Categories: Management

Top 6 Challenges of a Remote Work And How To Overcome Them

Remote’s work popularity has increased over the last couple years. Many people, especially youth, decided to work remotely. Such work has many benefits. However, it also involves many challenges. Today, we present top 6 of them, which are mainly difficult to meet, and simple ways to overcome them.

Remote Work As a Challenge

Remote work may be demanding and difficult notably in the beginnings. Of course, the advantages and comfort that comes with working from any place are immense. Yet the obstacles which remote workers have to face may cause a lot of problems and lead to the lack of work-life balance. Especially that with the digitization in business and technological progress, the number of people working remotely will increase. In the report by Intuit, it is stated that:

  • contingent workers will constitute over 40% of the workforce by 2020,
  • “traditional full-time, full-benefit jobs will be harder to find,”
  • “small business will develop their own collaborative networks of contingent workers, and […] self-employment, personal and micro-business numbers will increase.”

The future of remote work is bright. Thus, even before you decide to become a remote worker, either a freelancer or a self-employed person, it is good to take a look at the main challenges you may have to face. And if you already work in this way, make you sure you don’t make the basic mistakes.

Challenges of a Remote Work And How to Overcome Them

Of course, there are many challenges of a remote work but not all of them are that difficult. Check our list to find out if you’re working in the right way!

#1 Poor Time Management

It seems that working remotely is not problematic when it comes to time management. All that time most people spend at commuting, being stuck in a traffic jam to and from work is precious. And when working from home, we save a lot of it. And sometimes that one or two hours can be crucial to delivering a project. So, you may think: “I don’t need to pay attention to time because I work from home. I have a lot of time to do all my things.” Yet this tends to be a huge problem.

When you work from home, you have to take into account all your other duties you may need to perform, such as cleaning, making dinner, or even organizing your workspace. Here are ways in which you may improve your time management:

  • use time tracking software such as TimeCamp;
  • create to-do lists;
  • use time mapping technique;
  • consider finding a workspace for remote workers, or even working in the coffee shop to organize your work better.

#2 Technology Issues

Lots of remote workers love technology and make use of it. Moreover, if you want to work remotely, you have to embrace technology. And this applies not only to the equipment, for example, laptop, tablet, or a smartphone, but to different types of tools available for these devices – apps, software, etc.

But it’s easy to get lost in the technological jungle. It’s important to choose wisely and make use only of such tools which you will need in your work.

TimeCamp’s tip: before you start using any tool, app, or software, conduct an in-depth research whether you will actually need it. Very often employees buy equipment or tools which is not obligatory in their work. It only takes a lot of attention but not necessarily makes work productive and brings closer to optimizing it.

#3 Team Communication

One of the most significant challenges in a remote work is communication, either with a boss, manager, or other team members. It is particularly challenging because when working from home (or any other place than the company’s office), you do not have the chance to talk to people during a coffee break or when you need to discuss a task or project. Instead, you sit home alone doing your job.

Here are ways for effective communication:

  • use special tools for communication, e.g., Skype, Slack, GoToMeeting;
  • if you’re managing a team, set a date for weekly summary during which you will talk with your team about tasks’ progress, future goals and plans, and any other issues related to work;
  • also, make use of tools for remote teams, such as RemoteCamp, which helps to monitor team’s work and progress
  • don’t be afraid to talk about your problems, ask questions, talk about your expectations – this will help you stay sharp at anything you do

#4 Working Too Much

Even though working remotely means being flexible and working in different hours, at different days, some people tend to spend much more time on work during the day than is needed. Sleep deprivation, the feeling of exhaustion, lack of personal time are just a few of the most common negative effects.

Work overload doesn’t allow to focus on the most important aspects of work and leads to a significant decrease in productivity. In order to prevent it, you can apply the following methods:

  • here, time tracking can also be helpful. With the use of proper software, you can determine how many hours you spend on work and limit the time to most effective 8 hours during a day.
  • prioritize your tasks;
  • organize your day, don’t allow yourself to sit in front of the computer all day. Take breaks and set the alarm clock for when it’s time to finish your work.

#5 Distractions

Source: http://quickmeme.com

Distractions are the nightmare of every remote worker. One of the most common distractions is procrastination. But not only. When working from home, you can often find yourself in situations which you not necessarily have to do right now. Cleaning up your apartment, washing dishes, watching your favorite tv series. Because your work is flexible, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

But distractions also come from outside. We all know this famous video of a journalist who is interrupted by his children while being on the air.

That’s why it’s crucial to create your own space in which you can work peacefully, away from distractions of any type. Remember that such a place, either a room or an office, should be equipped only with the tools necessary for your work!

Apply these tips to overcome distractions:

  • turn off your mobile phone for the time of work;
  • don’t engage in social media activity;
  • set blocks of time for every task.

#6 Bad Health Habits

When you work from home, you spend most of the time sitting in front of your computer. And it’s not always good. In a long-term perspective, your health may suffer to a big extent. If you don’t move, you put on weight, your muscles and bones become weak, and your immune system is not that effective in facing off any types of diseases. Plus, sometimes bad sleeping habits are also an issue. Gathering all together, when your health deteriorates, so does your work efficiency.

In order to always stay fresh and healthy, keep a balanced diet, exercise, sleep at least 8 hours at night, and remember to take breaks during your work.

To Sum Up

These are just a few of the challenges of working remotely. However, if you don’t pay attention to them, your work may not result in success. Are there any other challenges you face as a remote worker? Or maybe you have other ways of overcoming them? Make sure to let us know in comments!

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Kate Kurzawska

Kate is a freelance translator, copywriter, and a content writer specializing in time tracking software, time management, and productivity tools. When not researching new software, she's reading books, or spending time outdoors.

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