4 Remote Work Challenges and Their Solutions
Today, in this modern, digitalized, and connected world, working remotely is quite common and also very convenient for almost every one of us. This has made our life much easier, as we can work from our homes and earn our income for a livelihood. There is not even a need to move from one place to another, and no expenditure on travelling or rent.
Working from home is a new concept in this technically developed world, as anyone from any place can connect with a company or an individual and work with them, enjoying their stay at home. This is good for students who are studying and working part-time simultaneously and housewives who are managing both the official work and their household chores.
Though there is little difference, when you work in an office and when you work from your home, as we say, “grass is greener on the other side,” there are always two sides to a coin, if remote working has some advantages, it also has some shortcomings, limitations, and challenges.
As remote working lacks in personal touch between employee and employer, team collaboration has no such bond and unity among team members as they all are working at different places, and they never met each other or engage. So, the strategy of working with people online is far more different and complicated than the other way.
According to research, 26% of employees in the United States of America are working remotely, research by Global Workplace Analytics. What is the biggest concern for the managers of the company is whether the productivity of employees working from their homes will be like the office or not.
This does not mean that people working remotely are not as productive or punctual as office employees are. Still, all companies hiring online employees need to maintain some practices to maintain the workforce.
The common challenges of remote working are:-
In this remote working environment, there are some very usual challenges for not only one but both the employee and also the employer. The companies should be very aware of all the factors which make remote working very demanding among people, then only they will be able to solve these challenges. For example, employees who don’t have proper eligibility may find it difficult to get hired by any company on a long or short-term basis. The employee needs to have proper skills and also training and preparation to work.
1. Social isolation-
According to a recent study by Harvard business review, employees who are working online remotely feel shunned and left out many times. At first, this looks very entertaining and joyous to them but after a point of time, they feel socially isolated and lonely. And this is especially because the managers did not pay attention to this issue.
The reason why employees feel isolated is, man is a social animal, we need friends, family, and also colleagues, and we like to work in a friendly and connected socially environment, as one of the famous Maslow theories based on the “Hierarchy of needs” states that a human need physiological needs, safety needs, love, and belonging needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs.
This factor depends on the third type of need stated by Maslow in his theory of motivation, where he says that an employee needs human interactions and also emotional intimacy with people who live with them and who work with them.
There are two types of people: introverts and extroverts. Remote working is better for introverts as psychologists say that people who are introverted do not feel energetic when they meet people. In fact, they feel drained and less energetic and enthusiastic, so when they don’t get a lot many people, they feel good and okay, and extroverts need people to talk, they like engaging with people so, this theory works opposite to them, when they don’t get people to engage with, they feel low, and many of them sometimes affect physiologically too.
They feel socially isolated because there is no proper communication between them, and communication is important to build trust and confidence among team members. There are some signs which can help companies to identify that a worker is feeling isolated. These are:-
- Started being unpunctual.
- No productivity.
- Changing schedules all the time.
- Skipping meetings
- Not sounds enthusiastic about work or growth.
The reason why in this pandemic corona, a lot many people felt depressed is this only, no social engagement, and working at home can be boring many times. The same reasons are with remote employees too.
2. No face-to-face supervision:-
Now the most genuine and obvious problem in remote working is that there is no face-to-face interaction between the supervisor and the employees. They don’t know they are responsible and accountable enough to do a task. Both managers and employees feel the absence of interaction between them.
As the environment at home is different, the basic and primary concern of employers is that the person he has hired will do work as efficiently and productively as they work in office conditions, sometimes employees feel that there is less support from their managers as they struggle with proper communication.
Yes, comparatively, today, communication is easy, but there are some barriers, too, perceptual barriers, cultural barriers, and language barriers. Many of the employees face problems and find the manager unsupportive and unhelpful.
3. Information inaccessibility–
Every employee is a team, so most of the employees find it highly challenging and difficult to access information from their colleagues. Sometimes, even the easy sounds difficult, and accessing information of some straightforward questions can be very time taking and requires more effort sometimes.
Then sometimes this causes a problem not goal oriented but the interpersonal relationships among the people working at a company, and their personal relationships, bonding and unity affect the growth and productivity of the company directly or indirectly.
As we all know, a company is a team of like-minded people sharing the same goal, so when there is a problem in their relationships, it will affect the company in more than one way.
4. Distractions at home –
In a company many people work belonging of different ages and different backgrounds. Some can be students, some can be working mothers. We might have seen many times a mother holding a baby while typing on the laptop on our social media applications.
This appears to be very cute and strong from our perspectives, but this actually is a terrible scenario where the mother is not able to work properly and obviously, it’s a full-time job.
Before applying them to remote working, it’s important to ask about their adequate childcare and also a dedicated workspace. At home, the distractions are even more for working parents, background noises and some technical problems are also some challenges.
How to Overcome Challenges of Remote Work?
But there are always some ways to overcome these challenges faced by the workforce.
● Communicating with employees
Proper communication about work, deadlines, goals, and obligations and discussing their problems are some important things to pay attention to.
Get the right tools in place for project management and communication.
● Setting Clear expectations
Tell “what is their role?”, “what are they expected to do?”, and in “what time frame they will do?”. This will help them understand what their roles and responsibilities include and how they need to take care of them.
● Adopting many communication facilities
There are many communication facilities today like email, video conferencing, messages, and social media. Among these, video conferencing is the most convenient as people can interact face to face through it. There is less possibility of facing obstruction.
Apart from that, it has many psychological benefits as people start to interact with one another and get to know each other more. And today, there is much software that allows face-to-face communication, like, zoom skype, and Microsoft teams.
● Getting a little flexible
2021-22 taught us a lot we can manage, global pandemic, lockdown, social unrest, fires, and also remote work, which was not so easy. Managers need a lot of understanding, As every member of all teams has a personal life, they all have a family, relationships, and office work.
And remote work is kept all in one place, sometimes, people find it difficult to handle everything, work, family, kids, and guests. Managers should be sensitive enough to identify and acknowledge their problems.
● Building profiles on larger networks
You must be active on job portals and LinkedIn, but you need to build your profiles on the larger tech talent platforms like CodeMonk, where some larger companies go and pick up the vetted talent as and when they want.
Even such platforms have their community on Discord or Slack, where you can join and build your network. Such networks help you learn new things and build a better future.
Think out-of-the-box when it comes to platforms where you can be present for your career growth.
● Focusing on outcomes
Giving freedom to employees to work is better than micro-managing. It’s a good way for the employees working in an organization to find their own ways of achieving goals and outcomes, as it will give them satisfaction and a feeling of self-esteem.
Don’t only give them assignments, but also explain to them what are the reasons behind doing that work and how it will benefit the company. This will help in keeping them more aligned for the projects.
Challenges don’t end the road to remote work
Yeah, so continue adopting remote work and resolving the challenges to make it work like magic for you and your organization.