This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Seerat Kaur.
The concept of remote work is not just a trend – it’s foreseen as the future of work. Nearly all traditional corporate employees are enjoying the flexible work culture, and why wouldn’t they when they’re suave and tech-savvy enough to adapt to working from home!
Well, the remote work concept is not so new. Many studies have been conducted in recent years that indicate a multitude of perks of working remotely.
While working remotely might sound very light and easy to do, it’s not a piece of cake to implement working in this culture. It has its own set of challenges that every remote worker faces when they kick off their career as a remote worker at least once.
And these challenges are used by some organizations as an excuse not to execute their operations remotely, despite being solvable. I’m sure you’ll be happy with the decision of choosing your career as a remote worker when you overcome these set of challenges.
Here are six common remote work challenges as well as practical solutions for each one:
1. Challenge: Isolation. Solution: Coworking.
Working remotely means you’re working from your personal space, which could be your home, coworking cafe, coworking space, or anywhere. It surely sounds amazing, but let me tell you that it often leads to isolation and lacks human interaction.
There are chances that you might develop cabin fever even when you’re connected with non-spotty internet and communication tools like Slack and Skype.
Therefore, just like a balanced diet, it’s essential to have a balanced daily routine that varies depending on your personality. If you’re an extrovert, then you may want to socialize with more people or choose to go to community meetups and build connections there.
If you’re an introvert, you may like to join some retreats that are set up by organizations so you can explore their remote culture. It would be fun, I’m sure. If you’re working remotely and you’re not enjoying it, then you’re probably doing it wrong.
2. Challenge: Reduced Productivity Due to Procrastination. Solution: Use these Tools to Manage Tasks.
According to many studies, it is believed that remote workers are more productive and happier than those who work in the 9-to-5 traditional corporate grind. But sometimes there is a possibility that you don’t reach that level of productivity, and those moments can make you feel frustrated.
During those moments, you need to try new methods of managing your tasks and preventing procrastination in your work. To keep track of your tasks, there are plenty of tools that you can choose from. Some of those are Hubstaff, Time Doctor, and Timely.
Since the number of remote workers today is skyrocketing, many new tools are being designed and developed for remote professionals.
3. Challenge: Poor Team Communication. Solution: Communicate via These Tools.
Here comes one of the most significant challenges of working remotely, and that is communication. Staying in the loop when you’re working remotely is essential and becomes a problem for many.
Since you work from your personal space, at some point in time you might miss the cubicle wall meetings and overhead discussions. You might wonder if your other coworkers are a part of the meetings with your managers, and this could make you feel disappointed and cook up a mess inside your head.
To make it easy for you, you can use various communication tools such as Slack, Skype, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, and much more. Apart from this, if you have a remote team to manage, you can use tools such as RemoteCamp to monitor the work and the progress of your team.
4. Challenge: Dealing with Distractions. Solution: Say Goodbye to Gadgets
Distractions are all around. So, if you’re working remotely from home then you’ll have to deal with other distractions, and it could be your child seeking to play with you or binge-watching Netflix while working.
Distractions are one of the biggest nightmares for every remote worker as it can lead to procrastination in your work. To get rid of such a situation, you can keep yourself away from the gadgets that you would use to watch Netflix or anything. Also, keep yourself away from hopping onto scrolling down your Instagram feed.
5. Challenge: Get Rid of the Temptation to Work. Solution: Shut Off Your Laptop
Is it causing you a problem that you don’t realize when your day starts and ends? When you have your work and personal life together under one roof, it can become quite a challenge to get rid of overworking.
There might be some moments when you overwork and don’t even realize it. Strange no? But why does such a scenario occur? Well, as we know that remote work has granted more efficiency to the remote workers, which has eventually boosted their productivity.
This increased productivity is one of the reasons you end up overworking. Also, we know that work is infinite; it can keep you drowning inside the workflow and make it a complicated situation for you.
To avoid overworking, you can set up different appointments on your calendar; this will keep you reminding that you’ve got a life outside of work and you’ve got other stuff to do.
These were some of the primary challenges that every remote worker faces at least once in their career. If you’re working remotely and you face any of these issues, then you must look for solutions right away. From challenges to solutions, you can get a complete guide for working remotely at Live Like Nomads.
About the Author
Seerat Kaur is an avid traveler, remote worker, writer, and the Founder of Live Like Nomads.
The ideology behind the inception of Live Like Nomads, ‘Travelling while Working Remotely,’ is driven by her personal stupendous experiences of travelling while working remotely.