We all know the pandemic sparked a massive rise in remote workers worldwide. And while many people before this had the opportunity to work remotely, more businesses and employers found ways to enable remote working on a mass scale and support their employees in this position.
While much of the world has since returned to the office and previous ways of working, a high section of the population continues to work from remote locations. In fact, over 30% of the UK workforce worked remotely in 2022 or had worked remotely in the previous 7 days.
While there is no denying the benefits that can arise from allowing employees this opportunity, there can be some issues or teething problems when first making the move, whether working for themselves or working for a company. Read on to learn more about the potential topics of remote working and how individuals and companies can tackle them.
Not all home broadband connections are made to support working from home, and there may be a lack of connection and security issues, especially if workers are using public networks or working outside of the house. Working remotely can throw a spanner into the works when it comes to staying online to get the work done.
Ensuring all remote workers have access to high-speed internet and can access personal hotspots. A VPN can help reduce downtime associated with not getting a good connection and support security and data protection through the VPN.
Time management is an issue that can arise in any working environment. Still, it is essential to be mindful of this with remote workers, where you cannot visually see the passage of time. Firstly, ensure that you are keeping track of time. This can be done in various ways, such as by writing it down on paper or using an app. Next, make sure that you are managing your time effectively. Make a schedule at the start of each day, and stick to it as closely as possible. This will help you to avoid being late on things and overworking yourself, which can become easy to do in remote working. Finally, set aside some time each day to reflect on your time management. This can be done at the end of the day or the end of each hour. This will help you stay mindful of your time management and adjust as needed.
If you are feeling isolated, it could be due to various reasons, but it is essential to address this as soon as possible, as it can be detrimental to your work and mental health. Firstly, ensure you get out of the house from time to time. This can be done in various ways, such as by joining a local group, going on a date with your partner, or taking your dog for a walk. Next, make sure you are being as social as your job title allows, be it through connecting with others who are working on a freelance basis in the same industry via social media or using digital tools to communicate with colleagues working remotely too. Virtual water coolers can allow you to check in with others, and collaboration tools can help you stay connected and discuss work to help you feel more connected to the team or others working alone too.
Inability To Self Motivate
If you are struggling with self-motivation, it may be due to feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty managing your expectations. To address these issues, you can implement strategies that help you to manage your workload and set more realistic expectations for yourself. Firstly, break down your larger tasks into smaller chunks. This will help remove the overwhelm of the overall task and make it easier to manage your time and focus on what needs to be done. Next, set a daily schedule that includes working on your most important tasks. This will help you to stay on track and avoid getting side-tracked with less critical tasks that may take up too much time and leave you feeling less productive. Finally, try to set achievable goals for yourself. This can be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, depending on how much you have on your plate. This will help you to stay motivated and see progress towards your goals, even if they are long-term.
Not Being Able To Switch Off
If you cannot switch off from work when you are at home, there are a few strategies you can try that may help:
- Keep a consistent schedule between work and home. This can remind you that you are home and allows you to unwind and relax more effectively.
- Try to set up some barriers between work and home, such as taking a bath instead of watching TV in the evening or having a meal that you only eat at home. This can prevent you from taking your work home and allow you to unwind appropriately.
- Try to identify what triggers you at work that makes you unable to switch off.
By being mindful of this and trying to avoid these things at home, you can ensure you have more effective relaxation time.
Increased Risk of Miscommunication
If you are working remotely with multiple teams, there is a potential that miscommunication can arise. With this in mind, there are a few strategies that you can try that can help to avoid this:
- Get to know your team members and ensure a good level of communication between you. This can be done in various ways, such as having scheduled catch-ups, using a team chat, or setting up a virtual water cooler.
- Try to make sure that you are documenting everything. This can be done by having regular meetings, setting up a team chat, and having a virtual water cooler. Having these documentation methods available will help ensure that nothing is miscommunicated.
- Try to avoid being overly reliant on technology.
Although it can be convenient to use tools such as video calls and team chats, sometimes it is better to have an in-person conversation. This can help to avoid miscommunication.
By hiring remote workers, you are effectively handing over the responsibility for the technology behind your work to a third party. This can mean that you are more likely to experience technical issues, and if this is not something you are used to dealing with, it can be stressful. Firstly, try to hire a remote team that is as similar to your culture as possible. Hiring a group close to your industry will make it more likely that they will understand your work and therefore be less likely to experience technical issues. Next, communicate with your team regularly to make sure they are aware of any changes. This can reduce the risk of technical problems. Finally, try to look at your work schedule and the work schedule of your team members and avoid times when everyone is more likely to experience issues. This can be done by preventing emails during peak hours or scheduling meetings for off-peak hours.
Working remotely has become increasingly popular as the modern workplace has shifted from the 9-5 model to a more flexible approach. However, a few issues can arise for remote workers, such as lack of communication, feeling isolated, and difficulty keeping up with the workflow. Fortunately, some strategies can be employed to tackle these issues, enabling remote working to be a successful and enjoyable experience. By being mindful of the potential pitfalls of working remotely and using the right strategies to address them, you can remain productive and motivated in your remote working environment.