Challenges You’ll Face When Working Remotely and How to Beat Them

4 min readJul 22, 2016


Working remotely can be counterproductive, especially if you’re unprepared for the switch.

Working remotely (especially for the uninitiated) is like buying your first car. It can be a major breakthrough for your business, shooting up your productivity and delivery times but it also comes with extra challenges/responsibilities such as buying fuel on the regular, frequent vehicle maintenance, obtaining and renewing your driver’s license and so on.

For all the benefits that remote working grants you — less time commuting, more time doing research, more time for personal errands, personal space, increased energy levels and excitement — it also comes along with extra challenges. Let’s take a look at these challenges and how to handle them.

Daily Distractions of Everyday Life

Distractions are the root of all evil for remote workers, especially when you work from home. Kids running around the house especially when they are on break from school, random visitors dropping by unannounced, house errands, it’s a long list actually. A normal and frequent scenario is getting random phone calls from family and friends, and asked the ever popular question, “So where are you?”

God help you if you’re working at your house.

“I’m at home. I work from home.” That singular response gives the impression that either you don’t have a serious job, or you’re available to run errands. Personally, I’ve had requests that range from the reasonable (my dad’s getting discharged from the hospital and I’m not in the country. Could you help me pick him up and drive him home?) to the ridiculous and downright offensive (Oh, there’s a yard sale in your neighbourhood. Could you help me pick up something nice before it closes? Since you’re at home, it shouldn’t be too much of a bother, right?).

One major blessing of the centralized, traditional office is, it is relatively distraction free. Going remote means wading out into the distraction laden waters of the real world. And you have to be prepared, mentally and practically for such a switch.

From my conversations with remote workers, working from home becomes exponentially more difficult when you just had kids. In fact, it can be downright frustrating.

Remote Working with Kids — Do Not Try This at Home!

Solution: Get out of the house. Relocate to somewhere more conducive for your type of work. A lot of telecommuters take to coffee shops and coworking spaces during the 9–5 period. Fortunately, our company, Buffrspace, takes the hassle out of looking for the right type of workspace. By providing on-demand workspaces at the click of a button, remote workers can literally request for a workspace anytime they need one (just like you would request an Uber).

By physically removing yourself from your house, you’ve reduced distractions by no less than 80–85%.

The Lonely Man Feeling

Let’s think about it for a moment. The average office worker spends 40+ hours every week with his or her colleagues. Most of these workers have built a significant portion of their social life around the relationships they have at work.

Making that switch to telecommuting, especially if you’re switching to full time remote role will leave you feeling lonely and isolated. Then there’s FOMO (fear of missing out) which I’m sure nearly everyone can relate to. Heck, even those in the same office suffer from FOMO, how much more someone hunched over a laptop miles away.

Quick side note: Ever noticed how it’s when you decide to start working remotely that the office begins a fun event like Pizza Tuesday.

Solution: The first solution is the most radical. Perhaps you shouldn’t switch to full time remote working right off the bat. Going to the office, one or two days a week can help you feel less isolated from the team.

Another option is to have regular video conferences at least once a week to catch up. Using video is a powerful way to integrate a version of human interaction back into your work day.

Thirdly, get out and do something! Don’t be a couch potato. The worst thing you could do after a long day at the computer is to just crash in front of the TV and binge watch Game of Thrones. Having a social life becomes more important when you work remotely because you’ve not had that ever crucial interaction with other living human beings. There’s something about sitting across from another person and seeing them, hearing them and smelling them, simultaneously.

Make regular plans to have lunch or dinner with a friend after you’ve logged out for the day. This way, you’ll keep your sanity, (and hopefully not turn into a sociopath).

Fun note: Our Buffrspace service allows you to access to other remote workers like yourself. So, making connections is a bit easier since you already have something in common.

Remote working can be fun. But it can also become a burden if not handled properly. Hopefully, these tips will equip you for a better remote working experience.

Read: 5 Myths about Remote Work, Debunked

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Buffrspace is building Africa’s largest marketplace for on-demand workspaces for startup & distributed teams, freelancers & business travelers