Nearly 70% of employers expect at least 60% of their workforce to telecommute at least part-time, according to a recent PwC report.
Remote working seems like a great idea. There’s no commute and more time for workers to manage their personal lives.
Staffing a remote workforce can also save your company considerable expenses. Still, it’s important to understand a few caveats of managing remote teams.
Keep reading to learn more about four challenges of working remotely and how to solve them.
The Challenges of Working Remotely
There’s no denying remote work is the future of business. It’s great in some ways, but it also offers challenges. For instance, some employees tend to overwork when left in charge of themselves.
Other employees may have problems with loneliness or staying motivated. Yet other workers could struggle with staying focused.
It’s vital to understand the biggest remote work challenges faced by your remote workforce. You can help them stay productive when working from home with a few tips for managing remote teams.
Let’s dive in.
The office offers spontaneous moments that break up the day. A considerable number of remote workers struggle with feelings of loneliness in the absence of these moments.
It can prove challenging dealing with various office personalities. However, it’s equally as challenging to deal with isolation.
Humans aren’t made for solitude. Everyone needs social interaction, even if they’re introverts.
The Solution for Disconnected Staff Members
As an employer, you can give your staff opportunities for human interaction. Firstly, you can encourage your staff to spend more time with their families.
However, you could also offer perks such as stipends for co-working. This benefit will encourage your staff to occasionally work in an office environment around other people.
You can also arrange gatherings for company peers in regions where it’s feasible. You can also sponsor informal video chats so team members can connect professionally but casually. Likewise, you could sponsor company sporting events, where workers compete against each other.
Many remote workers also struggle with motivation. There’s no in-office social pressure to stay on task when you work from home.
Employees must motivate themselves. They must also become experts in time management and prioritization.
The same benefits of remote work that offer flexibility add stress when it comes to work-related self-motivation. The burden is on employees to stay on task when their managers work different hours.
Keeping Your Staff Engaged
It helps to encourage employees to start their days early. You may also want to coach your employees on prioritizing tasks.
For example, you can develop a system that clearly identifies what work comes first. You should also encourage staff members to limit the things they work on every day.
This practice may seem counterintuitive. However, nothing is a priority if everything is a priority. It’s better to work on one vital task than it is to work on ten small tasks that don’t move your company towards its objective.
3. Time Zone Differences
Differences in time zones can make real-time communication and collaboration challenging. It can also lead to overworking. It’s not uncommon for one remote worker to wake up as another is ending their workday.
Time zone differences can make it challenging to reply to questions fast. It can also make it hard for workers to unplug if they continually respond to questions outside of their working hours.
Overcoming Time Zone Challenges
Your company can overcome time zone differences by forgetting about time altogether. In other words, you may find it helpful to adopt a policy of asynchronous communication.
Everyone knows not to expect an immediate answer with this kind of communication policy. Moreover, this policy reduces the pressure for everyone to feel on call 24 hours a day.
Still, you should arrange for real-time communication whenever possible. You also want to make the most of that time.
For example, you’ll want to write an agenda before meetings. You should also record video conferences for staff members who can’t attend.
Team members, managers, and company directors must communicate regularly no matter your organizational structure. Communication is another significant challenge among remote workforces.
Remote work takes away the benefit of routine casual encounters with peers, where questions get answered quickly. Instead, employees are alone at home doing their work.
In part, it helps to have remote workforce management schedule weekly team summaries to keep everyone on the same page. It also helps to leverage effective remote work software that supports seamless communication.
Leveraging Technology for Excellent Communication
Microsoft 365 deployment can give your team a powerful communications advantage. Office 365 will help your team stay connected to learn and innovate collaboratively.
The remote work solution makes it easy for staff members to chat, call, share presentations, and communicate in any way needed. It will help your team stay close—even when they’re far away.
With Microsoft 365 business solutions, your team always has access to shared files and documents. It enables teams to create, share, and exchange ideas whenever needed. Most importantly, it can keep your team moving forward, even as you transition to remote work.
Optimize Your Remote Workforce Today
We hope our working remote tips help you overcome the challenges of working remotely.
Your team might struggle to remain as productive as they were in the office. Likewise, your communications may suffer in the absence of face-to-face interaction.
At Remote Work Made Simple, we’re dedicated to helping your remote team increase productivity. We’re experts who can help you with your Microsoft 365 set up.
We’ll also help you keep your business data secure with trusted work-from-home solutions. More importantly, we can help you improve your bottom line.
Feel free to schedule a meeting with one of our remote work specialists today to learn more about our Microsoft consulting services.