Challenges (and Solutions) Posed by Remote Work
Working from home can seem like a dream come true for many employees who are sick of their morning commutes and like the idea of spending more time with their family and pets, but it’s not without its own set of challenges. Digital miscommunications, time management problems, and technology issues are just some of the challenges you can face when working from home. In this blog, we’re looking at remote work challenges and how to overcome them.
Challenge #1: Managing Your Own Schedule & Time
The idea of not setting your alarm to go off at 6 a.m. sounds appealing, right? Scheduling your own hours and working when you feel like it can be wonderful. However, without a nine-to-five structure, many at-home workers find themselves struggling to get all their work done. They sleep in, procrastinate, or get distracted, and then all of a sudden, it’s the end of the day, and they didn’t do what they’d intended to. When you have set hours, you know when you’re supposed to work and are free to pursue other interests or make other plans.
To avoid time management disasters, set your workday hours and stick to them. In most cases, that means maintaining normal business hours or basing your hours on the same schedule as your spouse or kids. You will find a conventional schedule makes you more productive and allows you to make plans in advance since you will already know when you’re working. However, even when sticking to a schedule, you’re still reaping the benefits of remote work. For example, you can sleep later since you don’t have to commute to an office. You can also make time in your schedule to run important errands like doctor’s appointments or be available for a repairman without asking permission or disrupting anyone else’s workday.
Challenge #2: Lack of Communication & Collaboration
When everyone works from home, it can be harder to stay on the same page as the rest of your team. Missing out on those impromptu lunches, coffees, or spontaneous deskside brainstorms can leave you feeling out of touch. Emails and texts can be misinterpreted, and it’s not uncommon that you wind up waiting hours for what could’ve been a quick response in person.
This is why the first thing needed for a remote team is an effective communication tool. Email is a good start, but you also need something instant, responsive, and flexible. At GTS, we believe Microsoft Teams is the best collaboration tools for remote businesses. Teams offers free instant messaging, online audio and video calls, and screen sharing. You can also share files, attach files to chat messages, and collaborate on Office documents simultaneously. These are just a few of the ways Teams can help your remote team communicate and collaborate.
Learn more about Microsoft Teams and how GTS can get you started with an Office 365 integration here.
Challenge #3: Technology Issues at Home
Technology hiccups can be a remote worker’s worst nightmare. Whether it’s your internet going out or your computer breaking, these types of problems become yours to solve.
Having a managed service provider (or MSP) like Grand Technology Solutions will give your remote team the IT support they need without breaking your budget. We can get your team up and running at the drop of a hat from anywhere in the world. Whether it’s increasing network and Wi-Fi internet speeds, setting up printers and monitors, or through 24x7x365 remote monitoring and management, GTS can quickly identify and solve these problems and more to get you back to a normal routine.
Challenge #4: Overworking/Failing to Unplug
While a remote job offers more flexibility and freedom, a lot of remote workers tend to spend more time on work than is required. When you work from home, you no longer have a clear physical division between your workspace and personal space. Many remote team members feel a compulsion to check emails throughout the evening and have difficulty unplugging and relaxing.
To prevent overworking, set aside a physical space separate from the rest of your home where you will essentially go to work. This can be a home office, guest bedroom, or even rent a coworking space. Make sure to set expectations with anyone else who may be home while you’re working to avoid disruptions, and, if possible, close the door while you work. If you’re still having trouble unplugging, log out of your work email on your phone or turn off notifications so you aren’t tempted. You can also ask a coworker or friend to keep you accountable. Have them message you at the time you should be off.
If you’re struggling with transitioning to remote work or need guidance with collaboration tools and software implementation, GTS is here to help! Give us a call at (904) 606-6011 or email email@example.com.