In today's corporate world, working from home has become very common, or you can say a new normal. Thanks to the recent epidemic, which displaced the whole idea of working together physically in a workplace, companies were not required and certainly not chosen to work outside of their office until recently. Due to this fact, some people were taken aback.
Because the reality is, it can be challenging to manage a remote staff, especially when you want to keep things working like they used to when in office and have your employees operate in such a way that they feel on the same team. This is not possible since the global crisis has now forever altered the way we have worked previously. So we see remote working as the new standard of working in the future.
In this article, we will discuss some challenges the workforce faces while remotely working. Furthermore, we will also share some tips on how to overcome them.
1. Getting along together is quite a challenge:
Working together in one place is a different charm. You walk into your office every day, interact with different people on a regular basis, get to know them, etc. However, while working remotely, it is quite a challenge since remote teams usually have people from around the globe living in various places and different time zones.
If nothing seems possible then at least schedule a meeting with all the staff members once a year so that you may meet folks in person. This might include an annual gathering or a group trip to any exotic place.
Even freelance contractors might organize an annual gathering, convention, or conference in order to meet up. The best and simplest way to arrange a meetup is to encourage remote employees to visit the office if they are visiting your city for whatever reason, even if they have their family along for the vacation. One day from their scheduled trip won't ruin their vacations.
Managing a remote workforce comes with a slew of difficulties. But fortunately, you can readily address it. For instance, you can conduct a meeting considering the Google Slides themes and implement team-building activities for your workers to perform to get along. Or you can look up online communication tools for better interaction and much more.
We see remote working as the future of many corporate companies. Therefore, we must prepare for it and adapt to execute better business operations.
2. Trouble in tracking work and productivity level:
Keeping track of how much work is being done by the teams which are working from home is very difficult. Many managers might not even know how and at what ratio their employees are working and accomplishing the company's goals because they don't get to keep track of their productivity since they are not present in person to keep an eye on. When working from home and not knowing their productivity, it's difficult to tell if someone is underutilized or not carrying their own load. This way, employees can manipulate easily, and that can affect your operational system badly.
In order to overcome this problem, the managers working remotely must ensure that they have set up systems for all staff to track their productivity. For instance, establishing KPIs according to how much activity is scheduled to be performed every day can help them in this matter. Activities like updating the company's blog section or if you have social media presence, then ensure that the scheduled posts are to be posted each hour, etc. KPI indicators track quite easily whether the given task is done or not. Whereas if you want to track the visits, you get on any of your web pages, then you must look up an automated solution, i.e., POWR. Doing so will get to know about the traffic, and through such insights, you can alter your web designs as per the requirement to effectively leverage the engagement.
However, ensure that the KPI indicators you are using to assess remote workers' performance must have the same standards that you are using to measure in-office staff members' productivity. Doing so will guarantee that you have clear expectations for all no discrimination despite how or where your team is working.
3. An employee feels disconnected:
Having a physical meeting, one on one, is said to leverage the employee's morale. However, working with remote workers might not be possible, and engaging with each member of your remote team may seem inconvenient. But doing so, employees might feel appreciated, and you would provide them an opportunity to put their thoughts out. Moreover, you also get a chance to interact with them and can give them instant feedback on their work performance.
Remember, if such meetings are not arranged on a regular basis, then your remote workers may feel disconnected from the firm and unsure of their position.
4. Difficulty in scheduling meetings:
Working with global teams means you get along with people worldwide with varied time zones. Unfortunately, due to these varied time zones, remote workers find difficulty in scheduling meetings, whether it's a video conference or if it's just a phone call. Independent contractors or freelancers exacerbate this with unpredictable work schedules.
Knowing where the participants reside and their regular schedules can help you find the right time that would work for everyone. You must be wondering how that is possible? Remember, nothing is impossible; you just need to think a little smarter.
Firstly, look at online tools since there are many tools available online that can assist you with scheduling, whether for the call, video conferencing, or scheduling meetings with a remote workforce. Moreover, there is a range of techniques to organize a meeting in a less stressful way, from a basic online poll that displays selected days and times that members can choose from to calendaring applications and a variety of other websites and free hosting applications that analyze participant availability.
5. Poor communication:
To make your remote working a success, you must have a good connection between yourself. It is vital to get everyone's feedback and to be aware of what everyone is working on and how they are getting it done. However, it is not always simple to nurture open communication at times, primarily when teams operate remotely. Email marketing is one way to interact but is typically perceived as a formal technique as it does not allow for rapid conversations.
To overcome poor communication, many remote teams rely on online communication applications to establish a specialized space to communicate with their team, Slack or Zoom effectively. Such applications allow you to communicate over several channels.
Prepare a Slide Model presentation, display it on screen, and add your teammates to the virtual meeting room. Once you have everyone on board, share your laptop's screen with them. Voila!!! You are all set to give them a presentation.
This way, remote workers would not feel separated from one another as since now remote working is becoming a thing because of the pandemic. And now we have a lot of new technologies to tackle such issues.
6. Trouble in establishing trust:
It is challenging for remote team members and managers to establish trust among themselves. For example, managers are concerned that employees are not completing tasks, while employees are concerned about being paid on time (in some cases).
Here, transparency can assist all parties in creating trust, especially while working remotely. Transparency in the following areas can help you create confidence among a remote team:
- Payment schedules
- Updates on the project's status
- Work hours
- Expectations for the project
It would be great if you were open and honest regarding the workload you anticipate your contractors to handle when it comes to expectations. Perhaps if that's not the case, several B2B marketing organizations warn freelancers that business will pick up significantly in the following months. Even though these remarks are quite intentional, many freelancers may believe they are being exploited. They might have bargained a lower fee to be upset when that does not pay off given the sheer volume.
7. Strong company culture is the way:
Developing a strong company culture entails employing the right people, developing healthy communication, and infusing the culture throughout the organization. But establishing a culture known for its energy requires more effort when with a remote team than developing one in an office.
Without any effort on the part of the manager or owner, a company's culture can be shaped. At the same time, it's the opposite in the case of remote teams. It will help if you come with proper planning in order to create a strong corporate culture with remote support that reflects your organization's values. It all starts at the top, with the owner's or manager's interactions with employees.
In case you want an open-communication culture, then your remote workers must be capable of speaking with everyone, even if it's your CEO, through a virtual policy. On the other hand, if you desire to have a fun company culture, you must schedule fun get-together parties, gift certificates, or arrange a virtual movie night.
We hope the above discussion might have added more knowledge to your think tank. We assure you that considering these suggestions will result in a better working experience with your remote teams.