The trend of remote work had increased significantly. 88% of all companies encouraged their employees to work from home. Today, companies are more likely to abandon classic offices and meetings. This has been replaced by video conferencing and work from anywhere. Along with the convenience comes some difficulties with the process of organizing work. Let's take a look at the challenges remote work presents and how to overcome them.
At first, it seems that working from home was incredibly cool. You can sleep longer because the commute and rush hour are a thing of the past. But over time, productivity seems to decline, so it is logical to assume working from home can be a distraction from tasks. How can employees working remotely not only survive but thrive in this environment?
Teleworking is the most difficult for those who usually have a clearly defined working day. It is essential to create a corner where you will easily switch into work mode. This should be a space that is only used for work-related things. This approach will help you focus on tasks. Stick to the same work schedule. If you are used to working from 8-5, then that should be your schedule at home as well. Separating your workspace and sticking to a regular schedule will help create and maintain a division of work and personal life.
When working remotely, no one is watching you. It can be a big temptation and allow us to get a little too relaxed. For this reason, a strict schedule is a must. Write down all your tasks, leave time for lunch, and a few minutes for short breaks. Stick to your schedule and ensure you include time for meetings and last-minute deadlines. To be the most productive at home, dedicate time to focused work with no distractions or interruptions. One study suggests an hour of focused, uninterrupted time can be 500% more productive than multitasking or distracted work.
Communication and collaboration are especially vital in the remote workforce. You will need ways to communicate with your team and task manager software for collaborative work. It's easy to start using, for example, the Trello or Asana app. Tools for video conferences [Zoom, Teams, Google Docs] will help monitor the progress of tasks, prompt detection of problems, and remote meetings to stay connected and effectively communicate with your team. Develop rules as to what should be reported by e-mail and what is best for messaging platforms.
Switching between tasks with different information contexts brings a lot of stress. "When you fail to complete all tasks on time, your productivity falls, and the body produces stress hormones. Thus, people who try to do many things at once get sick more often, conflict with people around them, do not feel happy, and burn out professionally," says the founder of Ivory Research, a company that has dealt with thousands of overloaded customers.
Physical inactivity is a global challenge for the 21st century. At the office, you moved more, either walking from the parking garage, up and down the stairs or down the street for lunch. Teleworking means no commute, no stairs, and no lunch outings. To stay active, consider using a fitness tracker to track your steps and make time in your schedule to get up and walk around, do some squats, or simply stretch your legs.
Remote work is not any easier for employers. Here are three challenges they must overcome.
It is not surprising as mass quarantine was introduced, it became challenging to manage remote teams. It is necessary to react quickly and take appropriate measures in urgent situations while coordinating the team at a distance. All employers and managers should focus on becoming more knowledgeable in:
Fortunately, many online resources provide courses, lectures, and other materials covering these aspects.
Staff's online training is an essential investment in company development and human capital. This may be the right time to encourage your team to do it. It is vital to make your team realize that the remote work model is not a vacation or sick leave but a forced measure introduced for safety purposes. To stay efficient, employees should master new skills such as:
Mastering new skills are necessary to motivate your team and create appropriate working conditions.
Employees need ways to maintain team spirit in the teleworking team. There are now many tools that can provide group online communication. Do not limit the interaction to messengers only. It is vital to hold meetings and training in video conferences, arrange collective entertainment online, and communicate on non-working topics.
This time has been stressful and challenging for businesses and employees, so support and a sense of stability are more essential than ever. Productivity and performance are dependent upon how well managers organize the remote workflow. At the same time, 54% of all office workers would prefer a job with more flexibility. So, the remote work model is not going away anytime soon.