Solutions to the top 10 challenges of remote work
Aleksi Saastamoinen •
Nov 29, 2023 •
7 min read
While remote working has equipped workers with more freedom and independence in their craft, as work culture has changed to a more remote work environment some new challenges have risen.
For some, adapting to these new remote or hybrid work environments have created some problems with their everyday life.
Not to worry, all of your most common remote working problems can be solved.
Let’s go through 10 of the most common challenges and some solutions for you to revolutionize your remote office life.
Lack of work-life balance
You are a human, which means you need time for your brain and body to recharge. Us humans are social creatures and maintaining relationships with other humans is important.
When you are working from home, you do not have the outline of office = work so shutting your “work-brain” off and focusing on your freetime activities can be difficult. This is often seen in the form of overworking.
Well, how do you fix this to get everything out of your freetime while still keeping up your work efficiency?
- Use a task rather than time based focus. You ensure managing your tasks effectively by planning your work in two week cycles.
This way you will have set goals and know that when you are done, you are done and that is it.
- Plan your day in the morning. Set the tasks required from you by EOD and do not sneak in any other tasks than set before.
- Set a routine with clear work hours so you are able to better separate your workday from other activities. Trying to mimic a familiar office schedule gives you a great guideline to remote working.
- You can set up a work clock app to track your weekly hours to make sure you do not forget to check the time while being engaged in your tasks.
As a manager, you will notice that remote working affects your communication a lot since not everyone is in a F2F situation with you. Managers need to be able to know what their team is doing while being available for any problem solving.
- One of the best ways to collaborate with your team is to have everyone on the same platform which enables low threshold, asynchronous communication. This enables the tasks on hand to be monitored continuously and you do not have to search everything independently. A great example of such a platform is Workjoy, a platform designed to make your remote leadership journey smoother than ever before.
- Planning your work ahead is crucial. When you plan your work efficiently, there are fewer fires or times where you block your team from doing their work. Even when you are not available, your team knows what tasks they need to work on.
Difficulty in unplugging
It can be challenging to mentally disconnect from work when the workspace is at home, leading to decreased relaxation. When your work laptop is always on you, you might just keep working or atleast think about working in your free time.
- Plan what you need to do in a day and stick to that work. When the work is done you know you can check out without looking back for the day.
- Engage in relaxing activities that take your mind off of work. This is good for the mind and helps you balance between work and other important aspects of your life.
Distractions at home
As home is a place for various activities, working from home can lead to various distractions like family members, household chores, or pets, impacting your productivity.
- Create a designated workspace in which nothing else is done. Establishing a dedicated area at home solely for work will take other variables and distractions out of your work time.
- Communicate with your household members about work hours and the need for uninterrupted focus. Creating rules such as set working time and that door shut = let me work give your family members a clear sign of you needing to focus on work.
Time zone differences
Coordinating work across different time zones can be challenging, leading to delays in responses and collaboration between team members.
- Utilizing asynchronous meetings is a great way to solve your communication challenges despite time zone differences.
- Plan your work ahead so you don’t block each other from completing tasks. Knowing what to do even when you are the only one working gives the project's progress a boost for the better.
Lack of feedback
Remote workers may receive less immediate feedback or recognition compared to in-office colleagues due to not everyone working at the same time. Being that feedback is a great tool to boost your motivation and giving suggestions on future work is crucial for the quality of work there needs to be a solution.
- By scheduling periodic performance reviews or feedback sessions you can keep the feedback flowing during working remotely. A great example of this is a set time weekly meeting.
- Always plan feedback into your workflows so it can be expected regularly. By having a planned step for feedback before a task is turned in, continous feedback will always be a part of your projects and tasks.
Overworking or burnout
Without setting clear boundaries, remote workers might find it challenging to disconnect from work, leading to burnout. This goes hand in hand with the difficulty in unplugging in the sense that not being able to unplug from work can increase the risk of burnout.
- Set realistic expectations: Avoid expecting constant availability and encourage a healthy work-life balance. Planning your days carefully and not taking on any task outside your plan helps you steer clear of burnout.
Establish a routine
Working from home might make it challenging to establish a consistent work routine due to flexibility possibilities. You, being used to an office routine might get the urge to sleep in and do other stuff that might delay your work tasks.
- Start and end the day consistently. Keep up the office rhythm despite the temptation of altering your routine constantly now that you have the chance to do it. It will take time to figure out your perfect routine but little by little you’ll have a working schedule that suits you.
Difficulty in collaboration
Remote work can sometimes hinder effective teamwork and collaboration due to limited in-person interaction. Suddenly, being more independent in your work can make you think that you are all alone with your work.
- Establishing clear goals and roles within the project helps the participants to have a clearer understanding of the task ownership and their role in the project. Constant communication about possible collaboration from the leader will push the teams spirit higher.
Isolation and loneliness
Working remotely can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness due to the absence of physical interaction with colleagues.
- Organizing virtual team-building activities on set times will help your team to feel more united since they get to connect with each other without using email or other text based communication.
- See other people working remotely in other companies in your area. When working from home, the need for human interaction can’t be ignored. Spending time with your colleagues outside of work helps to maintain a higher level of social interaction.
- See friends and family more than you would be able to otherwise. View remote working as an opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones. Since there is no time needed for commuting, you can have more time to use in maintaining social interaction with the people who matter to you.
While moving to remote work might issue its own challenges, there is a solution to your problems.
Finding the right balance between work and freetime lets you optimize your days. This happens by setting boundaries like exact working hours and a designated office space.
Prioritize communication with family members and work colleagues to make sure everyone is on the same page with clear ambitions and targets.
Creating team bonding events and maintaining social interaction helps you to navigate the realm of remote work.
Utilizing a platform which helps you in your remote leadership journey will give you a better experience in remote leadership.