With the Coronavirus pandemic spreading across the world, several countries, including India, encourages its workforce to work from home. Remote working, aka work from home, is seen as an excellent way to protect employees from the potential health risks at the workplace. 

Working from home certainly has its perks. You can avoid congested commutes to and from work, enjoy flexible work timings, work in your pajamas (unless you’re attending an online meeting), and more.

While remote working may seem fun, it certainly has its share of challenges. Missing the camaraderie of teammates at the office, time management, remaining productive are some of the challenges employees face when they work from home. 

Here, in this guide, we list some of the common issues faced by remote workers as well as tips on how to overcome them. 

Challenge #1: Being Productive 

One of the biggest and most difficult challenges for remote workers is to remain productive. In an office environment, the distractions are minimum, and employees can focus on the task at hand without being constantly interrupted. That cannot be said when you are working from home.

Remote workers need to be self-motivated and stick to their schedule, even when there is no monitoring them. 


Here are a few points to maximize productivity while working from home:

  • Avoid multitasking – Studies reveal that multitasking reduces productivity by up to 40%. Create a to-do list for the day and order it according to priority. Do one task at a time and move on to the next job on the list, once you have completed the previous one.

  • Take periodic breaks – Take short breaks throughout the day. Spending too much time in front of your laptop or desktop can make you feel sluggish and worn-out, both of which take a toll on productivity. Set alarms on your phone, reminding you to take quick breaks. Do a few yoga or meditation exercises, or take a brisk walk around the house, to avoid feeling tired. 

  • Be aware of your energy levels – A person's energy waxes and wanes during different times of the day. Try to do tasks that require the most attention when you're most energetic. Try to schedule tasks based on your focus levels.

Challenge #2: Overcoming Distractions 

Distractions are one of the biggest nightmares for employees working from home. It's easy to procrastinate when you're disrupted continuously. You may be tempted to clean up the apartment, catch up on TV shows, play with your pets, spend time with your children, or just lounge around the house. The distractions are aplenty.


You must create an organised space for you to work peacefully – physically and mentally – without any distractions. Here are a few tips to overcome distractions at home:

  • Turn off notifications on your phone during work hours. Better still, you can set it to flight mode. 

  • Try to resist the temptation of checking your social media feed every few minutes. 

  • Explain to your children why they shouldn’t disturb you when you’re working – let them know that once they break your focus on the task, it makes your work harder and longer, reducing family time. 

  • Stick to a consistent work schedule. This way, your family knows when you're working and when it's playtime.

Challenge #3: Avoiding Overworking 

When you're working from home, it may feel like that the entire day is office hours. When you're working and having your personal time from the same space, it is difficult to switch off. Sleep deprivation, lack of private time, and exhaustion are some of the adverse effects of working too much.


You need to set start and end times. Else, you run the risk of burning out. Here are a few solutions to help you:

  • Track your work time with the help of time tracking apps. This way, you get a clear picture of how long you’re logged in. 

  • Communicate clearly with your team when you will be away from work. Set your status as "offline" or "away" on the communication app you use with your teammates and log out for the day.

  • Try to set up a physical boundary between your workspace and the rest of the house. For instance, if you work on your laptop in your study, do not bring the laptop to the dining table. 

  • Turn off work notifications on your phone and laptop so that you’re not pulled back into work after your working hours. 

Challenge #4: Staying Organised

When you're working and living in the same space along with your family, it's easy to get disorganised. And, a cluttered space filled with clutter isn't the ideal environment to work with concentration.


Here are a few tips to quickly organise your home office setup:

  • Set aside a separate space in your house for work. Look for a corner that is well ventilated and free from the noise for joining in work calls.

  • Make sure to have your breakfast and a quick shower before you start work for the day. This puts your brain in work mode, ready to tackle the tasks for the day. 

  • Spend some time organising the files, folders, and images on your laptop and clear out the Recycle Bin. This gives a sense of organisation and brings clarity.

  • Use Evernote to create and organise work-related notes. 

  • Finally, don't forget to put your laptop out of sight when you're done for the day, as it helps to switch off your work brain.

Challenge #5: Time Management 

Managing your time schedule can become challenging when you’re working from home. 


Here are a few tested time-management tips for remote workers:

  • Schedule your day just like a regular day at work. Start and end the day at the times you usually do at the office.

  • There are several apps to help workers manage their time effectively. E.g., Slack, Trello, Asana, etc. 

Challenge #6: Communicating and Collaborating with Team Members 

When you're interacting in person with your teammates in the office, it's easy to ask for clarification and updates. However, when you are working remotely, there are plenty of chances for misunderstanding.


Thanks to technology, it's easier than ever before for remote teams to work efficiently. Here are a few tips to improve communication when you're working remotely:

  • Communicate as much as possible with your team. Clarify any issue – even if it feels minor – to avoid potential misunderstandings.

  • Office communication tools like Slack and Chanty can help in getting the entire team on the same page. It also helps in organising work correspondence in one space. 

  • Hold video calls with your team members so that you can replicate face-to-face communication digitally.

Challenge #7: Technology Troubles 

Nothing induces panic to a remote worker, like finding that the internet connection is unstable during an important Zoom call with a client.


Here are a few ways to avoid technology hiccups:

  • Always have a backup plan. Even if you have a stable broadband connection at home, it helps to have a mobile hotspot connection as well, if your primary internet connection fails. 

  • If possible, try to invest in a backup computer/laptop/tablet. This way, if your primary device fails, you can still continue working, instead of waiting to have it get fixed. 

Challenge #8: Staying Motivated 

Without the presence of supervisors, it’s easy to procrastinate and feel less motivated about work. 


  • Talk to your team manager and other colleagues. If you’re feeling less motivated than usual, you can volunteer to report in with a manager, just like you do at work. This way, you stay on track on your schedule. 

Challenge #9: Focussing on your Health 

Work from home is sedentary, and you can easily slip into bad health habits if you don't make a conscious effort.


  • Try to eat at regular times. It's easy to skip meals and eat unhealthily when you're working continuously without taking periodic breaks.

  • Have some healthy snacks at hand – nuts, fresh fruits, vegetable salads – to eat when hunger pangs strike. 

  • Incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise in your daily routine. It can be yoga, Zumba, aerobics, or anything that you enjoy.

  • Finally, don’t forget to get some Vitamin D by stepping outside. Spend some time on your terrace or balcony soaking up the early morning or late evening sunshine. 

Challenge #10: Getting your Dose of Social Interactions 

As humans, we all crave social interaction. Social contact is one of the biggest perks of working in an office. It helps employees vent out their emotions and relieve stress. When working from home, it’s easy to feel lonely and isolated. 


Here are a few ways to replicate the missed water-cooler moments when you are working from home. 

  • Schedule a weekly social interaction meeting with your team, where you discuss things outside of work. 

  • The HR team can organise trivia night and other fun activities digitally, to help workers unwind. 


Despite the Challenges, Work from Home is rewarding 

There may be some initial hiccups with so many people working from home indefinitely due to the Corona outbreak. Use these tips to overcome these challenges while enjoying a healthy work-life balance while working from home.