• Briana Francis

10 Things Killing Work-From-Home Productivity

Working from home is starting to feel - numb. Employees still crave human interaction and praise. Here’s a rundown of 10 experiences that are outwardly ignored but mentally cringeworthy.


1. Overworked Chaos

With remote work, disorganization is inevitable unless you set your schedule to a robotic setting and you’re able to follow along with ease. If this is you - great! However, the rest of the population can only handle so much work. Being swamped is nothing new, but it can quickly become too much, especially when deadlines overlap each other. When your home is also your office, it’s even easier to feel overwhelmed. There are more distractions now than ever before, so what are you to do when five-plus deadlines creep up in this new environment? Unfortunately, employees are wired to finish the assignments no matter the circumstance. It’d be nice if the boss just said, “get it done when you can,” but that’s unrealistic.

2. Underworked and Bored

There’s overworked, and then there’s underworked. Having nothing to do while working from home is ideal but not productive. Our warm, cozy beds are literally a room away from us, if that, and if we don’t have any work to do once we’ve clocked in, checked emails, and attended meetings, we’re going back to bed and waking up to clock out on time.

3. Vague Instructions

Who has the time to explain every intricate detail of an assignment? Not many people, but it’s worth making the time if the ideal level of work is to be achieved. When you haven’t been given as many directions as you would like on a client or assignment, you can feel stuck in one place. In these situations, you can ask questions, but if it’s a regular occurrence, it’s not your fault. You have been put into another position where you could potentially fail and may even begin to feel like you’re not trusted enough to get all the information you need to thrive. Openness and transparency are essential to work as a team, especially in a remote environment.

4. Picking Favorites

Feelings of insecurity can creep up at any moment in a working environment. Yes, even in your home. When there is an employee or a group of employees who are always asked to provide feedback on an idea or continuously getting praise when you are also doing your job correctly, it becomes frustrating. Employees will become disengaged because they go into work knowing that they are overlooked as individuals. Those consistent with their work ethic should be rewarded for that, but there should be a balance so no one feels left out.

5. Approving Every Detail

Micro-managing employees and requiring approval for every task, no matter how small, signifies not trusting that the job will get done correctly. It kills motivation instantly and creates anxiety whenever a deadline comes around. Allowing some freedom may surprise employers by trading micro-management for support and giving suggestions instead of just approval.

6. Setting Unrealistic Deadlines

Getting assigned work at the last minute can send employees into a frenzy and make them feel like finishing the task is impossible. When this happens, it could potentially feel personal, as if the employer is waiting on you to fail. What’s even worse is that to get last-minute work done, you may not be putting forth your best effort in an attempt to reach the deadline in time. That’s not the best solution for anyone. Employees need some time to think about and understand the goals and how to achieve those goals before diving in. Everyone has their own sense of organization, so working on a whim isn’t always the best.

7. Toxic Managers

Imagine working under a boss who doesn’t take their employees’ ideas seriously or neglects to give thoughtful feedback. That kind of boss is not fun to work under. It’s like working under a dictatorship where only their opinion and voice are heard. Productivity in that environment can be high, but it can also be fear-induced. A successful and functional business listens to its employees’ ideas and acknowledges the positive work they bring to the table.

8. Calling Employees Out Publicly

No one likes to be reprimanded at work, especially when it’s done in front of everyone else. It isn’t necessarily a pride thing, but it’s embarrassing, and now everyone knows you made a mistake. The professional and considerate thing to do is to address the problem privately. No one else needs to know, and no one gets second-hand embarrassment.

9. Job Threats

The most devastating and yet common thing to happen during a pandemic is unemployment. It’s insensitive to have the kind of boss who dangles your job over your head as if you have no value or makes you feel as if your financial security isn’t essential. The dwelling thought of losing your job is already happening because of the world’s economic state; threatening to take away an employee's job only adds to the individual’s stress level making it difficult to produce high-quality work.

10. Not celebrating wins!

The best feeling when working from home is hearing the words “well done” at the end of a hard week. Productivity thrives off of positive feedback from the management team, and if employees don’t feel appreciated or like they aren’t doing their job right, they’re going to get frustrated. That feeling can affect your mood and worsen your professional self-esteem. During these weird Covid-19 times, any kind of positivity is welcome and strongly encouraged. We wanted our team at Sesto Labs to feel appreciated so much that we created an app for it. Wins are meant to be celebrated!

The transitional phase of working from home may or may not have run its course for you, and that’s okay! There’s no rush to get used to this new way of living.

What other things make you or your team feel underappreciated at work, especially during the pandemic? Try incorporating our upcoming mobile app Props to feel excited about work again, even if it’s just from your home office. Click the link here to get more details on this positivity gamechanger on our website!

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