By Nico Strydom
The Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown resulted in millions of people having to work from hoe unexpectedly. As the lockdown was downscaled later, a hybrid way of working – a blend of home and office work – became an option to many employers.
Although working from home offers many benefits, such as no commute time and savings on fuel, greater flexibility, better work-life balance and higher productivity, it does, however, pose some challenges.
Communication, relationships, company culture, technological challenges and productivity, are only a few challenges posed by homework.
Communication is extremely important in a workplace and technology can have a big effect on it. If the technology necessary for employees to communicate with each other constantly is lacking, it can result in employees becoming isolated and unable to work optimally.
Those who work from home could also find it difficult to communicate online and make themselves heard. It is therefore important to make sure that you have all the necessary technology when you have to work from home so that you can function as at the office. You must also be prepared to make yourself heard as at the office.
Working from home can also make employees feel very isolated. Fewer interruptions will naturally also have benefits but it can also cause employees not to feel part of a team. Take some trouble to stay in contact with your colleagues and make sure that you stay up to date with matters at the office so that you still feel part of the team when you sometimes have to work from home.
Better work-life balance can also be a challenge of homework. It is easier to leave your work at the office than when working from home. You must therefore make sure that you don’t sit in front of your computer all the time and still make time for yourself or family and friends. It is also important to make sure that family and friends do not keep you from your work.
Interruptions are one of the big challenges of homework. Family, friends and colleagues may presume that you are available at any time and always because you work from home. Make sure that you lay down rules so that everybody knows that you are not to be disturbed at certain times and that, even if you work from home, you are not simply available at all times.
Homework can also affect creativity and productivity. Make sure that you maintain more or less the same routine as at work in order not to let your productivity suffer. Some people are more creative in a group setup, while other people’s creativity emerges when they have time alone to think and plan. It is therefore important to identify what it is that stimulates your creativity and how you can stimulate it when you work at home.
Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2022/02/5-challenges-of-hybrid-work-and-how-to-overcome-them