Remote work has been a revolution in the business world by changing the way we traditionally conceive of work. But it is also a trend that is deepening more and more in the developed world, thanks to the many advantages it offers.
Among them is the fact that there are no daily commutes to work and there is a low level of stress due to not having physical supervision, to which is also added the possibility of establishing our own work hours and spending more time with our families, among others.
However, despite being wonderful, remote work is not without its challenges, as it also carries certain problems that can negatively impact your productivity and efficiency. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of the most common problems and how to solve them effectively, so you can get the most out of it.
1. Collaborating remotely as a team
Remote work has the advantage that it allows us to work from the comfort of home. But by doing it, we rarely have the possibility of interacting with the rest of the colleagues. After all, we are not an arm’s length apart, so it will be difficult to function as a team since we must plan Zoom or Skype calls, or send emails back and forth.
This can affect team cohesion and creativity, despite the fact that according to studies we will be more productive. The good thing is that, thanks to technology, there are countless collaboration tools such as Slack or Trello, which provide the ability to communicate in real time and at any time.
Likewise, if you need document collaboration, tools like Google Drive can also meet this need. So there is no excuse, as we will have a long list of applications for off-site teamwork.
2. Working in different time zones
Thanks to technology, it is increasingly common for organizations to attract and harness talent from around the world. But despite expanding horizons, it can be uncomfortable to lead such a diverse workforce due to working in different time zones.
Although this need not be a challenge for remote work if regular hours are established. So having specific hours each week will help everyone have a general idea of who is available and when. In this sense, tools like Google Calendar will be of great help in this effort. And of course, others like Slack can also be very useful, as they give you an idea of who is online.
3. Decreased work-life balance
Another problem with remote work is the decline in work-life balance because when it comes to getting things done and adapting work to their personal lives, many people feel insecure about their work, which can generate as much stress and anxiety as when they bring work home. So it may seem like a necessity to work around the clock.
The best tactic for balancing is to create a to-do list at the beginning of the day, as well as a schedule, and stick to it. Once you have completed everything you need to do during the allotted period, then you need to disconnect. Respecting this will avoid stress and anxiety, knowing that you have completed everything you had to do in the stipulated time.
Other rudimentary tips include automating other tasks, such as automatic responses to emails.
Read also others tips for achieving work-life balance
4. Distractions at home
Distractions are a silent productivity killer, especially when it comes to remote work, after all we have no physical supervision and we are at home surrounded by all kinds of them. So it’s too tempting to take frequent five-minute breaks that then turn into 10, 20, or longer, and so on. Before you know it, you are hardly doing any work, and your productivity will have been destroyed.
While it is not impossible to avoid distractions at home, establishing a dedicated workspace just to work and that suits your professional needs will be your best option to avoid them because it will encourage you to work more and play less.
5. Completing tasks independently
Many of us are used to having our supervisors breathe on our shoulders so to speak. But being completely unsupervised can be difficult for many people, not knowing how to function on their own. However, it is doable, especially as time goes on and we get used to remote work.
Just rely on skills, judgment, and work ethic to get the job done. Remember that to achieve your goals, you must create a list of what you want to accomplish in the next few hours. If you feel like you’re stuck, don’t be shy about reaching out to your co-workers or reaching out to your manager from time to time.
6. Not managing your time effectively
If you thought your time management was bad in the office, imagine what it’s like to work from home and without direct supervision. A common concern remote workers have is that they mismanage their time.
But time management is not as intimidating as many of us tend to believe. There are many tips that you can add to your daily routine:
- Set a schedule for your workday and stick to it;
- Dress like you’re going to the office;
- Set limits that work for you;
- Use productivity apps.
7. Adopting bad health habits
Remote work tends to be sedentary work, no matter where your office is located, which also makes it easier to fall into bad health habits, including forgetting to eat at a certain time or exercising.
So you have to be more mindful about your health habits when working from home. For example, you can set reminders for yourself on your calendar or to-do app to eat a salad or do some yoga.