Working from home sounds easy, but ask those who have been into this situation from almost a year. Since the coronavirus outbreak, businesses worldwide had to go through various amendments to make sure the economic wheel never stops spinning. And while sitting idle has never been an option, most prominent and small organizations had to shift their working standards from the traditional office timing to working remotely. While this appears to be manageable from the outside, people involved in such activities have to face various challenges.
What is Remote Work?
Remote work is a style of doing all your professional tasks outside the official environment. You don’t have to adapt the daily routine like you mostly do when coming to your workplace. For example, waking up at 6 am, freshening up yourself, getting ready, finding a commute to reach your office, and sit on your desk to work for 9 to 5.
Instead, all the communication, project completion, meetings, and target achievement can be done from your home, a coffee shop, or any other place. Thanks to technology for making everything smooth. Nevertheless, many professionals still find remote work as one of their greatest nightmares.
Common Challenges during Remote Work and Solutions to Suppress Difficulties
An article published on Forbes states that more than 49% of people worldwide have to struggle with depression, frustration, and other mental health crises in this remote year. It is because remote working has disturbed their work-life balance, and they couldn’t enjoy living to their fullest.
So, let’s unearth the most common hurdles and solutions to overcome them when working from anywhere, except for your office premises.
The basic problem faced by the majority of remote employees is overworking. People are found to be with a full plate every day, which makes them unwell. They cannot give time to their family, friends, and loved ones, which drains their positive energy. It is also observed that the work is never finished, and there is always something left unsolved, which needs attention.
You need a break, indeed! But for that, you have to make sure whatever the time you are giving to your company is never wasted. The best way to do so is by having your work priorities set on a digital calendar, so you may know what things should be done first to avoid working extra hours. For instance, if there are five tasks to be done on Monday, divide all of them within your working hours.
Likewise, you need to set up reminders to take short breaks while you’re working. But that doesn’t mean you should turn on the TV to see the news. These breaks should be smaller to relax your mind and gain back the lost strength.
Also, try your best to tell your team when you’re about to shut down your laptop or PC. Don’t just stick on your computer to say goodbye, or else, you will be losing another hour.
Maintain a physical boundary between you and your workstation to get the feeling of ‘opening’ and ‘closing’ your business hours. If the system is in the bedroom, chances are you might turn it on after a few hours to see any updates. And last but not least, turn off your notifications once you’re done for the day.
Distractions are everywhere, especially when you’re remote working. Even the slightest spot on your wall, which has been there for years, might fascinate you, and you begin to offer your analysis on that. And if you’re a family person with kids, possibilities are that you would be taking care of them along the work.
Also, the social media accounts which keep on popping notifications, the noise you get from the TV, the pets you have at home, and many more things, are the core reasons why working from a remote place has become extremely uneasy.
There’s no perfect formula to avoid all kinds of interruptions when you’re gathered by family, pets, neighbors, and social media platforms. But you can let other people know that you’re busy, right? For that, you can put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the doorknob, and tell people to call you only if there’s an emergency.
Likewise, don’t answer unnecessary phone calls when working, sign out from all your social accounts, or turn off the notifications because they won’t let you do your work with a 100% focus.
Another major challenge with remote working is the feeling of being isolated. Many remote workers miss the atmosphere of working with colleagues and interacting with them, as it boosts their working capacity, and they feel good about themselves. Isolation is also one of the significant root causes of why people begin to lose their creative side.
If you’re feeling trapped inside a box, get yourself out for a few minutes after completing a single project. You can stand in your balcony, talk to your neighbor, play with your kids, or have a cup coffee with your spouse during this social break.
Don’t forget that this kind of break is short and should last for 5 to 10-minutes. And once you have attained all your daily goals, feel free to enjoy life with the people you love. Call them, and talk to them about your day, so that your mind doesn’t feel caged.
4. Time Management
Due to the overworking spirit, there’s no way you could manage your time. Many remote workers are seen working late at night, even when they had an entire day to do the job. Why? It is because they feel too lazy or just way too foiled to complete the tasks. And, as a result, people have to stay up to avoid workload from the next day. And when the next day comes, the cycle is repeated, and eventually, the load becomes heavier.
If you have the habit of delaying things because you think you have plenty of time, then it’s in your best interest to change it as soon as possible.
Start your day by setting your goals but make sure they are realistic and achievable. Otherwise, you will lose motivation. And just like how you have been told to divide your tasks daily, set an accurate timing for a short break after completing each one of them.
