Over the past years, there has been an increase in the number of employees working remotely, either full-time or a few days a week. Many companies are embracing this growing trend as it’s an effective way to attract and retain top employees. Flexibility to work from the comfort of your home, increased savings, work-life balance, and a commute-free life is what excites many about working remotely. While it has its advantages, this set-up comes with work from home challenges that can hinder progress and productivity.
However, with the right tools and strategies, it’s easier to overcome some hurdles that may arise as you work remotely. Let’s take a look at some common work from home challenges along with solutions to ensure your way to having a successful and meaningful remote career.
1. Lack of Team Communication
One of the major challenges associated with working remotely is communication. Lack of face-to-face interaction can lead to misunderstandings and make you feel disconnected from your team. Hence, communicating effectively with your team becomes necessary to get your message across.
There’s no doubt that collaborating with colleagues can be quite taxing while working remotely. When employees work at the office, they can interact with each other without limitations. Whether they want to discuss reports or clarify concerns, it’s as easy as walking over to a workmate’s desk. However, collaboration with remote team members can be a little tricky, especially if you’re not using the right platforms.
To avoid miscommunication, it’s important to identify your goals and expectations during calls and alignment meetings. Try discussing your concerns over the phone or through video conferences by exchanging messages through communication tools like Zoom and Google Meet to help convey your thoughts effectively. This way, you can address your concerns to your colleagues properly.
2. Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Home has always been considered a sacred and safe place. Many treat it as their sanctuary and having part of it invaded by work can be uncomfortable and shocking to some. This sudden invasion can lead to blurred lines between work and personal life. While some remote employees have the flexibility to work from anywhere, it can sometimes feel like they need to be available and online all the time. Moreover, if you’re working in a different timezone, this flexibility can lead to a lack of work-life balance, which can negatively affect employees’ health and happiness.
Finding work-life balance is all about prioritization — time management, planning, scheduling, communication, and productivity tools can help your remote team work more efficiently. Consider setting a schedule and sticking to it — by doing so, your team will know exactly when they can and cannot reach other team members. At the same time, they’ll be able to plan their activities during the day outside work, wake up and go to sleep without having to worry about having any delayed tasks.
Read more about 10 Must-Have Tools for Managing Your Remote Team here.
3. Overcoming Distractions
When you’re working from home, you can easily get distracted by the smallest of things around you. Whether it’s your phone, social media, your neighbor’s dog barking, or even the constant urge to just move around — these can make you feel annoyed and hinder you from completing your tasks.
Having a space in the house purely for work can help you get in the right headspace. Working in leisure spaces such as the sofa or bedroom can prevent you from being productive. You can also consider keeping all your things close at hand so you don’t have to get up often and move around your designated work area. In addition, try to step away from social media. While it’s obvious that social media is incredibly distracting and entertaining, it’s essential to be mindful of your social media usage — especially if it’s not work-related.
4. Not Having Access to Software and Tools
When employees are working in the office, it’s easy to control access to software and technologies. This means team members can use all the tools they need to get their tasks done. Although most organizations have remote IT teams to help you with some technical issues while working from home or in a local co-working space, others may not. As a result, some employees might have a hard time finding solutions for themselves.
One of the most effective ways to solve this concern is to understand how you can embrace technology and ask for training requirements from your supervisor or IT department. If you don’t have an IT department, you might want to consider outsourcing your IT troubleshooting issues to an IT solutions provider like Hybr1d that can serve as your IT department. Their real-time IT support service will help you solve your hardware and software issues as fast as possible.
5. Creating a Good Remote Work Culture
Most remote workers prefer good company culture over better pay. This has increasingly become a major factor as more hiring processes are taking place online. Employees who wish to have a good employee experience will eventually go with an organization that provides it. How can you create a good remote work environment? Everything boils down to the culture and management your company has built.
Having a good remote culture can be quite challenging. You can start by asking your remote team to report to the office every once in a while so they can bond with the team and get a better understanding of the company’s culture. You can also consider hosting virtual parties and team buildings to create more informal interactions. This way, your team can get to engage with one another and build meaningful connections.
You can also check out this article on 7 Ways You Can Keep Your Remote Teams Engaged.
Overcoming Work From Home Challenges
Despite the challenges mentioned above, there is no doubt that working from home can be rewarding for both employees and employers. To overcome common work from home challenges that pop up, it’s always best to communicate and pay attention to your team. Remember to check in with your colleagues and see how you can help them. You are each other’s biggest asset when it comes to remote work.
Read more about Why Hybrid Work is the Future of Remote Work here.