In today’s digital world, more and more businesses are turning to remote work as a way to adapt to the changing economy. However, while there are many benefits of working remotely, there are also several potential challenges that companies need to be prepared for. These process challenges range from managing bandwidth usage on remote networks to ensuring collaboration and communication between employees who may be located in different time zones.
The goal here is not to downplay the many benefits of working 100% remotely. Instead, organizations must acknowledge these potential pitfalls and take steps to mitigate them. By proactively managing efficiency and productivity during this time of transition, businesses can fully reap the benefits of going remote without experiencing any significant setbacks along the way.
The first process challenge that businesses face during remote work is communication. This can be particularly tricky since employees may be located in different time zones or parts of the world. Businesses need to implement clear and effective communication protocols to overcome this hurdle. For example, headless eCommerce requires high coordination and communication between the front-end and back-end teams.
One way to do this is by establishing regular check-in times for all employees, regardless of location. It will ensure everyone is on the same page and that potential issues are addressed quickly. Additionally, businesses should encourage employees to use project management tools to communicate with one another, as these platforms make it easy for team members to collaborate no matter where they are.
Another critical remote work challenge for businesses during remote work is productivity. It can be a particular challenge for companies that are used to having all their employees in the same physical space. To help offset this, businesses should consider implementing some of the following strategies:
- Define clear roles and responsibilities for each employee, and make sure everyone is aware of them. It will help ensure that everyone knows what they need to do and who they need to contact if they have any questions or problems.
- Encourage employees to take regular breaks throughout the day, and set specific times for lunch and breaks. It will help ensure employees from working too long without a break and becoming overwhelmed.
- Ensure all necessary tools and resources are readily available to employees online and offline. It includes software subscriptions, login information, and contact details for key stakeholders.
- Create a task management system that works well for your team, and encourage employees to use it religiously. By tracking what each person is working on, you’ll assess better whether anyone is falling behind on their tasks.
Another important consideration for businesses during remote work is flexibility. This means being willing to adjust your processes and protocols as needed to accommodate the needs of your employees. For example, if you have employees who need to care for young children during the day, you may need to be flexible with their hours or allow them to work part-time.
Additionally, businesses should be willing to offer employees additional paid time off (PTO) if they need it. It can help relieve some of the employees’ stress during this uncertain time.
4. Social Isolation
Businesses need to be aware of remote employees’ potential for social isolation. It can happen when people feel like they’re not part of a team or community, leading to disengagement and depression.
To help prevent this, businesses should encourage employees to stay connected with one another outside of work. This can be done through social media groups, virtual happy hours, or even regular check-ins via text or chat.
Security is a remote work challenge businesses must be aware of during remote work. This is especially important for companies that handle sensitive data or information. To help mitigate any security risks, businesses should consider the following:
- Implement a secure VPN for all employees to use when working remotely. It will help protect company data and information from being accessed by unauthorized individuals.
- Require employees to use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on all company accounts. This will help prevent hackers from gaining access to company data.
- Encourage employees to only access company data and information on secure, password-protected devices. This will help reduce the risk of data being compromised if an employee’s device is lost or stolen.
6. Working Around Children
If you have employees who are working around children, you need to be aware of the potential challenges this can pose. First, work schedules and communication may be interrupted as children need attention. Additionally, there is the potential for sensitive company data to be accessed by children if they are using the same device as their parents.
To help mitigate these risks, businesses should consider the following:
- Encourage employees to create a dedicated workspace for themselves that is away from children. This will help minimize distractions and interruptions.
- Require employees to use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on all company accounts. This will help prevent children from accessing company data.
7. Hiring Remote Employees
When hiring remote employees, assessing a candidate’s qualifications and skills can be more challenging when you can’t meet them in person. However, there are a few things you can do to help make the process a little easier:
- Conduct initial interviews via video call. It will allow you to see how the candidate communicates and interacts with others.
- Ask for examples of past work. It will help you better understand the candidate’s skills and abilities.
- Check references. It is always a good idea when hiring anyone, but it’s imperative when you can’t meet the candidate in person.
When it comes to hiring remote employees, businesses should keep the following in mind:
- Be clear about the expectations and responsibilities of the role. It will help ensure that employees can meet the demands of the job.
- Ensure your remote hiring process is secure and compliant with all applicable laws. It will help protect your business from any legal liabilities.
- Automate the HR onboarding process to provide new employees with a unique experience and excellent first touch of your business
- Provide remote employees with the resources and support they need to be successful. It will help them adjust to working in a remote environment and be productive members of your team
8. Right Work Setup
Last but not least, businesses must ensure their employees have the proper work setup at home. It includes having a quiet and comfortable place to work, a reliable internet connection, and all the necessary tools and resources.
Additionally, businesses should provide employees with guidelines on how to set up their workstations ergonomically. By doing so, businesses can help prevent employees from experiencing pain or discomfort while working remotely.
9. Work/life Balance
Work/life balance is a topic that has been discussed for a while now. It includes the idea that people should have time outside of work to do things they enjoy. Work-life balance is a difficult thing to achieve, and it is hard for some people who work remotely to have a sense of time and set boundaries in order to avoid constantly working. Generally speaking, work/life balance is necessary for the employee’s health and well-being.
The first step in enhancing work-life balance is by setting boundaries between work and personal life. This can be done by setting up boundaries with your coworkers, boss, and customers. It is important to set boundaries so you can have time for yourself without being interrupted by work or other responsibilities. Setting up boundaries will also help you focus on your tasks at hand instead of getting distracted by other things going on in your life. Another way to enhance your work-life balance is by organizing your schedule effectively so you know what needs to be done before the business day starts and after it ends.
10. Right Technology
There are many smart moves you can make to help you reach success and stay ahead of the rest without compromising the quality of your operations. Using technology in the right way will save you time, stress, and resources. Streamlining processes with efficient tools and integrating systems will make all aspects of your business easier and more effective. The right tools and automation software can help you overcome remote work challenges so that you can focus on what matters most: your work.
Comidor is a flexible, comprehensive automation platform that enables teams to work efficiently regardless of where they are located. It allows remote workers to collaborate by sending internal messages, and files, participating in discussions, or commenting on business processes in real time while they work on different projects together.
If you implement these strategies, you’ll be on your way to successfully manage your business during remote work. Remember to be flexible, communicative, and organized, and you’ll be sure to set your team up for success.
Tim Davidson is just another Australian who likes geeky technical stuff like headless eCommerce, JAMstack websites, and Progressive Web Apps. He and his team at Clean Commit design and develop blazing-fast websites and web applications.