3 problems I have working from home (WFH)

With COVID-19, taking a toll on our lives, a statement of lockdown was issued and with that comes the advantage and disadvantage of working remotely.

Lack of structure during the day

Now, again speaking from what I experienced in the past couple of days while WFH, I realized the day doesn’t have a real structure to it. The systematic session of waking up, making myself a cup of coffee, shower and start work in a matter of 25 minutes felt unnatural. I realized I missed the idealistic setting of an office as a space of alignment where I can proceed to slowly immerse myself in tackling the issues of the day. Nevertheless, with any challenge, the best approach is to adapt and adapt well.

Solution

While WFH, I created a habit and the way I approach this is into three sessions. I call it the 3 – 2hour slots. In between these slots, I’ll have my breaks and lunch to create disruption and avoid getting a burnout.

  1. Slot 1 {2hour} – the first session is spent doing the most deliberating work, tasks I tend to postpone because they require more cognitive thinking. I tackle such tasks early in the morning and so far its been effective. The bonus is I get to play an instrumental music playlist running in the background.
  2. Slot 2 {2hour} – during my second session I create new systems of active recall on Notion to hone my more extensive learning.
  3. Slot 3 {2hour} – The third slot is what I call the ‘happy hours’ because I use these hours to catch up with any internal training. This session is used to complete tedious and repetitive work.

Lack of disruption

In the course of an office day, you find yourself being distracted by colleagues coming across your table talking about their weekend, departmental meetings, coffee breaks tends to be the highlight of the day with light banter and lunch breaks are sometimes spent commenting on Chef’s food and whether paying £3.75 was worth it or not. The experience of working remotely takes away these important distractions which I find to be the peak of the day.

Solution

Video conferencing amongst a group of close colleagues before commencing work in the morning keeps true to the mantra of a light conversation before gearing up into the mindset of the day. Follow it with sporadic messages throughout the day which is my “go-to” solution at the moment while working from home.

Also, my non-work activity like being part of the social committee so working remotely removes the social aspects of organizing events. And the opportunity, to build new relations feels there’s a great tendency of disconnect. I think this can be changed – having a weekly session of virtual coffee meet up to plan future events can bring about normality to the day only because it adds a little disruption.

Isolation

With my current layout, I spend much of my time alone as I live in a shared accommodation of sorts. Therefore, the opportunity to hear colleagues arguing in the background or making random comments like ‘have you watched the groundhog day every day?’ is truly missed. Furthermore, the spontaneous delight of being surprised with cakes and cookies on someone’s birthday is a missed opportunity to wish someone.

Solution

I think digitalization does have a little impact on this issue, for instance, wishing someone over an email or message. But ultimately, the human connection is much more preferable because you end up creating memories and connections to that moment that can’t be replicated through any form of digitalization.

If you readers out there that are WFH and resonate with similar issues, please consider commenting and sharing this post. I would be really interested to know what methods, routines, and tools you guys are currently utilising to keep yourself engaged while working from home.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Productivity

Abhishek View All →

I am a writer and a graduate engineer working in Leicester, UK.

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