Top 4 Challenges of Working Remotely

Over a year into the pandemic, the pros and cons of remote working have become more apparent to us. While many employees are returning to the workplace as the world reopens, more and more surveys indicate that the hybrid model of working for some employees is here to stay. The virus has accelerated an already growing trend and forced companies to overhaul outdated technology infrastructures to support remote workers. Thus, a cultural and structural shift began.

Although there are several benefits of remote work, it raises a vast array of issues and challenges for employees and employers. From technology restraints to zoom fatigue, employees struggle to find the best home-work balance and equip themselves to work and collaborate successfully. In this article, we will explore some common challenges and how to combat them.

Work-life Balance is Hard to Achieve

Does it feel like the workday never ends? Nearly 70% of professionals who transitioned to remote work because of the pandemic say they now work on the weekends, and 45% say they regularly work more hours during the week than they did before, according to a survey of 2,800 workers by Los Angeles-based staffing firm Robert Half. While it’s tempting to work around the clock, it’s helpful to set your own new regular working hours, just like you would in an office setting.

How to Avoid Blurred Work-Life Lines

  1. Set aside a physical space for working, separate from the rest of your home
  2. Develop your own “Do Not Disturb” signals with family like a closed door, hand signals, or headphones on
  3. Consider renting out a coworking space to keep the divide between work and home clear

Team Collaboration Feels Fragmented

It’s hard enough to hold productive in-person meetings. When everyone works from home, it becomes even harder to stay on the same page and communicate effectively.

Emails, phone calls, and even video calls remove much of the nuance from how we communicate. It’s easy to misinterpret messages when the nonverbal context is missing. Overcommunicate and double-check assigned tasks and timelines to minimize misunderstandings.

How To Keep Communication Lines Open

  1. Confirm your priorities and tasks with your supervisor and colleagues
  2. Verify assignments at the end of any call, conference, or email
  3. Use project management and collaboration tools like Microsoft Task Planner to keep track of all deliverables

Technology Trips You Up

We all know how frustrating and sometimes panic-inducing technology issues can be. Having spotty internet or an unreliable computer can lead to unsaved work and unexpected downtime. For peace of mind — and to avoid delays — it’s essential to have a backup plan.

How to Make Technology Work for You

  1. To facilitate productivity, employers should invest in VPN, Virtual Desktops, and VoIP with Unified Communications features
  2. A mobile hotspot device or cell phone plan that allows tethering can save you if your internet goes out
  3. Have a backup computer —or set up your smart phone— to access email if your computer malfunctions

Healthy Habits Fall to the Wayside

Your health may be the last thing on your mind when you’re knee-deep in meetings and projects. When you’re overworking you might forget to get outside for some sun or grab a healthy snack.

The key to keeping up with what matters most is to be more mindful and intentional about prioritizing yourself. After all, if you feel good, you’ll do good work.

How to Put Your Health First

  1. Set reminders for yourself in your calendar or to-do app to eat a salad or take vitamins
  2. Block off breaks to do a quick online workout or yoga class
  3. Utilize free mindfulness apps like Calm or Headspace to recenter yourself during a busy day

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