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Understanding the Triggers: Why Remote Work Can Be Stressful

The current world has become more digital, and the rise of remote work has increased tremendously over the past decade. Remote work is now regarded as a popular option by many businesses and employees who want to create more flexibility, increase productivity, and work from anywhere around the globe. However, many people overlook the fact that all the perks presented by remote work also come with a downside. While remote work may seem like the ultimate solution to balancing work-life flexibility, it can also be stressful.

This post will explore the various causes of remote work-related stress and suggest some strategies that can help you combat them.

Lack of Separation Between Work and Personal Life

One of the most frequently mentioned reasons for remote work’s stress is the inability to create a clear-cut barrier between personal and work life. When you are working from your house, it can be challenging to create a mental separation between personal life and work life, making it hard to switch off from work psychologically. Many people working from home find themselves in a difficult position where they are always on the clock, feeling guilty for taking a break or not being productive enough.

Solution: Create boundaries to your work-life balance. It is important to set a work schedule that you stick to, just as you would in a typical office job. During breaks or off-hours, engage in activities that help you relax and enjoy life outside of work. Developing a routine that you follow every day can also help create a healthy work-life balance.

Lack of Social Interaction

Remote work can be incredibly isolating, and the lack of social interaction can lead to loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Face-to-face interaction with colleagues and friends within the workplace brings about a sense of community and belonging that cannot be achieved through video or audio calls.

Solution: To overcome this social disconnection, make an effort to maintain regular communication with your colleagues. Take short breaks throughout the day and engage in quick conversations with coworkers. Participate in virtual team-building activities, attend webinars or virtual conferences, and regularly check in with colleagues to chat about non-work-related stuff. Joining a coworking space or working from a coffee shop or library can also fulfill the need for social interaction.

Technical Problems

When working remotely, internet connectivity and the technology required to work online become crucial. Technical difficulties and issues with equipment can be very stressful, especially when deadlines are tight.

Solution: Try to have a backup plan when technical errors disrupt your workflow. Ensure to have alternative ways of accessing the internet just in case the connection drops, and have a go-to list of troubleshooters who can fix common technical errors. It is also important to invest in high-quality equipment to prevent hardware issues and ensure you have the appropriate software for your job.

Difficulty with Managing Time

Remote work requires a great deal of self-discipline, which can be difficult to implement for some individuals. Those who work from home may struggle with managing their time since time management becomes completely reliant on personal accountability.

Solution: Plan your day and week meticulously while taking into consideration the tasks you need to complete and your working hours. Use time management apps to help improve your productivity, take regular breaks, and avoid wasting time on social media during work hours. Creating a dedicated workspace that help reduce distractions can also help improve your productivity.

Family Obligations

When working from home, it can be tough to concentrate when family members are around, leading to interruptions and distractions that result in a decrease in productivity.

Solution: Create personal boundaries for family and friends to respect during working hours. Make them understand that you cannot engage in non-work-related activities during working hours. You can also hire a babysitter or daycare for young children to create an uninterrupted work environment. If possible, schedule work hours around family obligations and communicate with your family about your work schedule and restrictions.


Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. It can blur the line between work and personal time, leading to burnout. When working from home, it can be easy to succumb to the pressure of completing tasks as soon as possible or pushing yourself too hard to meet deadlines.

Solution: It is important to take the necessary time to recharge and rest. Schedule regular breaks throughout the day and take time away from work during weekends or days off. Incorporate exercise, meditation, or other stress-relieving activities into your routine. Practice good sleep hygiene habits and disconnect from work emails or calls during your downtime.

Difficulty in Collaboration and Communication

Remote work has made it challenging for staff members to communicate and collaborate effectively. In most cases, you might find yourself waiting for your manager or coworker to reply to an email or message, which directly hinders productivity.

Solution: Utilize various virtual communication tools to keep in touch with colleagues and managers, such as video conferencing for meetings, instant messaging tools, and emails. Make sure to check in with your team regularly to ensure you are all on the same page regarding project timelines and deliverables. Set expectations on the mode of communication to use depending on the urgency and importance of the issue to minimize interruptions and time wastage.

Difficulty in Managing Workload

In remote work, it is easy to get caught up in the grind and overcommit ourselves, leading to unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, burnout.

Solution: Learn to prioritize tasks and delegate some work to reduce workload stress. Create a list of tasks arranged in order of priority to help you manage your workload. Make sure to be transparent about your workload, deadlines, and expectations with your colleagues and managers. Also, don’t be afraid to say no to additional assignments or set boundaries to prevent over-committing yourself.

Lack of Work-Life Balance Policies

Most organizations do not have formal policies in place to help remote workers maintain work-life balance, leading to significant stress and burnout.

Solution: Encourage organizations to adopt policies designed to support work-life balance for remote workers such as flexible work schedules, wellness plans, and time off policies. Take advantage of these policies as much as possible to help maintain a healthy work-life balance.


Remote work has many benefits that have revolutionized the workplace’s dynamics, but it also comes with a list of drawbacks. It is important to recognize and address these triggers to ensure your remote work experience does not cause long-term stress or mental health issues. Develop plans and strategies aimed at helping you manage your workload, creating a healthy work-life balance, improving communication and collaboration, and preventing burnout. Embrace the perks, and keep the stressors in check to avoid the hazards of remote work.

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