Remote working can be fantastic in many aspects. The employees do not have to gothrough the turmoil of a soul-crushing commute of long hours; they need not tackle the traffic quagmire and a lot more. Moreover, the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic has compelled businesses worldwide to go beyond their office buildings' walls as we see people working remotely more than they have ever before.
Researches also back the benefits employees can have if they are working from home or a remote location. Employees working remotely are wealthier, healthier, and have an improved work-life balance than the employees who go to the office. Employees working from home have aced their way compared to the office employees.
But with the advantages, working remotely has its perils as well. Employees find it difficult to adjust to acustomized work location, which can have an ill-effect on their overall productivity as well. In addition tothis, business organizations expect the employees to put in the extra hours, which means more workload and efforts from the worker's side.
In this article, we will look at the issues of remote working with solutions so that your productivity and efficiency cease to recede.
To better understand the problems, we can broadly divide the issues related toremote working into two categories.
- Challenges faced by business organizations (team)
- Challenges faced by employees (individual worker)
Challenges of remote working for employers
The ongoing pandemic has forced business organizations to make haphazard changes in their work methods, and adjusting to these forced changes was tough. There was a massive decrease inefficiency.
Here are the challenges:
Collaborating the teams remotely
If the teams are not on the samepage while working remotely, the business's productivity can take a huge hit. It is easier when people belonging to different teams are in the same office as it would be easier for them to interact with each other during product development. But how can you make people from, let's say, the design team and the content team to be on the same page if they are working from two differentareas of the country?
Moreover, despite being limited,document exchanges and brainstorming before the beginning of the process canpose a challenge in the remote working setup.
Thankfully, there are collaboration tools available that are designed to assist businesses in this kind of situation.
To improve the team'scommunication while working from a remote location, you need to find a collaboration tool that would be effective for your business. Make sure that the collaborative tool that you select should be flexible, responsive, and instant.
The characteristics of a usefulcollaboration tool are as below:
des prompt notifications
to use interface
ard dashboard to keep acheck on the progress of each employee
Its user-friendly interface willalso allow the new team member to join quickly with just simple emailsignup.
Different collaborative tools canbe used for specific purposes. For example, the design team can use Google Drive for document sharing and storage. The design team can use inVision; collaborative prototyping is also possible while working from a remote location, and many more.
Whatever issues you face inmaintaining the team's collaboration, the collaborative tools will come handyin rectifying the situation.
We need no rocket science tounderstand that the most prominent challenge business faces while workingremotely is managing the project in a hassle-free way. The team managers are finding it exceedingly difficult to manage multiple teams spread over various locations.
In addition to this, communication within the team and keeping track of individual employees' progress also become challenging tasks while working remotely, especially if you have a larger teamworking on a complex project.
There are multiple tools that theproject managers could use for every challenge remote working presents beforethem. For example, Monday.com is an excellent tool in keeping track of each employee's work productivity during project development. If you have a relatively more uncomplicated project with a small team, a tool like Trello too can come in handy.
The project managers' trick hereis that they must be fully aware of the project's complexity their team couldface. They could use the best software for the project and complete it within the deadline without any hiccup.
Tools like Asana can be yourone-stop destination as it provides in-depth features related to team management and more. It gives the facility to communicate for the task and even at the project level to the manager to foresee the advancements with ease.
Maintaining productivity and tracking daily tasks
To achieve the ultimate target,the team managers need to ensure that the smaller targets are completed on timewith minimal or no fuss. And to achieve the smaller milestones, they need to make sure that every individual employee is meeting his or her task on time.
The project management tools mentioned earlier will help track the employees' development. But the information will only be available to a certain extent. A complete watch can be kept only through software and human intervention.
Lack of live feedback can sometimes leave the managers high and dry; for instance, if there is a mistake, the employee would need to do the entire set again, which would mean the project will not get completed within the deadline.
To overcome the issue of live feedback, Status Hero can be used as your project management tool. Here, the employees can enter with simple email signup, and the tool will provide live updates to the manager about the work development of each employee in real-time.
The team members, too, can seewhat the other employee is doing to remain on the same page and not overlapthings because of any confusion. Mundane and pointless interactions can be minimized, and the project's completion can be done in a more lucid and free-flowing manner.
The most significant advantage the project managers would have here is identifying a particular employee's strengths and weaknesses. Thus, it would be easier for them to assign the tasks according to their credibility in the future.
Building trust within the team
Trust issues are bound to arise when the team members are working from a remote location. The fact that they are not able to see others 'in person' can make them feel that they are theones who are doing the majority of the work while others are idle and at the irease.
While we have seen different collaborative tools that can notify every employee's work progress and track it in real-time, there are other steps taken that the project managers can take to revive the trust within the team.
Apart from including technology torevive the trust within the team, the team managers should also focus on takingone-on-one sessions with the individual employees and then with the entire team. It will help them understand the employees' problems and issues and look to solve them at a more humane level.
It can be achieved by promoting transparency, creating an environment of collaboration and innovation, and leading by example.
Challenges of remote working for employees
Remote working is new for the business organization's individual employees, especially after the pandemic outbreak in 2020. Thus, it has become challenging for them to create boundaries between their social and work life. Below are a few of the new-age employees' challenges while working from home and their solutions.
Managing work and home simultaneously.
Managing work and home becomes aneven more significant issue for working parents as they would have constant distractions coming from every corner. Moreover, since the employees are used to working in a designated space in their office, getting used to working from their home can take a while.
Overworking can take a toll on the employees' overall physical and mental health, which could turn hazardous for them in the long run.
To save you from this vicious bowl, set up the chores for the day in advance and make a set timetable for them. In addition to it, do not forget to take regular breaks while working andturn off your system's notifications when you are not working.
Ensure that you are transparent with your team in understanding the boundaries and responsibility you have even if you are working from home.
Staying motivated and avoiding distractions
Staying motivated in a new work environment comes up as a big challenge for the employees, which could hamper their productivity. As their superiors are not present physically, there is a feeling of being left unsupervised, and there is less pressure to get thingsdone in the allocated time.
Moreover, working from a remotelocation has its own set of distractions that can lower your work speed anddeter the outcome's quality.
The employees need to talk to their fellow employees during work to get a taste of office life. Moreover, they could ask for help from their seniors whenever they feel demotivated and distracted from the primary goal.
The key here is to be transparent about your feelings and believing and admit if you are facing a problem. After you have acknowledged that you are having some issues, you can look for the desired solutions and avoid getting stuck in the black hole of miseries.
Burn out issues and loneliness
Humans are social animals. Period. We need human interaction to survive and to grow. But because of the pandemic, humankind's biggest worry is loneliness and burnout issues due to excessive work.
Employees should set a schedule and should know how to unplug themselves from work. Moreover, to curb the loneliness, they could start a new hobby or hop on to an older one to use the irpost-work time in developing something new.
In the end
There are many merits that remote working can bring for you and your organization only when you are ready to accept the change and move forward with it. The hack here lies in maintaining a fine-balance and treats every day at work on its merit.
Changes are always challenging, but if you could make the changes work for you, you could become the champion.