Most of the blogs you read online elaborate the benefits of remote work, citing higher productivity and a more positive work-life balance as the top reasons. But it is undeniable that working remotely does come with its own set of challenges.
Despite its growing popularity, remote work essentially isolates you from your team. There are high chances of digital miscommunication and disconnection between team members. Let’s look at the top three challenges of working remotely, and how to overcome them:
- Communication And Coordination:
Lack of clear and timely communication is one of the biggest challenges of remote work. Since you do not have the liberty to walk over to a team member’s desk for an important conversation, you waste a lot of time going back and forth by emails.
The other related issue is coordination when multiple people are working on the same things. It can get difficult to collaborate if everyone’s role and goals haven’t been clearly communicated.
How to overcome:
The project manager should clearly communicate their expectations to ensure accountability and avoid confusion. They can make use of a project management software to allocate work and track individual progress within the project.
Make use of video conferencing software to communicate effectively with team members on a daily basis and to improve coordination. Regular video calls with the entire team should be scheduled to discuss important topics and get clarity on any issues.
- Poor Time Management:
This is a very common challenge faced by people who work remotely. Due to poor management of time, it may seem like you are always working even though you are technically saving a lot of time by not commuting to the office.
Working from home means higher number of distractions from the surroundings which can lead to wastage of time. Additionally, you may end up losing track of time doing unnecessary things like checking your social media accounts as there is no manager looking over your shoulder.
How to overcome:
Create a schedule and stick to it. Write daily to-do lists and try to finish all the tasks in the list within a fixed time frame. It will help you stay motivated. Identify what are your most productive periods of time in a day and plan the most important work in that period.
It takes a lot of self-discipline to not allow work to spill into your personal time. But you can achieve it by setting clear boundaries and monitoring your time. There are various time tracking software that help you track time which pushes you to focus on finishing the task at hand.
Due to lack of supervision and social interaction, remote employees often lose motivation. Since there is no manager personally checking up on you, you may start slacking and fail to deliver work on time.
Working in the same spot in isolation can get mundane and lead to lack of motivation. Alternatively, the lack of appreciation you normally receive in the office when you achieve targets also leads to you feeling unmotivated to perform.
How to overcome:
Start by identifying what actually motivates you. Does a little breath of fresh air help you feel relaxed and ready to get back into work? Do you prefer talking to your teammates to feel more inclusive?
Once you know what helps, you can take a short break everyday to do that. You can even motivate yourself by planning rewards on completing certain sections of work. It may lead you up to accomplish the work at the earliest in order to earn that reward.
Remote working needs a fine balance between work and personal life which can be easily achieved with a life practise. Are there any other challenges you face as a remote team member? How have you been overcoming them? Make sure to let us know in the comments below!