Remote work has always been a popular work arrangement for professionals all over the world. Many people wished they would get a chance to work remotely, they would not let this opportunity slip away.
According to the Buffer’s State of Remote Work report, 99% of the people who participated in the survey were interested in working remotely.
As the Covid-19 pandemic allowed many of us to work from home, I must say that remote working is just too hard to resist, especially when you want to spend more time with your loved ones.
You can also enjoy several other benefits of remote work. No hassles of commuting, no need to be stressed out while deciding the attire for your meeting with a client, no more munching on unhealthy food at the office cafeteria, to name a few.
However, I just want to put into your consciousness that just like anything, remote working also has some challenges associated with it. But with the right techniques and tools, you can overcome these challenges to emerge as a happy and productive remote worker.
Through this article, I am going to share with you the most common WFH or remote work challenges along with actionable tips to overcome them.
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Common Challenges Associated With Remote Working
Crumbling Team Communication
Your communication with the team is the foremost thing that will get a mighty blow when you are working remotely. Things are bound to get more disappointing for you when a part of your team is working from the office.
What happens in this scenario is that you might miss being a part of the unplanned meetings and brainstorming sessions.
At times, it is likely that you may feel left out and the fear of being the last one to know about things affects your performance at work.
How to Overcome?
The best way to curtail this issue is to step up your communication with the team, which is possible using robust communication tools.
An instant messaging or chat tool that supports the exchange of messages in real-time would do the trick for you. However, it is advisable to have video calls with your teammates from time to time, which will strengthen your bond with them.
Also, you need to put some extra efforts to push your team to share every important piece of work-related information with you in a timely manner.
Burnouts due to Overworking
One of the biggest challenges when you work remotely, especially from your home is unplugging yourself from work.
While there’s no visible boundary that separates your work from personal life, it can be difficult to leave your work desk as soon as the clock crosses the last minute of your work hours.
As a result, you tend to overwork and ultimately end up getting exhausted almost every day at work. And this can put an adverse effect on both your physical and mental health.
How to Overcome?
The simplest trick to get over this situation is to create a physical boundary between your leisure space and your workspace. You can create a home office or dedicate a specific corner or room in your house for your office work.
Leaving all the devices that you solely use for work within the office space after work hours will make you less worried about the pending work.
You should stay clear with your manager and teammates about your availability and let them know the time when you stop working.
Coping with a Ton of Distractions
Working remotely means that you need to tackle a swarm of distractions almost every day. And to be clear, it’s nearly impossible to make all the distractions just go away.When you are working from home, a significant number of distractions can arise from the part of your family. Your children invade your office space after coming back from school , your father discussing news with you multiple times a day, and so on.
These distractions are just the tip of the iceberg – there’s plenty more.
FYI – If you have kids at home then you can follow certain tips to avoid getting distracted by them.
How to Overcome?
While eradicating every distraction is impractical, you can still bring down the number of distractions by making some arrangements.
For instance, choosing a workspace, where the number of daily footfalls of your family members is quite low is one effective way to avoid some distractions.
Another way of limiting distractions is to let your family and friends know that you would not like to get disturbed during your work hours that are from 9 – 5 or something like that. Also, just make it clear to them that you will not be able to address any trivial matters while you are busy with your work.
Loneliness Triggered Due to Lack of Human Interaction
Working from an isolated space that restricts social interaction can be problematic, especially if you are a people person.There may be instances where you feel the urge to have a beer with your colleagues after a long day or throw a small after-office party for your co-workers. Sadly, nothing of this sort is going to happen when you are miles away from your office buddies and working from home.
Also, you cannot be part of the watercooler talks and joint chat sessions during coffee breaks. As a result, you might feel lonely and trapped inside your unlively workplace.
How to Overcome?
Even if you do not interact with people too often, you need to balance your work life and social life.
The easiest thing to do this is to have social interactions with your family and friends every now and then. However, if that’s not possible to do, you can take social breaks with your colleagues over unofficial chat and video conference sessions.
You can also give a try working from a co-working space or a cafe for a couple of times a week. You may find people with whom you can socialize and get the dose of human interaction that you’ve been missing while working from home.
Staying motivated in a barren environment
As a remote worker, it is common to work in an environment where no one is pushing you to take your daily tasks more seriously. Also, your manager can’t supervise your work and manage your time. So, you always need to motivate yourself and manage your work in accordance with the time constraints. Otherwise, you will find yourself procrastinating for the most part of the day and losing track of your deadlines.
Unlike the office, you will not be surrounded by people who are working and at the same time, acting as a motivating factor for you to get busy with your duties.
How to Overcome?
To motivate yourself, you need to set goals for yourself daily and prepare to-do lists to stay updated about your tasks for the day. A project management software would be the ideal option to manage all your tasks from a single place.
It’s also a good idea to reserve the most difficult tasks for specific hours of the day when you are most productive.
You should also need to initiate a loop of trying and identifying things that help you to get motivated and give your best at work.
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Low Visibility or Lack of Recognition
Another remote work challenge that you are most likely to experience is you being partially visible to your employer or manager. Many managers develop this perception of remote workers doing little to make a project successful. Consequently, remote workers have to work on projects that are of minor importance. And even, if they perform exceptionally well, remote workers are in the last of the queue to get a promotion.
This kind of low visibility and lack of recognition will not only limit your potential but also demotivate you and affect your performance.
How to Overcome?
The most important thing that you need to do in such a situation is to make people acknowledge your presence and contribution.
If possible, you should make regular visits to your office and even work from the office a few times every month. Also, you need to make yourself physically present at conferences and office parties to let others know that you are an active member of your organization.
Additionally, while working from a remote location, you must communicate with your manager the tasks that you have been working on. It’s always preferable to stay in touch with your manager or supervisor to make sure that your accomplishments never go unnoticed.
Bearing Technical Difficulties
While you are at the office, firstly the chances of a power or internet outage are too low, and even if there’s a technology failure, no one’s going to blame you. Moreover, you are not responsible for finding the solution to any technical difficulty that has occurred. However, things take a U-turn when you are working remotely. Whether your internet connection is not working properly or your system is behaving erratically, you’ll have to take charge to make things right.
How to Overcome?
Before making a transition to remote work, you first need to assess what you need on the technical front to support your work.
You might also need to check if your current internet connection is ideal for the job or you need an upgrade.
It’s important to have a tech expert on your side whom you can call whenever you are facing a technical difficulty that you are unable to resolve on your own.
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No doubt, remote working comes with several benefits and it can be more rewarding than any other work arrangement. However, you need to beat the common remote work challenges that I’ve mentioned in this write-up. If you believe in yourself and want to get along with remote work, then it will not be that difficult to get over these challenges.
Before you start conquering your remote work challenges, don’t forget to share this article with people in your social circle who you think will find it useful.