Remote work challenges and how to overcome them
When you move employees to work remotely, you seem to understand all the problems of remote work that can arise and that everyone writes about: procrastination, absent-mindedness, difficulties in communication and prioritization, etc.
Everyone has their own vision of the organization of work and virtual team building. When the company is small, the manager can talk to each individually, agree on an effective action plan, and encourage. But if the company employs 50, 100, 150 or more people, in the end it is more difficult to do this. Let's talk about the main challenges of working in teams that remote workers can face and how to overcome them.
What does remote teamwork mean in modern business?
Remote work has become a new normal for us. Almost every company now offers its employees a flexible, completely remote format of work with virtual meetings or delegates part of the functions to outsourced specialists. This format has its undeniable advantages: you can invite talented specialists wherever they are and provide comfortable conditions for quarantined employees. However, you also need to think about the challenges of remote work and remote teamwork that may arise.
What are the features of a remote team?
The remote office organization has already formed new business practices and, as a result, is still changing the overall management style. For example, iMind’s free virtual meeting and video conferences showed employees from different angles: some introduced colleagues to children, others to pets. HR professionals, heads of individual departments of the company and top management encourage such communication in order to continue to maintain team spirit and create a friendly atmosphere remotely.
The positive aspects of remote work should also include the systematic use of the daily task list. Many companies have introduced ego to help employees organize their workflow throughout the week. Appropriate programs and applications help a lot with this.
Employees themselves often note that when they work remotely, they manage to focus not only on the main, but also on secondary tasks. Now colleagues are less distracting than when they are all in the same office.
Some companies are using telecommuting to train employees to evaluate weekly tasks and realize how much they have contributed to the overall business.
Why can challenges appear in an online team?
There are many dangers and challenges associated with working remotely that are not present in the usual way of working, since there is no common workspace:
Remoteness from the team limits the ability to fully control the workflow, increases the likelihood of deadlines being missed, and makes it difficult to maintain corporate culture due to insufficient personal communication with employees.
It is essential for businesses to be able to adapt to the features of the virtual office in order to maintain a favorable working environment and high productivity.
Your team is tired: what does that mean?
There are quite a few symptoms, so they can be easily confused with ordinary fatigue. The WHO defines burnout as: “A syndrome caused by chronic stress at work that a person cannot cope with. It is characterized by feelings of low energy and exhaustion, psychological withdrawal from work, feelings of negativity towards work, and decreased professional effectiveness.”
How to overcome it:
- Chaotic - Simplify
In this state, one key task needs to be completed. Prioritize work, maintain discipline, and give employees feedback after each task. Do not get distracted by unnecessary things.
- Indifference - attention
If you notice that your team is procrastinating, remind yourself and your colleagues of your goal and its importance.
- Exhaustion - watch your rest
At this stage, it is important to watch for signs of physical and emotional exhaustion. Everyone needs to rest and recover from stress.
Why do virtual workers face cultural challenges?
Every corporation that loves and cares about its employees must have a strong corporate culture, which is a set of beliefs and values, as well as norms of behavior.
How to build a remote culture and connection?
It is important to make sure that employees feel useful, know the goal the company is trying to achieve, and are adequately compensated. One of the best collaboration tools that motivates people and allows them to work with great enthusiasm is a well-organized corporate culture.
What needs to be done to support distant cultures?
Meet in person sometimes. Of course, not every team member has this opportunity, especially at the beginning of a collaboration. However, online discussions cannot completely replace face-to-face communication. Co-working spaces are easy to get together as they provide high-speed internet access, a furnished workspace, and a friendly atmosphere to socialize.
Create group events that bring people together. One such example would be to decorate a Halloween pumpkin together. Or more challenging tasks like mastering a yoga pose or running three kilometers every day for a month. The requirement that participation be completely voluntary and free from coercion is an important inclusion. These tasks help the team reach a simple common goal and start discussions.
Harder to build responsibility
In the absence of control from the employer, a worker at home can find many activities other than work: doing homework, watching a series, or immersing himself in the virtual world of computer games.
You, as a manager, must keep the work under control and set precise deadlines for completion to avoid this.
Steps to take to encourage remote responsibility
Employees who work remotely can customize their workload however they see fit.
It is better to give them this freedom than to force them to obey a rigid work schedule. This is especially true for international teams with different time zones.
Focus on meeting deadlines and break the workload into smaller pieces until trust and trust is built within the team.
Today, many companies are trying to organize infrastructure in extreme conditions, when neither budget nor time was planned. However, there are companies that successfully cope with this task. Read our article, practice building a team and try to avoid mistakes.