Working From Home Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Working from home with a child's arms aroung your neck.

It is clear, working from home has become an increasing trend for employees and employers. Clearly, working from home can be rewarding in many ways. However, it comes with a few challenges. For those fortunate to work from home, here are common working-from-home challenges and how to overcome them.

Working from Home Challenges and Solutions

1| The Feeling of Isolation

One of the most apparent challenges in working from home is isolation. Remote work removes the traditional interactions and collaborations between coworkers. If you started your career working in an office where you are immersed in social interaction in the break room, in meetings, and in after-work activities, moving to work from home may feel… lonely.

Some people thrive with this isolation while working at home in their own space, and others strongly prefer to communicate with others face to face.

Mental well-being is essential to productivity and fulfillment in your chosen career. Unfortunately, this feeling of loneliness may lead to general performance issues, a lack of interest, and a tendency to blame others. Whether you enjoy being at home or need more interaction, there are ways to help.

Being aware is a big part of overcoming the battle.

Solutions to Consider:

  • Why not go out to work at the local coffee shop? It is a great way to get out and see people while continuing to be productive.
  • Teams meetings and Zoom meetings online are excellent ways to beat isolation. Seeing familiar faces and meeting new people boosts mood and encourages those involved.
  • Another way to feel less isolated is to plan a team-building exercise. These exercises will give you a chance to be in the presence of one another occasionally.

Within a company, you are all working towards a similar goal. Therefore, encouragement and team collaboration go a long way!

Loneliness is working from home image of a computer and coffee with a woman.

2| When You Have Inadequate Equipment

Employers often need to pay more attention to the reality of working at home for others. Some may need more space or equipment, making getting an assignment or project more difficult.

Not having adequate equipment can make working from home frustrating. Here are a few ways employees can be challenged in this manner.

  • An old computer can make it hard to send emails and documents promptly. An outdated computer cannot keep up with the everyday functions of a full-time job.
  • Without access to a scanner, sending paperwork and signing documents isn’t always possible.
  • Then if you need a business phone, communication is impeded.

Solutions to Consider: 

Something that works for some employers is considering an equipment allowance. And many employers will even assist with home office furnishings and infrastructure.

When employees work from home, consider giving them a portion of those funds so they can build a good work environment at home.

3| A Lack of Work Life and Home Boundaries

When working from home, it’s hard to get away from everyday life tasks because you’re literally sitting in the middle of it. Whether in your living room on the couch, sitting at a desk in your bedroom, or working from your laptop while you chase your kids around, it can be hard to achieve work-life boundaries.

Many people view their home as their sanctuary, but it has become part of their work life. Some people have described this as a culture shock and feel their home has been invaded. While this may be extreme, perception is that individual’s reality.

Work becoming integrated with home has created blurred lines for so many employees. Consequently, stress levels increase, and assignments may be missed or late due to the distraction of life at home surrounding them. The challenge is real!

Solutions to Consider: 

Help employees by taking the initiative to ensure they are taking dedicated downtime and that it’s not something they’re trying to cram in. Breaks are an integral part of working at home or in the office!

Leave work, at work… or on the computer. Assure workers that once the workday ends, they will have time to continue their everyday lives as they would when leaving the office before working from home.

Try to limit excessive communication outside of customary working hours. Setting healthy boundaries is a positive step toward balance.

4| Employee Rank and Loyalty

Climbing that office ladder has always been a focus when building a career. When in office space, you can clearly see the achievements of others- not always so when working remotely.

When working from home, employees no longer observe the competition face-to-face. Standards may be lowered at this point, increasing the possibility of employees being concerned about lower visibility.

Having the shared workspace removed can lower the potential for some employees. In this case, some feel less connected to people despite still being a part of a valued organization.

Suppose you are an employee working from home feeling this way. In that case, checking in with your supervisor when feeling insecure or unsure is beneficial. Oh, and be open to their feedback!

Solutions to Consider: 

Ensuring those that work for you there is still progression within the business can be helpful and encouraging.

Communicate with your employees clearly and reward those performing above your expectations despite working from home. Let them know you are aware of the challenges that come with having your desk at home.

A kind word goes a long way.

Child on a tablet while mother works.


5| What About Working with Kids at Home?

This one makes me laugh. Any parent of young children faces the monotony along with the ever-changing needs of a young household. You are alone at home without anyone else to engage with except maybe your toddler&ndash, and we all know how those conversations can go.

If you feel isolated, contact friends who work from home with similar jobs. Get together with your computers and work on your assignments while enjoying community. Having the presence of another adult may just make you feel like you’re back in business and add some pep to your step.

Solutions to Consider:

Working from home with kids is challenging, there is no doubt. But for those inevitable tough times, here are a few solutions you may want to try.

Now I know you may not be a morning person (goodness knows, I am NOT), but try to wake up before your kids to get started on your workday. That will give you time to wake up and begin with some positive momentum.

Set aside specific time to engage with your children, like a lunch break picnic, and then get back to work. Avoid what I call “mom guilt” and feel you have kept a good balance for your family with simple steps.

How about this one? Set your child up with a project and check in on them periodically while you work. If they are old enough, projects typically keep them entertained for quite a bit.

On days when you feel like working from home with your child is too much, you may need to be a bit more creative. Reach out to family and friends to see if they can take the kids for at least an hour. Even though you are tired, power through and see how much work you can get done while they are gone. Or perhaps you still have nap time built into the day. In that case, get to work while they are napping and resist the urge to lay your head down too. Again, the struggle is real!

Overcome Working From Home Challenges

In summary, it is critical to know you are not alone, although many days, it seems to be so. Communicate, focus, balance, and put yourself out there. A work-from-home career can be a real blessing. And remember, your mindset is half the battle- or at least it is for me :).