No table talks, no managers and co-workers, and no office politics – Remote work offers a wide array of benefits. However, it is not free from challenges and hurdles. As per the recent report of the UN Labor Organization, employees are highly productive while working from home, although they are vulnerable to huge distractions, high workload, intense stress, and many other things.
If you are planning to start a digital business and create remote teams, be prepared to get a real shock. However, dealing with the hurdles can let you succeed in no time. Let us discuss some common reason for remote work failure and tactics to deal with them:
Problem 1: Overworking
Though many big-shot companies are successfully working remotely, others refrain from working from home. It is because managers assume remote working less effective. They think employees will take less interest, feel at ease from the comfort of home, and stop being highly-productive.
However, the flip side of the picture shows the opposite impact. Working from home becomes more difficult for many workers. Keeping a balance between work and family life becomes difficult. At the same time, setting a routine, waking up, working on priority tasks, and ending the work schedule is hard to settle.
When you are doing on-site work, the work ends at the workplace. You get enough time to read the newspaper at night, have some family chit-chats, and enjoy a cup of coffee on your balcony. However, at home, the work lives with you. You end up finishing the small tasks even before sleeping.
Do not compromise on your routine. Set a fixed time for the start and end time of your work. Also, keep the below-mentioned tips in mind:
1. Set Clear Appointments
Set appointments for everything. Whether it is grocery shopping or a visit to a friend’s house, a medical check-up, or a gym visit, setting an appointment helps a lot. Being a business owner, advise your team to do the same.
2. Mention Break Times
Set clear break times for every employee. Use software like Time Doctor, Harvest, Hours, and timely for screen-monitoring.
3. Keep a Boundary from Work Place
Ask every employee to create a specific workplace. Give an incentive for a separate internet connection, table chair, and a laptop. In this way, employees can easily keep a boundary between home and office space.
Problem 2: Setting Priorities
Getting self-motivated and managing time at home is a big challenge. When there is no one standing at your shoulder, completing tasks on time is not a priority. As a result, employees easily get tempted to finish the latest TV serial episode. Apart from it, works usually procrastinate things for household chores like cleaning up the kitchen, doing laundry, or taking a pet for a walk.
1. Plan, Plan, and Plan
Employees can never be on the same track if there is no plan. Plan everything and communicate it to your team. There should be a comprehensive plan for team goals and individual employee goals. An email reminder telling the daily goals is an ideal option. Set tasks as per the priority. Some managers also assign the next task after completing the first one. In this way, if an employee is unable to complete the total number of daily tasks, routine performance is derailed.
2. Kick-Off Distractions
Let the whole teamwork at the same time. In this way, employees will keep up the focus. Ask team members to turn off notifications and switch off the cell-phones during work hours. Sit in their designated workplace and come live when required.
Problem 3: Feeling Isolated
When employees work from home, a feeling of isolation hits the mind. Working from the same room every day without any water cooler interactions is highly discouraging. Besides this, there is no lunch sharing, after-office drinks, and cafeteria chit-chats. In the absence of all these things, working from home looks boring. Thus, employees feel locked down in a room and working like productivity machines.
Take the following steps to abolish a feeling of isolation among employees:
1. Set Virtual Meet-Ups
Instead of just discussing work goals, deadlines, and productivity, have some virtual table talks. Let employees feel relaxed and share their experience of remote work by letting employees freely speak about work issues. Also, discuss recent issues like the current pandemic, sports, politics, etc.
2. Encourage Co-Working Spaces
Let employees discuss their locations and encourage them to work in a co-working space. Give additional incentives if required. Co-working spaces are ideal for keeping employees on track and feel less isolated.
3. Give Social Breaks
Set breaks for social networking. Since on-site work is absent, socialization is near to zero. Though social distancing is mandatory, employees can increase their network from home. Giving breaks will make the employees realize the importance of networking. This will let them stay connected. Thus, the feeling of loneliness will be no more.
Problem 4: Communication Hurdles
Remote work requires more communication. Especially if some of the employees are working from home and others are on-site workers. Remote employees often feel about missing discussions and taking less part in decision-making. Lack of communication results from inappropriate work, and as a result, overall productivity is affected.
Minimize the communication barriers with the following steps:
1. Use the Best Software
Have a look at project coordination software like Slack, Trello, Monday.com, Teamwork, etc. Use a paid version of the software to avail of extra features.
2. Arrange Daily Meetings
Instead of having weekly meetings, arrange them every day. This is essential to keep employees fully informed and motivated.
3. Send Reminders
Use emails, what’s app groups, and messages to announce important things. Do not limit your announcements to one thing.
Wrapping It Up
In short, remote work brings a lot of challenges. However, if firms take appropriate steps, the barriers can be easily managed. Overworking, prioritization, communication, and isolation are the four basic difficulties in remote working. Steps like planning, setting goals, sending reminders, using communication software, arranging virtual meetings, and giving some extra incentives can resolve the issues.