Remove all non-essential activities from your ‘to-do’ list, or you will end up achieving nothing. And finally, after getting all things done, plan for the next day, as that will save your time and straighten your priorities.
If there’s a scary goal in your list but its not urgent, complete the ones first that are easier to have complete attention on the difficult job. A failure to do so might keep you stuck on a single target, and you won’t be able to complete the remaining goals either.
5. Lack of Self-Motivation
Having motivation all day is another challenge reported by most remote workers. It happens because they feel unsupervised and unable to hit their targets. And when the goals are not obtained, workers begin to self-doubt their competencies. In such cases, it gets quite tricky to stay charming and self-motivated.
If you’re working as a team, you should discuss this matter with your superiors, and ask them to have a motivational session at least twice a month, using online communication platforms. Nevertheless, if you’re a lone ranger, then self-motivate yourself by completing the daily tasks. That will enhance your confidence, and you’ll feel happy.
Also, try to contribute to healthy activities, like working out for 30 minutes, to help you chill and relax while conquering some crucial projects. Give yourself a treat at the end of the day and start planning for the next day before signing out from the system.
6. Unreliable Technology
Remote worker’s biggest fear is the dubious technology. Despite being out of the internet connection can waste your entire day, depending on invulnerable connections is also unsafe. Since businesses are focusing on remote working to ensure social distancing to avoid COVID-19 spread, the internet plays an essential role in connecting the entire staff. However, such connections are not secure, which allow hackers to intrude and steal all the important information.
For example, in October 2020, Sopra Steria, an IT company based in France, witnessed a ransomware attack due to lack of security management. That’s why it has now become indispensable to secure your business with high-grade VPN and firewall solutions.
To ease this process, Netgate offers a leading open-source security and networking services to help you protect your business empire.
Recently, Netgate has added another hardware to its product line, and it’s called the ‘SG-2100’. It offers rigid routing and firewall to secure your internet and two-way communication. More to this, the VPN service is outstanding and help safeguard network for home users, small businesses, and remote workers.
So, if you haven’t protected your business already, then it is the right time to get Netgate pfSense from Net Onboard, one of the most trusted sources available in the market.
7. Unstable Communication
The cherry on the top, communication has been a real problem when remote working, especially in collaboration. It gets pretty hard to stay on the same page due to time difference and availability.
Emails and phone calls don’t work in such conditions because not everyone can entertain queries simultaneously. Thus, making work feel like a huge burden on your shoulders.
Many online programs allow you to set a meeting by marking the days and availability on the calendar. Similarly, Zoom and Skype applications have been offering fantastic ways to communicate through voice and video call.
8. Difficulty in Monitoring and Team Management
The real pain in the neck begins when monitoring and managing your employees while they are working remotely. Also, remote workers get clueless and feel negative when there are no proper guidelines from the superiors.
Helping each employee through personal attention is time-consuming, but this lack of supervision and management is why many firms have faced downfall and severe loss during the pandemic, as they couldn’t manage their human resource.
Remote work can be fun and may look traditional if you have the right tools. For example, Microsoft 365 is serving numerous businesses and helping them grow even when times seem distressing.
With Microsoft 365, remote working looks like an every day thing. Wondering why? It is because:
- You can customize your personal workspace by blurring the background to increase concentration
- Communication is easy and fast, as you can schedule video and voice conferences with your team from your browser (No need to install external applications like Zoom or Slack)
- You can set breaks to make sure you’re not frustrated and enjoy working
- You can store your files on OneDrive and get them back within a few clicks
- Brainstorming and virtual gatherings are possible
- You can participate or create fun activities to assure remote working isn’t depressing anymore
So, when you have Microsoft 365, you don’t only enjoy PowerPoint, Excel, or Word, but you also get access to many other applications, including:
- Microsoft Power Automate
- Microsoft Power Apps
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft OneNote
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft SharePoint
Remote working is tough when distractions surround you. Plus, the feeling of being on your own takes away all the positive energy from remote employees. Despite many other obstacles that come in the way, you can always find solutions to tackle the problems.
Among distinct issues, it is also observed that businesses are at risk of a security breach, and they’re also incapable of guiding their remote teams. However, programs like Netgate and Microsoft 365 have been offering remarkable services to several companies around the globe. They allow users and organizations to work with full protection and stay managed, so they never miss any opportunity.
So, if you want to make remote work effective and profitable, Net Onboard is here to help you find the best remedies when it’s about cloud solutions.