The 8 biggest remote work challenges (and how to overcome them)
Will remote working continue in this new world post pandemic? The answer is 100% yes. Recent research showed that 78% of global companies are expected to have at least one department fully working remotely by 2028.
Working remotely is a dream for many people, but it can also be a nightmare if you’re not prepared. It’s an entirely new way of working, and in some ways it requires more attention than being in the office every day.
Are you wondering what are the challenges of working remotely? Keep on reading! In this article, we’ll outline remote work challenges for employees, remote working challenges for managers, and share strategies to help you overcome them.
Managing the boundary between work and home
Setting boundaries is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for remote workers. Research has shown that people who work from home are more likely to be sedentary and have poorer health because of reduced access to exercise facilities and other healthy amenities, such as gyms and parks. On average, they also sleep less than people who work in an office environment. This means that remote workers must be extra careful about how they spend their time outside of the office or they risk getting off track with their goals.
So how do you set good boundaries? Start by identifying what works best for you: Do you prefer sending emails throughout the day or having a designated block of time when you can check your messages? Are there certain tasks that require special attention (e-mails, phone calls) before being able to focus on other things?
What do you like doing on weekends—and at what point would it become too much and start interfering with family life? Once these questions are answered clearly and honestly, then it will be easier to manage your expectations during the weekdays so that nothing feels out of place when Monday rolls around again
If you’re working remotely, it can be easy to feel isolated. The key is to make sure that you don’t let your team’s remote status become a problem. Here are some tips on how to deal with feeling isolated in a remote team:
- Keep in touch with your coworkers
- Meet up in real life (if possible)
- Know what the others are working on and share information about how long tasks take
- Organize a fun Virtual Team Event
When your team has a diverse cultural and educational background, what better than food can build connections?
Remote Cooking classes for groups are a perfect solution to give every remote team member the opportunity of getting to know their peers, their countries and traditions.
Overcoming collaboration challenges
Collaboration is a vital part of remote work, but it can be difficult to manage. Here are some tips for overcoming remote work challenges:
Use a project management software like Trello or Asana or Monday.com to keep track of team tasks and milestones. This will help you stay organized as well as track progress on larger projects.
Have regular meetings and check-ins. These should be both scheduled and ad hoc, so that communication between employees is constant, but not overwhelming or distracting from their day-to-day tasks.
Create opportunities for in-person interaction where possible (e.g., meetups) — even if it’s just once every few months! This helps reinforce the bond between your employees while also providing an opportunity for them to see each other face-to-face—no matter how much they might try to avoid it!
When meeting in person is hard or too expensive, invest in building a great remote culture also with online activities.
Communication is key to remote work, and there are many ways you can do this effectively. Here are some of the most common ways people communicate remotely:
- Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts allow you to talk face-to-face with your colleagues in real time. This can be especially useful when it comes to brainstorming or client meetings that require collaboration.
- Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Slack let you message one another without having to use video calls all the time. It’s still important to keep these conversations concise so as not to waste anyone’s time! As an added bonus, these apps offer features such as sharing files or GIFs that make communicating even more fun than before!
- Social media platforms like Twitter also give users access to groups of people who share similar interests (like remote working). You can post updates about yourself on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram if you have something important happening in your life—like making plans for dinner tonight!
Of course nothing beats talking face-to-face but sometimes there just isn’t enough time available during busy workdays which makes using these tools invaluable in terms of keeping everyone connected throughout their busy schedules.”
Getting used to video calls
The first few months of working remotely can be tough. You’re going to feel lonely, and it will be hard to adjust to the constant stream of notifications that come with working from home. The hardest part is getting used to video calls.
The good news is that you’ll eventually get used to them—it just takes some time. Here are a few tips for making video calls more comfortable:
Put a mirror on your desk so you can see your face when you talk (or use an app like Google Hangouts). This helps put you in the habit of paying attention to how you look when speaking with someone else; this also helps others feel like they’re talking directly with a person rather than just staring at their computer screen and voice over IP audio connection.
If possible, buy an office chair with wheels so that it’s easier for others watching via screen sharing software like Skype or Zoom (which also allows people who aren’t seated in front of their computers at the same time) recognize where your body is located relative to theirs.* Be mindful of lighting conditions—if possible, use soft lighting instead lamps or overhead lighting fixtures.
Knowing when to take a break
You might be tempted to work nonstop, but doing so can drain your energy and make you feel burnt out. To avoid this, try to take regular breaks throughout the day. You should also take breaks when you need them—if you’re working on a task that requires intense focus and concentration, then it’s better to take a longer break than constantly switching back and forth between tasks.
Lastly, if at any point in your day (or week) it feels like there is too much on your plate or too much happening at once, then don’t hesitate to take some time off from work; this could mean spending less time in front of the computer screen or simply disconnecting from all devices for an hour or two each day.
Managing your tech and security
To stay safe, you need to take the same precautions you would at an office. That’s why it’s a good idea to install a VPN and use a password manager, which automatically generates strong passwords for all of your accounts.
A privacy screen protector will keep people from reading over your shoulder as you work on sensitive documents, so consider using one when in public spaces.
Balancing work and family responsibilities
One of the key aspects of the remote work lifestyle is having time to yourself. When you are working from home, it can be easy to get sucked into your own world and neglect your family. In order to avoid this problem, make sure you have some alone time every day or every other day.
Make sure that you are spending quality time with your family as well by taking them out on weekend adventures or setting up regular play dates for them at the park or in a children’s play center.
Don’t forget about friends either! Set aside time for fun activities when going out with friends on weekends (e.g., playing board games at someone’s house).
Finally, make sure that exercise is part of this equation as well! You will feel better about yourself if you hit the gym once or twice per week—even if it is only for 30 minutes—and it can help alleviate some stress while providing an outlet for all that extra energy inside your mind and body!
The challenges of working remotely are real, but they're mostly surmountable.
The biggest challenge is the lack of interaction with your colleagues. Especially if you are a team leader, you will frequently encounter challenges of managing remote employees when you don’t have the opportunity of meeting them in person every day.
This one can be a doozy because it’s not as easy to solve as the other remote work challenges on this list.
Finding ways to maintain relationships with your team members while being apart from them is the golden rule on how to overcome remote work challenges. Communicate constantly and relentlessly leveraging modern tools to create a feeling of presence and build human connection.
If you want more help overcoming the challenges of working from home, check out how ChefPassport can help you build connections with your remote colleagues via online cooking classes!