Navigating the Challenges of Remote Work: Tips and Best Practices

Navigating the Challenges of Remote Work: Tips and Best Practices


As the pandemic drew to a close, employers began to consider re-calling employees back to the office. There was a reluctance among employees to embrace the initiative. While Amazon, Deloitte, and Google combined hybrid and remote working models; Facebook and Yahoo decided to abandon remote work completely.

The workplaces have undergone a dramatic transformation over the past two years. Workplace 2.0 continues to evolve and strives to optimize people-centric practices and related tool adoptions. The Great Reshuffle (TGR) requires businesses to rearrange processes and methodologies.

Companies are facing a number of new challenges as they rethink their people management in light of this major shift. However, now is also the best time to take action against these challenges.

This blog will discuss these challenges in detail, as well as how to manage remote teams.

Set Clear Expectation

As part of the remote work environment, it is important to establish clear expectations in regard to communication, working hours, and deliverables. Keep these expectations clear and consistent to avoid misunderstandings. It is important to establish expectations early in the process in order to help employees maintain focus and productivity as well as to prevent future problems. In a remote work environment, it can be difficult to maintain employee engagement. Motivation, Engagement and Satisfaction can be improved by using virtual team-building strategies, communication, and rewards. 

Read more:- The Top HR Trends to Watch in 2023

Tools & Technology for Collaborating Smoothly

Remote employees need the right tools and technology to perform their jobs effectively. The use of video conferencing software, content management systems (CMS), project management tools, live chat tools, department-specific tools and cloud storage solutions plays a vital role in keeping employees connected and engaged. It allows easy collaboration and centralized storage of digital content for faster and more efficient delivery of work. Here are a few freeware, open-source tools and software you can use to increase productivity. 

Task Management Tools
  • Google Sheets, docs, slides, drive
  • Flowdock
  • Trello
  • Bitrix-24
Team Up - Chat Applications
  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Chat (hangout)
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
Collaboration Tools - Work Together
  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides etc
  • ASANA
  • Dapulse
  • Web Flow
  • Sketch
Free Tools For Images
  • Freepik
  • Canva
  • Undraw
  • Unsplash
  • Stockvault

Defining Boundaries

In the case of remote work, the distinction between work and personal life often blurs. Employees lose a sense of the beginning and end of the working day, according to research. There is a tendency for them to work fewer hours or longer hours. As a result of this, there is a blurring between notions of personal and work time.

Define boundaries so that employees are able to differentiate when they are available and when they are not available to work. It is necessary to maintain a healthy work-life balance in order to prevent burnout.

Tracking Tasks

To ensure that all team members are working on the critical tasks and that no one is left behind, it is vital that work progress be tracked throughout an organization. Tracking also facilitates the identification of areas for improvement. Employing practical tools and techniques to track work can enhance employee productivity. Since managers have a lesser degree of control over their environment, tracking remote work remains challenging. It is difficult to keep the staff motivated and focussed. Above all high trust and accountability will be required to keep the team up and running.

In order to obtain all-around feedback from employees, timesheets, check-in meetings, and one-on-one meetings are some of the tools available.

Handling Language & Cultural Differences

Managing a team remotely would also mean that people from across the globe are collaborating on the work. Communication can be challenging as the territories, cultures and protocol change.

As a means of accommodating these cultural differences, create an environment that is comfortable for all participants. Make sure that members' working hours are monitored to avoid potential conflicts caused by differences in time zones. Provide training on how to handle diversity, common issues, misunderstandings, and disagreements.

Also Read: 7 Ways to Streamline Your Hiring Process

Burnout From Digital Devices

It is possible that constant communication does not translate into employee satisfaction. There can be no denying the fact that digital burnout exists. The organization must ensure that employees are empowered with technological tools that do not impede their freedom or invade their privacy. Live feeds and virtual micromanaging should also give freedom in the digital workplace. Ideally, they should have the option of opting out of noncritical meetings or choosing to have their cameras on or off at all times.

Isolation

Working in an office definitely creates opportunities to socialize with one another. They share impromptu moments of interaction, lunch breaks and even after-work drinks. As a remote worker, it is easy to become accustomed to working from home, which leads to feelings of isolation. This is called “cabin fever” and may lead to losing focus and productivity. This is why Hybrid work models are designed to encourage employees to attend office hours twice or thrice a week.

In addition to taking social breaks, employees should also make an effort to meet with office colleagues for coffee or lunch on a regular basis.

Inaction & Procrastination

It is true that remote workers are generally more productive than their on-site counterparts, however, not everyone is self-disciplined in this regard.

You can use techniques such as the Pomodoro technique to avoid procrastination and increase productivity. Using the Pomodoro technique, you devote twenty-five minutes uninterrupted to a task before taking a short break. Upon completion of the work, you can take a thirty-minute break.  

It is also important for managers to set clear and defined milestones, and time expectations, set up meetings, be personally involved, offer constructive criticism, and reward their employees. to understand this better we need to understand what is procrastination?

Takeaways- Leadership Tips to Manage Remote Teams Effectively

Working from home is also a shift of role identity where employees need to learn skills and knowledge associated with a new form of working. Consequently, managers should follow these best practices to manage remote teams:

  1. Treat the entire process as if it were a new assignment.
  2. Develop responsibilities to ensure that you are able to apply the company's rules consistently and fairly.
  3. Consider conducting regular video calls with co-workers, as seeing each other builds camaraderie.
  4. Create structures for meetings and predictability of work.
  5. Communication strategies will ensure everyone is clear about how communications will be handled within the remote team.
  6. Rely on Right Remote Work Tools
  7. When dealing with procrastinating employees, you must adopt the right mindset and approach.
  8. Be clear and firm with your employees, become more involved in their work, and assist them where needed.
  9. However, do not forget to maintain a positive and approachable attitude, as that, along with all the other factors listed above, contributes to employee retention.

Also Read: Career Guide for Fintech: Trend, Education, Roles & Salaries


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