The complete world went berserk with the news of Elon Musk calling back employees back to office at Tesla. And why won’t they? A recent study by the Future Forum of Remote and Hybrid Workplace Debate found that only one-third (30%) of employees are working from the office everyday as of January 2022. And people working in a hybrid workplace has increased from 46% in 2021 to 58% in 2022. It is essential to understand how to overcome Remote Work Challenges.
Undoubtedly, remote work has many positives that lures employees to ask for it. A study on remote working benefits says employees working remotely are more productive, enjoy a positive work-life balance, and are healthier than those commuting to work daily. Remote workers, according to the study, take fewer sick leaves, don’t switch companies easily, and stay motivated always.
Challenges of remote working are faced by both employees and employers. We have divulged into a deeper discussion bringing light to the challenges faced by both parties.
Remote work challenges for Companies
Remote working has turned into a revolution and is here to stay as a future trend of work, especially in the IT industry. Hence, efficient management of remote work challenges has become inevitable. Here, in this blog, let us check out some challenges of working from home that businesses face and how to overcome them.
Remote Hiring Challenges
First thing first, to manage a remote team you first need to hire them. So let us start with the challenges that businesses face while looking to hire dedicated developers remotely. Finding the right resource for the job is one of the greatest challenges in remote working. Finding the perfect talent in the open marketplace with a wider talent pool distributed worldwide is indeed a challenge.
You may try searching for remote workers from freelancing websites or directly post your query on Google. When you announce the hiring news, you may come across hundreds of profiles and companies online. Selecting the right candidate depends on your hiring skills and the parameters you set for employees.
You may hire developers from an open marketplace like:
- GitHub, etc., or connect to offshore software development companies that make their talented professionals available for hire.
We, at eSparkBiz, hire experts after carefully checking the profiles, rigorous interviews, and skill tests. Each developer we have is highly experienced in working with various projects with clients located worldwide. You can count on us when looking to hire software developers remotely.
Virtual Onboarding Challenges
Whether you have hired full-time remote employees or freelancers and offshore technicians, you need to organize an onboarding session. This makes new joiners comfortable with the team. This, when conducted virtually, is one of the biggest remote work challenges a company faces.
A successful onboarding meeting lets your new joiners know about your mission and vision. This lets them understand the broad objectives and goals they will be working for and what are expected from them. On the other hand, a poor onboarding meeting makes your new employees feel left out and isolated. And in the long run, they may make their plans to shift.
As soon as you hire a new employee, arrange an onboarding session and let your internal team meet the new employee or even freelancers who would be working in tandem with them. Let your new employees know their roles and what is expected from them. In the onboarding session, apprise your new employees with your company culture.Effectively doing this can tackle the challenges of working remotely.
Cultural and Location Differences
The next employee you hire in this hyper-connected and digital world is most likely from a different country. They may have different time zones and different cultures. Time zone differences can put your team out of sync.
For instance, when one of your remote workers would be busy typing codes, another would be snoozing off. This is another challenges of remote working that companies face when they have a diverse workforce spread across the globe.
Add to this the rich mix of culture and languages your team may have. Varying level of English proficiency stands as one of the remote working challenges businesses face. You will also have to take care of the religious alignments of your workers so as to provide necessary leaves during the local festivals. These differences sometimes make collaboration difficult among teams.
Infringing on the freedom of remote workers to work at their comfortable time is indeed not the solution of the problem we discussed above. To overcome the challenges of time zone differences, you need to have the information on which team member is available and when. Have an integrated calendar in your employee portal. You can schedule meetings a week before so that everyone in the team has the information of the meeting.
For overcoming cultural and language barriers, communication is the only solution. Primarily, it is the job of the hiring manager to assess whether the person you are hiring has at least basic communicative skills of English or not. For non-native speakers of English, send out notices and information via email. This will help them read it at their own pace and understand it accordingly. This is one way of overcoming challenges of working remotely.
When you hire remote developers from eSparkBiz, rest assured that the developers here have a good level of English knowledge.We keep orienting our developers with different cultures to break cultural barriers. Our developers are available to work according to your time zone, irrespective of your location.
Fair, open, and transparent communication is a big challenge not only in remote work setups but even in office workplaces. Open and fair communication is the key to success. For any project to seamlessly collaborate between employees and employers, the team needs to have open and transparent communication.
The State of Remote Work Survey 2020 reveals that 20% of remote employees struggle with communication and collaboration while working remotely. It is indeed a challenge for team members who are working on the same project together. For instance, a designer working on a particular software can easily collaborate and communicate in an office setup, which otherwise becomes a strenuous task in remote settings.
Also, as an employer or business owner, you would always want to stay in the loop with the project advancements and the freelance team members. Open and transparent communication lets you keep in touch with them and even the freelancer members are open to any discussion without any hesitation. However, in some remote setups, businesses find it among other challenges managing remote teams.
