure your home office appeals to your tastes. Aesthetics play a huge role in carving a home workspace that you want to report to every day. A good way to get that going is to take care of your floors. If it is worn out, for instance, you can have professionals resurface your worn-out concrete. It should look as stunning as ever.
Unlike a physical office, no one actually sees you when you’re doing remote work. So, it’s important on your part that you make your presence felt. Not replying to emails and not being online during team calls can easily put your team leaders to conclude you’re out of commission.
So, it’s time you regularly reach out. Be present at regular meetings and take time to chat with your colleagues. It’s like a regular office actually, in a sense. Keep those relationships going and you should just be fine.
Not Taking Care of Yourself
At a time when the virus has left us working in a corner, the importance of health cannot be overemphasized. But being healthy can be a struggle if you don’t put your mind to it. Unlike a regular office, you won’t have conference meeting rooms to go to, no walking to and from one coworker to another.
The answer here is good habits. Make sure you factor exercise routines and time off into your daily schedule. If not, you could be looking at health issues as the months turn to years.
Taking the Opportunity for Granted
If you look at how health workers must report to work every day, you can count yourself lucky you’re working safely from home. Some of these front liners won’t actually make it, infected by the virus.
So, instead of treating remote work as secondary, put an all-out effort to give it your best shot. You not only give back to your company that way but also give yourself a chance to move up. And earn handsomely in the process.