Flexibility to work from your place of comfort, enhanced savings, better work-life balance, commute-free life, and more is what excites many about working remotely. While it has its advantages, the work model is also accompanied by challenges that can hinder your progress.
The good news is that with the right strategies and tools, you can overcome any hurdles that come as you advance in your job role. Let’s take a look at some common challenges encountered along with their solutions to ensure your way towards a successful remote career.
1. Technical Failures
You don’t have to worry about technical hiccups at your workplace, as you’ll have an IT team in person helping you resolve all your issues. However, working from home or remotely will require you to be prepared to fix things yourself most of the time. Moreover, if you’re not tech-savvy, you could find yourself at a struggle even more during such situations.
To ensure smooth operations, you can request your technical team to check your system frequently during the month and avoid inevitable technical challenges. Even better, we have an article on the most common technical remote work problems and how to fix them yourself without having to rely much on your team.
2. Poor Workplace Communication
One of the major challenges associated with remote work is communication. Lack of in-person interaction can lead to miscommunication and make you feel disconnected from your team. Hence, communicating effectively with your team becomes necessary to get your message across. It will help you avoid any confusion as well as delays in accomplishing your tasks.
To avoid miscommunication, define your goals and expectations during conversations and online meetings. Try communicating over the phone and video conference than text messages more often to help you convey your thoughts more effectively. Moreover, engage in more friendly conversations with your team by utilizing water cooler chats and virtual coffee break ideas to improve workplace engagement.
Using the right tools and platforms can help you get over every remote communication challenge. Here are some tools that help you overcome remote team communication challenges and help you build a meaningful connection with your colleagues.
3. Working Across Different Time Zones
A remote career will open up many opportunities for you to engage with a global team. Working with a global team helps you explore cultural diversities, share ideas, and have a wealth of learning experiences.
However, collaborating could be challenging as you and your team will be working across different time zones. Delay in receiving feedback, emails, and reduced engagement with the team are some of the many challenges faced while working with a global remote team.
Many tools and platforms allow you to work productively with a remote team across multiple time zones and achieve your goals without compromising on accomplishing your goals on time. Moreover, encourage sharing preferred timezones for your team and normalizing working on asynchronous timezones before trying to reach out to them or setting up any deadlines.
4. Productivity Issues
While working remotely can be liberating, you’re most likely to face productivity issues if you’re not used to working without supervision or someone around. It’s normal for experienced remote workers as well to face such challenges over time. Productivity issues can result in failing to plan your tasks during the day, time management issues, difficulty managing your work/life balance, and more.
To overcome it, inculcate proactive habits around the day, which include right from planning your tasks during the day to encouraging self-care at the end of the day. Moreover, utilizing the best remote work tools to boost productivity can help you get things done and stay organized.
When working from home, you can easily get distracted by the smallest thing around you, like your phone, social media, or even the constant urge to move around. This can make you procrastinate and keep you from achieving your goals.
Keep your things close at hand, so you don’t have to get up more than you have to. Also, try to keep a noise-free environment where you work, whether at home, in a cafe, or in a coworking space, to keep distractions at bay.
You can learn how to use the Pomodoro technique, which is an effective way to focus on your tasks by setting up a timer with a fixed duration for yourself. This will allow you to practice mindfulness at your task and get them done without letting distractions affect you.
6. Lack of Social Interaction
Remote work can feel isolating. It can result in poor mental health issues like depression or anxiety if not taken care of. It’s common to experience a lack of social interaction, especially due to the prolonged hours of remote work. Even if you prefer to work alone, the absence of in-person contact might start affecting your productivity and make you feel disconnected with time.
To cope with this situation, you can practice being proactive in reaching out to your co-workers through calls and messages. Hold up some brainstorming meeting sessions to engage with your teammates on video conferencing software like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.
Moreover, you can try working in co-working spaces more often to communicate with people and build meaningful connections. Even surrounding yourself with people without direct communication can make you feel less lonely and more connected.
7. Stress and Burnout
Working from home adds up at-home responsibilities, catering to your family’s needs while trying to focus on your job. This can result in unavoidable stress and burnout. According to a survey conducted by FlexJobs, 75% of people have experienced burnout while working remotely.
Moreover, longer working hours are common in remote work. It can trigger stress and negatively impact mental health.
Creating an organized work schedule, including breaks more often, would help make you feel rejuvenated. Communicate with your employer to set up work-life boundaries in order to avoid working for longer hours. Prioritize your health by exercising, practicing meditation, and getting quality sleep regularly.
Overcome Remote Work Challenges Like a Pro
While remote work brings many benefits, it won’t help you achieve a work-life balance until you’re productive and disciplined enough to maintain it. You will certainly find the above-discussed solutions helpful in tackling your remote work challenges.
Follow them consistently to keep your schedule on track and prioritize your health to overcome them. Know that you’re not alone struggling with it, and make yourself feel motivated every day as you grow in your remote career.
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