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Hackernoon logo7 Challenges to a Remote Work Economy and How to Deal with Them by@Theoverjoyedone

7 Challenges to a Remote Work Economy and How to Deal with Them

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@TheoverjoyedoneAshish kumar

Ashish Kumar writes on money, small business marketing, and gaming on multiple blogs.

Remote work is not something new that has surfaced in recent times. But With the COVID-19 pandemic – It has become much more relevant and necessary to the global workforce eyeing for revival.

In the previous decade, remote work saw a whopping increase of 159% in the US, according to the flex jobs. And now, when the whole world is battling with the pandemic, there is a gradual shift to remote work economy. This sudden shift – not only ensures health safety but also enhances efficiency of the existing workforce.

There are numerous advantages when it comes to working remotely. According to the stats, working away from the workplace reduced the cost by 77%, boosted employee morale by 90%, reduced sick days by 50%, and elevated satisfaction level to 57%.

These stats are impressive from both the employee and the employer's point of view. The benefits by working from home are quite remarkable that assist in boosting productivity, lowering stress, and increasing satisfaction level. However, along with these great benefits, there lie several challenges that become an overarching barrier to the overall concept of remote working. Indeed, visualizing a remote economy without dealing with the existing downsides is entirely impossible.

What are those barriers? How do they affect the remote workers? And How to deal with those challenges effectively?

Let’s explore further in the post.

1. Adjusting to Virtual Communication

Communication is essential when it comes to remote working. Employers disperse the necessary information at the workplace that helps workers determine the scope of work and deadline within which they need to finish off a particular duty.

Unfortunately, virtual communication, which is an integral part of remote working, can be a hurdle between employees and employers if not implemented right. Adjusting to this virtual communication requires proper training and directions. It is also significant so that the employees don’t feel socially disconnected, isolated and uninformed.

2. Distractions and Interruptions

While working away from your workplace, distractions and interruptions are frequent. When you work at home, you are much more relaxed and a little focused on the task that needs to be completed.

And, even the smallest disturbance around you – takes away your whole concentration levels. The cause of the distraction can be anything. Your pet roaming around, the buzz among your family members or a visitor on the door seeking attention.

The best ways to deal with distractions are:

  • Pick up the right spot and time to accomplish your task. Night time is perfect to work if your employer offers you such flexibility. 
  • Choose a room or corner where you are much likely to focus on your work. Isolating yourself from others is the first step toward higher productivity.
  • Prioritize your tasks and take a resolution to complete them on time.
  • If you cannot find a peaceful environment, try earpieces to reduce unwanted sounds that are fundamentally distractive.
  • Keep unwanted communications at bay and build consistency.

3. Time Management

Time management is the key to achieve discipline and focus during the entire remote working journey. Time management
is already an essential component for freelancers working on the freelance
marketplace to ensure the highest work standards.

According to the Heck Oh Yeah blog, “there are more than 15 freelance platforms where you need to be right on the money when it comes to time management”. If you don’t manage time carefully, you’re surely risking your reputation among clients. Hence, time management is always critical to freelance success.

To the employee for whom remote working is something new, time management can be an arduous task. A miserable schedule can
result in unorganized tasks, missed deadlines, and poor quality of work.
However, there are ways you can always manage time effectively. Here are some
of them:

  • Use time management software such as Timecamp, Clockify, or Toggl.
  • Make a to-do list
  • Prioritize tasks based on the deadline.

4. Overworking

The biggest challenge for employers is getting the same level of efficiency from the workers. When the workers are not in sight, the risk is that they might slack off. However, the trend in remote work is just the opposite. Workers tend to overwork when both personal and professional life is mingled.

The prime reason for such overworking is that it is hard to switch off when the professional and personal life is considerably intermixed and conducted under one roof. This situation often results in indefinite work without taking breaks. And, this often leads to poor mental health and burnout. To avoid this situation, here is what you can do:

  • Set reminders on the calendar for the end of the workday. It is a great way to maintain work-life balance and allow your brain to recover from work-related stress. Afterwards, you can go shopping, follow your fitness regime and do all your favorite things that bring back your energy levels to normal.
  • Set-up reminder for breaks.
  • Taking breaks is as vital as completing essential tasks. A to-do list can help you manage interruptions and help you recondition your mind and body.
  • Create physical boundaries between the office and other home areas. If you have a dedicated space, it can work well or make a partition in your common room.

5. Social Isolation

Striking a balance between working and personal life is essential. Too much desolation can result in being cut-off by other people and isolate you from the outer world. Isolation does not only severely impact your overall brain health but also in tandem cause to lower your productivity levels. And, in times like COVID-19 social isolation is common. To avoid social isolation it, here is what to do.

  • Join a local or recreational
    community.
  • Be more social. Talk to your friends, family members, and anyone around.
  • Build social work-spaces where you can express yourself better and light-up your mind by starting great conversations.

6. Accessible Technology

Technology plays a significant role in working on a remote site. It can be internet coverage, video streaming tools, and your computer or communication software. It is always necessary to have technology beforehand to navigate and complete communication and project delivery effortlessly.

Perhaps, there are moments when you have to deal with power outages, computer technical issues, internet speed problems, and many. The best way to overcome them is always to have a backup plan ready. And that is not only one plan. You got to have a plan A and plan B. Therefore, and you can instantly switch-off between plans in case of contingency.

7. Time Zone Differences

Sometime teeming up is crucial to complete a project. While working remotely, collaboration can be a problem. If your team member is in a different time zone, it can get even more complicated. Different time zones can result in unnecessary waiting times when you have to simply rely on your team member’s answers to a critical question or project supervision on an immediate basis. And, it certainly can feel you out of touch.

To solve this problem, you can recommend your team to work on an overlap period. A fixed overlap period can allow you and your team members to exchange work-related information and project communication. And, this will undoubtedly result in timely project completion and fewer delays.

The Ball is Rolling

Undoubtedly, the future of jobs is remote working. While the remote working which is the new normal for the global workforce, it is pretty much accidental. Adjusting and adapting to this normal would take rewarding adjustments in mindset and environment. Remember, when you adjust to these challenges, you enjoy greater flexibility, productivity, and opportunities for a better work-life.

It’s Time for you to transform the Remote Job Arena

What is the biggest challenge for you when it comes to remote working? And how did you overcome them.

Any tips you would like to share? Drop them in the comments below, I would love to hear them up.

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