The popularity of remote work has increased over the past few years. The situation has changed a lot for many workers, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees are now engaged in remote work from their homes.
Remote work or working from home (WFH) does have benefits. Although it also involves numerous challenges. Today, we are going to present seven of them and discuss the simple solutions for overcoming these challenges.
In the beginning, remote work can be quite demanding and difficult. It is a fact that there are several advantages associated with working from the office. For example, there is a certain degree of comfort when you work from the office.
The obstacles that the remote worker’s experience may lead to many problems and can even hinder the work-life balance. Since there is massive digitization taking place in business primarily because of Covid-19 in 2020, the workforce working remotely will increase.
Despite all the challenges, the future of remote work is still bright. Before any person decides to become a remote worker, either a self-employed person or a freelancer, it is advisable to assess the significant challenges related to this new normal.
Top 7 Challenges of Remote Work and IT strategies to cope with them
- The management of several projects
The most significant problem with out-of-office is the management of several key projects. Whether there is a combination of remote and in-house staff or the whole group consisting of remote workers, managers must ensure that all deadlines are being met.
Though communication does become more challenging because of the absence of physically meeting each other, the tracking of individual tasks becomes questionable, especially when there are large teams.
The organization requires a handy and valuable all-in-one team management platform. Asana is a useful tool that enables a broad spectrum of team management features like advanced permissions and dedicated pages for teams.
The assistance of teams of all types for managing work is also crucial. The colleagues in the workforce also need to collaborate easily amongst each other to work for a project. The tools in this regard that are helpful for the workforce are Jira Software & Salesforce.
- Lack of communication within a team
Another major issue reported by remote teams in surveys is the lack of communication that takes place from different locations. Is it possible for web developers to work on the same project when they reside in another city or country?
When the team members work in the same office, they face no limitations to interact with each other. The first primary requirement for the remote working team is building an effective communication channel.
Gmail or any other kind of email provider is not classified as an adequate tool for managing communication within a remote team. There is a requirement of something flexible, instant, and responsive for the virtual teams.
Virtual meetings have become easier in many companies because of these tools. Many virtual meetings are longer in duration and are mandatory. However, Google Meet and Zoom have completely facilitated these meetings in the best possible way.
Slack is also another useful communication program that can facilitate the collaboration of the remote teams. There is an option of instant messaging and also availability statuses notifications, group chats, and even file sharing.
It also consists of a user-friendly interface, and new team members can also join because of quick email signup. Some of the other useful collaboration tools are Google Drive, InVision, and MS Office 365, providing significant advantages to the remote workers.
- Issues associated with Technology at Home
For all those workers who need to do remote work from home, they need to be tech-savvy to a considerable extent. They must not only demonstrate the ability to work on laptops and smartphones but also come to terms with configuring a secure VPN, operate different types of software, apps, etc.
It is essential to choose and leverage the technology that is proven to be best for the job.
Before using any tool, app, or software, it is imperative to conduct in-depth research before assessing its overall usefulness. It is essential to choose and leverage the technology that is proven to be best for the job.
Some of the steps for the successful management of remote teams are:
- Adequate investment in technology is crucial.
- Training the entire staff on using useful technologies.
- Ensuring the availability of the right tools to the team.
- Remaining updated on the latest technological tools.
- Mishandling of Time and Lack of Productivity
Not all businesses view home-based work favorably. They consider it a threat to adequately managing their employees.
Many remote employees struggle to handle their time appropriately and lack productivity.
Some of the useful web programs like Jira, Trello, and Asana enable tracking the work employees perform within their working hours. These web programs also prove valuable in monitoring the tasks performed by employees.
Another productive tool, RescueTime, helps in identifying the wasted time of employees. The software can easily track time that is spent on all apps. Apps that reduce productivity are identified, and the tool can also identify specific webpages that can be distractions.
- Overworking and Unplugging after work
Woking from home provides significant flexibility to workers, but many staff members suffer over-exhaustion. They do more work than required. As a result, such workers suffer from rest deprivation and lack of private time that are indeed the adverse effects of remote work.
Tips to follow for the prevention of overworking:
- The proper tracking of work time is necessary. With the appropriate use of software, a remote worker can record the total number of hours spent on work. The ideal duration for the employees is eight working hours.
- The prioritization of tasks is essential. The employees must check the daily tasks and due dates that matter for their work.
The setting of notifications priority in vital apps like Slack and Status Hero prevents disturbance during the work.
- Overcoming Distractions
Distractions are certainly a big temptation for every remote worker. Procrastination can cause the most significant interruption during work. While working from home, you might be tempted to do nonwork-related activities like cleaning the house, brushing your pet, etc.
As a result, you need to create a workspace and prevent yourself from distractions by focusing only on the necessary tools required for the job. These tips are essential, like:
- Switching off smartphone during work hours.
- Minimize activities related to social media.
- Set time blocks for every individual task.
- Stay Motivated
Remote workers have a requirement to stay motivated. While working from home, you may experience less pressure to complete the tasks because of team members and supervisors’ absence. The group satisfaction is even missing as a team to achieve targets.
It is vital to keep speaking about motivation with colleagues and team leaders. Many people possess natural motivation much higher than others. The collective effort is productive in maximizing motivation for everyone.
Team leaders must provide practical help to employees suffering from demotivation. This step can solve their particular work-related issues. It can be said that motivation is dependent not just on the remote worker but also on management and team.
To Sum Up
There are some challenges related to remote working. However, the lack of attention to these factors can affect the success of the entire organization. Therefore, it is important that management takes a holistic approach to help, motivate, and remove any obstacles to ensure stability for their remote workers.
Remote Working Challenges
The management of several projects. Lack of communication within a team. Issues associated with Technology at Home. Overworking and Unplugging after work. Overcoming Distractions. Stay Motivated. There are some challenges related to remote working. However, the lack of attention to these factors can affect the success of the entire organization. Therefore, it is important that management takes a holistic approach to help, motivate, and remove any obstacles to ensure stability for their remote workers.