Remote working woes: Four major remote working challenges and how to overcome them
Most teams have their regular Zoom meetings and workforce management software keeping everyone connected. However, that’s only one layer of the many challenges faced by teams working remotely. The following tips have been designed to help with the remote working woes that will arise with frustrating regularity – unless they’re nipped in the bud:
Disruptions to work-life balance
When working from home, it’s easy for work life to bleed into downtime and vice versa. Though it’s a delight in the early days to say goodbye to the commute and simply stroll over to your desk after a morning cup of tea or coffee, in time some may miss that buffer that used to exist between office life and home life.
To combat this issue, it’s critical to create a new buffer between work time and downtime. This will differ depending on each individual’s unique personality. However, it can be achieved physically by having a dedicated office space solely for work-related activities. For those who don’t have the space for this in the home, create a mental buffer between work time and home time with morning and evening routines.
Even after a buffer is in place, it can still be tough to get stuck into work in the morning without the vibrant buzz of office life to get one in the mood. With no coworkers to settle in with, it’s easy to feel lonely, isolated and unmotivated in the morning.
So, what can be done to kickstart the day the right way? First, keep a daily calendar filled with a reasonable amount of tasks. This will give direction, meaning it’s not necessary to waste mental bandwidth on deciding what to do in the morning. Then make it a point to tackle the task you’re dreading most first. By getting it out of the way, it’s possible to be in a good mood and will feel enthused for knocking off the rest of the far more pleasant tasks.
Unless a company has gone the extra mile by investing in full home office setups for all team members, it’s likely that a few will be lacking some of the important devices and accessories once enjoyed in the office. Perhaps a chair at home isn’t ergonomic or a laptop is significantly less efficient than the desktop computer used at the office.
Rather than simply putting up with these deficiencies, bring the issue up with a superior. Some may be surprised at what can be done to support the team, and it’s better to get the help now rather than months down the line when it’s drastically impacting on efficiency. For those who manage a team, check in with the staff members to see if there’s anything that can be done to support them tech-wise.
Whether it’s kids, pets, housemates or intrusive thoughts about taking a Netflix break, most will likely face more distractions when working remotely. If the interruptions are all external, then it’s time to have an honest discussion about boundaries during work time. If it’s one’s own thoughts distracting, then working from a cafe or coworking space will help get from the call of the couch and into a more work-focused environment.
Though working remotely does come with its challenges, the rewards are worth it, especially once knowing how to overcome all the difficulties listed above. Embrace the changes, go into it with a problem-solving attitude and it’s possible to be more productive and efficient than ever.
The editorial unit