When COVID knocked on our doors, many workers replaced their business attire with pajamas and their ergonomic office chairs with cozy sofas. According to a study by Intuition, 48% of workers now work remotely, which is an 18% increase compared to the time before the pandemic.
Even though remote work tends to be a growing trend, it has quite a few shortcomings.
Hence, here is a list of the top 5 challenges employers face when switching to a remote work environment and a few tips on tackling them.
Challenges Remote Workers Face
1. Technical Difficulties
When working from the office, employees don’t usually worry about the technical aspect of the whole system. Every company most likely has IT specialists who make sure everything works without hiccups.
In a home office, everyone is on their own, and it can sometimes slow down workflow, and in some cases, it could even lead to security issues. For instance, some of the most common obstacles tend to be an internet connection and software updates.
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Thus, ensure every team member has their setup checked with the IT team before switching to remote work.
2. Team Communication and Collaboration
Working as a unit when being miles apart can be a challenge on its own. Complex projects sometimes include countless meetings and negotiations, and a single error can delay the project deadline and cause financial and reputational damage to the company.
Also, not to mention the stress and frustration employees face every time they reach out to someone from the team.
The most important thing, in this case, is to set up an efficient communication channel that suits your business model and your employee’s preferences.
Our advice is to research a few communication tools and apps that you see fitting and include your team in the discussion to choose the right one.
3. Remote Surveillance
One of the entrepreneurs’ greatest concerns when switching to remote work is how to keep their staff productive and motivated. Even though many employers reach out for remote surveillance systems to keep an eye on their employees, ExpressVPN’s study on remote surveillance showed that it could do more harm than good.
For instance, 78% of employers participating in the survey admitted using monitoring software, and 37% used recordings for firing their staff. On the other hand, 41% of employees constantly worry that they’ve been monitored, while 32% of them take fewer breaks for this reason.
Thus, if you don’t want to elevate your employees’ stress and anxiety levels and undermine their trust, keep away from intrusive tools and focus on building a mutually trusting relationship with them.
4. Mental Health
Some employees become isolated after switching to remote work, especially those living alone. Unfortunately, isolation can be a starting point for numerous mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.
Thereby, your staff’s mental health should never be treated as an afterthought, and you should develop an effective support system to cater to their emotional needs.
Encourage strong and meaningful relationships among your staff. Organize lunch meetings where people can meet and chat in a more relaxed environment. Team buildings are another great way to bond with your team while doing something everyone enjoys.
5. Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life can be challenging. When your home suddenly becomes your new office, things can get extra tricky, and the line between personal and professional can become thinner.
This could put an additional strain on your employees as some may be under more stress while working remotely.
If you want your staff to stay motivated and productive, encourage them to maintain a healthy balance by setting clear daily schedules, categorizing their emails, and planning their free time to ensure they don’t stay behind their desks all day.
Call up a meeting to discuss this issue with them to see what system works best.
Running a business and leading a team of people you can’t meet face-to-face can be challenging. Thus, make sure to set your priorities straight and identify any major obstacles you may face along the way.
Also, keep an open conversation with your employees and build mutual trust among your team so they can openly express their problems and concerns.