It has become increasingly clear that the nature of remote work, as well as work in general, is changing rapidly. A significant number of companies were forced into building remote teams and making a dramatic shift toward newer, more flexible models of work design in response to the pandemic. People and culture leaders need to pay attention to today’s key topics including hybridity, flexibility, and inclusivity to ensure that they foster a work environment in which remote work can be productive. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Service Direct, 75% of employees list remote work opportunities as one of the most important benefits that businesses can offer in order to retain them as employees. There are several benefits to working remotely, however, it is not without its challenges. This article will help you understand the most common challenges of remote work.
Not being able to Unplug from Work
In today’s world, we are constantly connected to our phones and computers. We have become accustomed to checking social media, emailing, texting, and browsing the internet while at home, at school, or even while out running errands. This constant connection has become a way of life for many people. However, this can cause a lot of problems for remote workers who are unable to unplug from their jobs. In the evening, unplug your electronics. Otherwise, you may feel like you’re always on call. Stop working for the day by logging off from your work email, getting off Slack, and allowing yourself a complete break.
Loneliness is something that affects everyone differently. Some people thrive off of solitude, but others need human interaction to feel fulfilled. When working remotely, some people may find themselves feeling lonely due to the lack of human contact. It’s not uncommon for people who work in an office to have spontaneous moments that break up their day, like taking lunch, chatting in the hallways, and making small talk on the way to or from meetings. The ability to interact socially outside of the workplace is often needed by remote workers and they need to take more initiative. If you’re used to working a regular 9-5 day, it’s easy to overlook the fact that social interaction doesn’t have to be limited to your colleagues.
Remote workers often struggle with staying motivated. They may not get the same amount of recognition as other employees, and they may not receive the same level of appreciation. To stay motivated, remote workers should set goals and create incentives for themselves. Despite the many benefits of remote work, it also means that workers are more under pressure to motivate themselves. As a result of losing the commute, working asynchronously, and having a manager who works odd hours, the responsibility of staying on task falls upon the shoulders of the employee without having to think about it.
Time management problems
It’s all too easy to get sidetracked while working from home (the dishes, laundry, unmowed lawn, perhaps your children and spouse). Moreover, you don’t have any over-the-shoulder accountability which would force you off of Instagram. You need to design an efficient schedule, especially if you don’t fall under the 9-5 hours or work within the same time zone as your manager. Sometimes this means designing systems to protect you against yourself. Consider building a storage box similar to a lockout tagout station in industrial settings where you can store devices that would normally be a distraction to you during the work day. No matter how you manage your minutes, it’s a good idea to make sure your boss is aware of it. Employers should consider using recruitment CRM and HR management tools for time tracking to overcome this.
Read more – How To Track Productivity of Remote Workers
You get tripped up by technology
The technology used in the best virtual office services is usually business-grade and fast. You may not have as reliable a remote internet connection as you would like (or a strong cell signal), so that can be an issue. Remote work requires technology, but it isn’t a panacea. There can be problems with the Internet, software, and with hardware. When you have a digital nomad lifestyle, you have to purchase a new computer and hotspot off your phone since you travel and work. There is also the issue of security. You can use a VPN sometimes to be more secure online. Even when your remote team targets and follows all of the security guidelines, there is still a risk.
Online toxic environments are possible
The toxic workplace environment that sometimes we must endure in our careers has to do with remote work, but who said it would solve it? When you were hoping to escape the toxic atmosphere at your office or dread going to your own office when you find out that it has moved online, it must have been a huge surprise to find that it has done so. We continue to be triggered even if we are at a distance from each other by mental and physical strain, long hours, uncertainty, pressures of every kind, and lack of trust in the people we work with every day.
A sedentary or unhealthy lifestyle
Even though knowledge workers work in offices or outside of offices, they tend to live a more sedentary lifestyle than blue-collar workers. While working at home can make it easier to get into bad habits, it can also make it harder for you to get out of them. It is only a few steps from your fridge, you lose the exercise you might have gotten on your commute, and you have no one nearby to remind you that it is time to eat lunch or go for a stroll. Working from home provides comfort and convenience, but you must also maintain a healthy lifestyle and take a break and rest whenever required.
Differences in time zones
It is very difficult to collaborate and communicate in real-time when you’re located in different time zones, which can lead to overworking if you’re not careful. There is nothing strange about being woken up by your teammate signing off as you are snoozing when you work remotely.
They may not always be able to answer your questions promptly, and if you ask for help outside of their working hours, they may have a harder time unplugging.
There is good news all the same: Research shows that remote workers are more productive and happy than their colleagues in the office. Using remote working reduces stress levels, reduces carbon footprint, and reduces time in the car as well.