Select Page
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Work From Home: Be Careful What You Wish For!

by Mar 31, 2020

As COVID-19 has assumed the status of global pandemic, many of us have been asked to work from home for the first time in our lives.

For some, whose bosses never warmed to the prospect of remote work, this opportunity is a silver lining on a very dark cloud. Working from home! The very words just taste good. The blissful story of remote work writes itself … 

  • You can get so much more done!
  • No more commute!
  • No dress code!
  • Choose your surroundings!
  • No micromanaging bosses!
  • Surrounded by loved ones!

When the pandemic became a reality, I sent my staff home … but until the “shelter-in-place” orders came down, I secretly came into my office in Florida, working by myself in the dim lights, painstakingly disinfecting the surfaces I touched!

Here are five “more-than-you-bargained-for” challenges to working from home that I, along with millions of Americans, face due to the reality of COVID-19 …  and how to cope with them!


1. Loneliness

How appealing solitude sounds … until we’re staring it in the face. The truth is, most of us are extroverts. I’m one of them. As extroverts, we get at least some of our energy from being around other people.

How to Manage:

As long as we have to “socially distance,” loneliness will be harder to combat. Look to FaceTime, phone calls, and DMs. Reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to in a while! They’re probably struggling with COVID cabin fever as well. 

2. Distractions                                                                 

You may not have colleagues constantly in your business … but what you do have are all the little pleasures you have festooned your home with, from the TV to the exercise bike to knitting to video games.

How to Manage:

Make a dedicated office space. Indoors or outdoors, whether a spare bedroom or a corner of the garage or just a folding desk mounted to the wall, when you are in your workspace, it is work time. Try to keep distractions out of sight when you are in your workspace, so they stay out of mind.

3. Surrounded by Loved Ones

It sounds like bliss to be there for your spouse and children … until your child starts begging for your attention and doesn’t understand why you don’t drop everything like you do in the evening or on Saturday.

How to Manage:

While it can be fun to work on your own schedule, setting “clock-in” and “clock-out” times are important boundaries that children can understand—” Remember, Mommy’s work time lasts until 5pm. After that, it’s playtime!”

The joys of remote work are not to be underestimated … but that doesn’t mean you can’t be forgiven for climbing the walls!

4. Sloppiness

The appeal of working in your pajamas or underwear can wear out. Eventually, you can start to feel like a slob. There’s a certain amount of self-respect that comes with dressing to impress for a productive day of work. When you never make an effort, apathy can set in.

How to Manage:

For your own sake (and the sake of your spouse), stick to a grooming routine—not because you have to, but because you want to. You don’t have to wear business attire to your living room—that would be silly. But dress like you would to a garden party or a fun Sunday brunch with your friends.

5. Motivation

It may be wonderful to not have a boss riding you … but are you ready to ride yourself? Can you put your game face on and get things done on time when no one is hounding you? Lack of motivation is one of the biggest challenges remote-workers face.

How to Manage:

Build accountability into your day. Find another remote-worker (not hard to do in this pandemic!) and make them your “check-in partner.” Create your own accountability with a “to-do list” app like Trello or Asana.


This pandemic is hard on all of us, and our hearts go out to the sick and at-risk. But it won’t last forever. We will get through it. In the meantime, we will learn a lot about how we all work from home … and learn strategies to do it to the max!