4 Huge Pitfalls To Watch Out For When You Work From Home

We're now in lockdown #937 here in the UK, with many people returning to working from home and juggling all the issues and responsibilities that that involves.

Working from home sounds like the dream: you can do as you please, you set your own hours and you get time to hang out the washing, get dinner on and run the house in-between tasks.

But amongst the advantages of this apparent freedom, there are a number of possible pitfalls that are all too easy to let happen.

Pitfalls that can rapidly turning your new work from home life into a stressful and unproductive nightmare!

Read on to find out what they are and how you can plan for them, resolve them, or avoid them altogether.

1. No separation between home and work

Failing to keep your work or business and private life separate is one of the most common problems when you work from home.

This is a common pitfall self-employed people face (ask me how I know!). Having your office - or just your laptop - right there makes it difficult to switch off.

You log on to do just one quick thing and spend three hours on a task someone else has deemed urgent, or you pop into the office to find a paper and come out several hours later.

If you don't set limits and specific hours for work time, it can be really hard to stay away. This quickly leads to burn out.

To be successful working from home, you must set limits for yourself so that work and home are separate.

Otherwise, before you know it, you'll have spent another few hours of your precious evening or weekend time on work.

2. Not planning your work

In addition to setting work hours, you must become efficient at planning what to do with your time.

Without a manager or boss telling you what to do each day, it's all too easy to let short tasks turn into a whole morning's work.

And the temptations of social media scrolling are never far away...

When you're working on a project, planning is an absolute must, and it's no different for any job.

Starting your day without a clear plan is inviting procrastination and failure in. The question "What shall I do today?" is never going to result in a productive work day!

Instead, take time to plan out the next working day before you finish work each evening.

This helps to clear your head, helping to separate work time from personal time, and also means you will be ready to get started immediately on your next work session.

It's vital too to have a reliable laptop so you can work as efficiently as possible - learn more.

3. Working at irregular times

You may be free to set your own hours when you work from home, but that doesn't mean that you should only work when you feel like it.

There are so many distractions and more interesting things to do - and not just daytime TV! - that you may get to the end of the week without getting much done at all.

If you are free to set your own hours, think about when you work best: morning, afternoon or evening?

Set your work times around when you work best, whether that's early morning or later in the day, and schedule in plenty of breaks and fun activities too.

Treat them as rewards if you need to, taking a break after each work session.

A daily walk, lunch break, time in the garden, and a phone call to a friend or relative, will make your work day go quickly.

Having a daily plan you stick to will help to keep your productivity levels high.

4. Not getting out of the house regularly

With deliveries to your door and working form home, it's tempting not to go outside at all!

After all, you have everything you need and outside can seem like a scary place right now.

But it's important to motivate yourself to get outdoors when you work from home.

Take a daily walk in nature and you will feel refreshed, re-energized and give your immune system a boost too.

20 minutes' walk is enough if you're dodging out in-between rain showers, but ideally a 1-2 hour walk a day will give you maximum benefits.

If your local restrictions allow, meeting up with a friend or relative will give you a sense of connection and help to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as boosting your energy and improving wellbeing.

Working from home is ideal for many people. It gives you the freedom to determine your own working hours and to focus your work into a few hours with minimal distractions.

But it is important to avoid these pitfalls, so follow our guide to make working from home more productive and enjoyable.

More work from home tips:

This post contains product and service links for your convenience. By clicking on these links I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. I only suggest resources and items I believe in and highly recommend. Find out more on our Disclosure page.