5 remote work challenges and how to overcome themNitanshLast Updated: November 23, 2022
Like it or not – remote work is here to stay. What seemed like a pipedream some time back has become a reality in the last two years, amidst the pandemic. There’s no denying that remote work has several perks, including the fact that the workforce can be distributed across the globe, and better work-life balance. Having said that, it’s a new paradigm of working and has a fair share of challenges too. So, if you have been struggling with remote work or your organization is planning to make it permanent, then this article is for you as we discuss remote work challenges and their solutions.
Well, this is the most difficult thing in a remote environment. Unlike offices where one can discuss their tasks, challenges, and more with their managers or peers, the onus on getting the job done is on an individual in the work-from-home scenario. More importantly, keeping a tab on various tasks becomes more difficult.
Not just that, several tasks require teamwork, and since no one is working together, it’s difficult to coordinate. How would an individual know that their team member has finished their job, and now they must do the remaining things?
Of course, emails are a great way to fix several of these issues. But it’s easy to get lost in several of the emails, especially if there are several tasks going on in parallel.
What’s the solution?
Well, this is where using a project management software comes in handy. Such a platform would ensure that the entire team is on the same page with regard to the various projects being executed. Using a project management tool like Flow would allow the tasks to be assigned to relevant stakeholders along with deadlines so that there’s no miscommunication. Flow is also versatile enough to offer the ability to add attachments and more, so that everything is available in the same place.
Another work-from-home challenge is to make sure that there’s constant communication between the team. Since most organizations have projects that require to be executed by different team members, it’s critical that people can discuss issues and workarounds. While offices allow people to quickly clear up things with each other, it’s slightly tricky in remote work.
Like the point made above, emails might be a good option, but isn’t real-time.
What’s the solution?
It’s important that the organization sets up a collaboration tool. Slack or Microsoft Teams are the most popular examples as they allow things to be discussed individually or in groups so that the tasks get accomplished in a timely manner. In fact, did you know that Flow is a project management software that also offers chat functionality? So along with managing the projects and your individual tasks, you can also coordinate with your team members. It allows the option to chat by creating groups or 1:1.
Working hard or hardly working?
Now, this might pinch a lot of us. But in a work-from-home setting, it’s easy to get distracted. Be it the things that need to be taken care of at home or at times, when we aren’t in the mood to work… one isn’t able to prioritize the things that need to be done. It also happens because there aren’t any fixed timings for working. While offices have fixed timings for work, remote work gives the flexibility to work as per one’s convenience.
But there is an opposite scenario too. Since there are no timings to follow, one may remain engrossed in the work and spend the entire day in front of their laptop.
Both these situations aren’t healthy. For the former, if the work keeps getting pushed, deadlines will be missed and that would definitely raise a red flag with one’s manager. On the other hand, it will lead to burnout if one spends 12 hours every day working.
What’s the solution?
Well, there’s no technological answer to this. But the best way to avoid either of the situations is to have a routine. If we have fixed timings for work, our brain will become habitual to focus on the tasks and not be distracted. And when you do lose focus, you’d know that you have to finish the tasks in the stipulated time only. This will also lead to better work-life balance since one won’t be spending the entire day working.
Lack of social interaction
This may not have a direct impact on our work, but it does have an indirect effect. Working in an office means talking to our colleagues about things beyond work – what’s going on in each other’s lives, things happening around the world, and so on. Also called watercooler conversations, it provides a much-needed break from otherwise serious work. Since we spend a significant amount of time at work, it’s pertinent to have such informal conversations with colleagues.
What’s the solution?
The simplest solution is to have a channel or group in the collaboration software where people can have non-work discussions. Additionally, it’s important to set up some weekly or bi-weekly Zoom sessions where the team is having some fun activities. This is also important if there’s a new team member so that they can break the ice with their peers.
This refers to both the known and unknown issues in day-to-work. Whether it’s VPN not working or hitting a snafu with a software that’s important for the task, or it’s technical issues at the place of your work, they do affect the work. While one can resort to an IT team at the office, that’s not possible in a remote environment.
The bigger problem is if the internet is conked off or there’s no electricity, then the work gets affected. It could happen at home, but is a bigger problem when you are working from a remote location.
What’s the solution?
For software-related issues, it’s important that the organization sets up a knowledge base. This will make sure that people are able to troubleshoot such issues and work doesn’t get impacted. However, for the connectivity issues, it is the individual’s responsibility to have a backup and plan properly in case s/he is planning to work from anywhere else.
This isn’t an extensive list of remote work issues in any manner. There are several other things such as time zone differences, cultural differences, and more. But if the organization has created an environment where the employees can thrive and are able to understand what they should focus on well, everything else will fall in place.
That’s why we believe, a project management software like Flow is an integral part of the remote work future. With features like task management, collaboration, and more, it’s an all-in-one tool. Sign up today for a free trial to see it for yourself!
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