Working remotely sounds wonderful as you're away from the soul-crushing commute, managers or co-workers hanging over your shoulder or getting your lunch box stolen from the office fridge. With all this, it gives a sense of freedom, and you work on your terms.
As per the recent report from the United Nations International Labour Organization:
Employees are more productive when they work outside of the conventional office, they're also more vulnerable to working longer hours and tend to have a more intense work pace when they're working remotely.
However, it's not all rainbows and unicorns as it has its own set of challenges that many remote workers face when they embark on their career as a remote worker. These challenges are perhaps used as an excuse to not allow remote work in some organizations, despite being solvable.
Whether you're thinking about working remotely or are currently a remote worker, you'll be happier and more productive when you meet these five challenges head-on. Well, I've listed down the solutions to these top 5 challenges that you may face while working remotely.
1. Isolation and Lack of Human Interaction: Socialize More to Grow
Working all alone while sipping your favorite coffee might sound like a plan, but it often leads to isolation and eradicates human interaction. Even with internet access and tools like Slack, you might still develop 'cabin fever' from being in the same place for too long all by yourself.
It is quite essential to make sure that you follow a balanced routine, depending on your personality. For instance, extroverts enjoy connecting and interacting with other people often by working at coworking spaces for a few days per week or going to professional meetups and conferences.
If you're an introvert, you can join the organizing retreats that are usually set up by the remote-based organizations and enjoy the perfect remote culture. Working remotely doesn't really mean that you have to work alone if this is something you don't actually enjoy.
2. Lack of Productivity due to Procrastination: Manage your Tasks on These Tools
As per multiple studies, remote workers are often more productive than those who work in a traditional corporate 9-to-5 culture. However, sometimes you might lag in reaching that level of productivity that you always do. In such cases, you can use various methods to boost your productivity, such as the Pomodoro technique, for which there are many tools.
Apart from this, there are many many tools available to help you track your actual work time and improve productivity, such as Hubstaff, Time Doctor, and Timely, with automated time tracking functionalities targeted to teams and projects.
Since people are transposing to work remotely now, many new tools are being designed specifically to keep a check of the productivity needs of remote professionals.
3. Team Communication Issues: Say Hi to your Co-workers via These Tools
One of the most significant challenges that you might face working in a remote team is staying in the loop. Since you don't work from your office, you miss all the overheard discussions and cubicle wall meetings. This might make you paranoid that others are having meetings and making decisions without you–and you'd probably be right.
Using various communication tools such as Skype, Slack, GoToMeeting can help improve communication in your remote team. If you're managing a team, you can set a date for a weekly summary, during which you will talk with your team about tasks' progress, next week's targets, future goals, and plans, and any other issues related to work.
Also, you can use tools for remote teams, such as RemoteCamp, as it helps to monitor the team's work and progress. For all the remote employees - won't be afraid to talk about your problems, ask questions, and talk about your expectations as it will help you stay sharp at anything you do.
4. Dealing with Interruptions: Stay Away from Gadgets
While you work remotely either from home or anywhere, you avoid co-workers dropping by your desk and other office interruptions. Unfortunately, you'll likely have to deal with different kinds of interruptions and distractions, whether it's your pet seeking to play with you or spend time binge-watching new series on Netflix.
Since distractions are the nightmare of every remote worker, it often leads to procrastination. To purge the distractions, you can turn off your mobile phone or the gadget that you might use for watching series. Try not to engage in social media activities and set a block of time for each task that is in your day's task list.
5. Overworking: Avoid the Work Temptation
Can't gauge when the day starts and ends? Well, when you have a work-life and personal life under one roof, it becomes quite tough to switch off from your daily routine and get a chance. While remote work has rendered more productivity to the companies from those who work otherwise, it often leads you to the state of overworking.
Since we know that work is infinite, that doesn't mean that you have to get going so engrossed in your work that you forget about your personal life. You can avoid overworking by setting appointments on your calendar for the end of the day. Maybe it's an 'appointment' to go to the gym or go grocery shopping or take a walk around the block.
Moreover, you can set specific reminders on your phone to take breaks. A short fifteen minutes breather enriches your mind and makes you feel more active. If you're planning to shut down your lappy, you can make a quick announcement in the communication tool that you use so that your team members are aware of your unavailability and don't send you messages that you would leave unread.
Working from home or a cafe and can't create physical boundaries between you and your workspace? Well, you can place your laptop out of sight when work has ended, as it can help you avoid the temptation to log back on. Or you can try sectioning off part of a room for work, so it feels like a separate space.
Well, these were some of the primary challenges that every Remote Worker faces at their exploration stage of working remotely. If you're facing any of these, you can straight away lookout for the solutions that I've provided you and get hassle-free remote working experience.
Also, you can get comprehensive insights into remote work by joining The Remote Work Summit that covers the entire spectrum of discussion on Remote Work and become an expert today.