We, as an offshore software solutions provider, prefer using communication channels like Instant messaging chat apps, and software like Skype, Slack, that lets teams working together openly communicate and exchange updates on a daily basis. When teams share their work updates on a regular basis, there remains almost no room for any confusion. The work runs smoothly.
Our developers available for hire are trained accordingly and have great communication skills. Whenever signing any project, we make sure to keep both the team informed about the project terms and conditions so that there is no confusion in the middle of the project. Also, our developers are always available for a meeting and will never turn down a request for video conferencing during any ongoing project.
Managing and Tracking Projects
If you have not hired previously any remote employees and are just starting out to experiment with this setup, managing and tracking projects effectively is going to be the biggest challenges of remote working for you. Your team is spread across multiple locations and multiple time zones and this makes managing the team and tracking the progress of any project very difficult.
Your team will take complete advantage of working from home and a flexible schedule. Neither can you ask them to be present whenever you want, hence the complete responsibility is on you to manage the team. You also have to take care of the deadline and push your team towards achieving the deadline. So, how will you manage it?
The first step towards overcoming the above remote work challenges of managing projects is to use effective project management tools like Jira, Asana, Tracker, etc. On these tools, you can track the progress of the project on which a remote team is working. You can sync with every employee working remotely and keep a track on their day-to-day progress.
Another solution that eSparkBiz recommends is hiring the Staff Augmentation Model. Doesn’t matter whether you are a startup, a mobile app development company, an independent consultant, or a CEO/CTO looking to expand your remote team, you can avail this service from eSparkBiz that lets you track your employees as well as projects on a real time basis.
Having a remote team that is trackable and easily manageable lets you hit your deadlines on time and develop any product or software seamlessly.
Another set of challenges in remote working is fostering trust among employees and even building your trust with the employee. In a face-to-face set up, you meet with the person and get to see the employee personally in front of you. The sense of commitment and trust is visible, but in case you have hired remote workers, bringing the same sense of commitment and trust is a challenge.
Even if you have met during video conferencing and other meetings, chances are your other team members did not get enough opportunities to e-meet them. This, in turn, may have adverse effects on your ongoing projects and may also even dampen the quality of your work. No business owners would want that to happen. So, how to deal with it? Read below.
To foster a feeling of mutual trust with your employees, treat them like partners of your business and not just employees. Sharing the long term business objectives and vision of the firm will inculcate a feeling of responsibility and accountability in your employees. Once you successfully make them feel like a partner of your business, you can win their trust and also challenges of working remotely.
Try to establish two-way communication and make your terms regarding pay rate, work hours, and other terms and conditions clear. This helps employees develop trust in you and the result can be seen in the project progress. We, as an offshore software solutions provider, let our developers integrate with your time in no time.
Our developers are proficient enough to communicate regularly and with experience of working with clients all over the world, you don’t need to worry about developing trust and the same will be done from our side without requiring your efforts. Isn’t that amazing? Hire software developers from eSparkBiz and let your ideas turn into reality.
While being in the office, you are most likely to provide your employees with required hardware devices and software configurations. There is a dedicated IT team that looks after any hardware or software issues that employees face while working in the office. Also, there are required tools and other technical connections that help employees work smoothly.
The same is not the case when your team is working remotely or the team that you have hired on a freelance basis. This is another remote working problems that you may have to deal with.
Remote workers or freelancers usually need to use their own devices that may not be compatible enough for the required work. Incompatible devices and software may create inconsistencies, issues of lagging down, and sometimes even data leaks.
Treat your remote employees in the same way you treat your inhouse employees. Try to provide your full-time remote employees with the same hardware and software system as you would have done to your in-house employees. Provide laptops, laptop cases, configure all the needed software in the system with data security systems.
When you hire talents from eSparkBiz, you do not have to worry about the remote work challenges anymore as we have all our systems updated with latest versions and have all the required software. We provide the necessary hardware and software system to the developer you hire for any project with all the required things at no extra cost.
Having discussed the remote work challenges for companies and their probable solutions, let us now understand the challenges of working remotely by the employees.
Remote Work Challenges for Employees
Imbalance in work and life
One of the significant challenges the new protocol of work from home has brought in for the workers is the imbalance in work and life. Earlier, when people used to go to the office in person, there was a proper schedule like 9 to 5 or any other timeline.
They didn’t have to work outside the time frame, until and unless there was an emergency. In cases, like an important event was scheduled the next day concerning the project, workers needed to stay back for long hours.
However, the present scenario of working from home is just the opposite. People have to work beyond their regular schedule. They also have to make time for dealing with clients when there are differences in time zones, which is one of the biggest challenges of remote working.
This has disrupted the balance between personal and professional life, which many people cannot cope with easily.
Setting a proper work schedule is crucial for every employee working remotely. For example, log into your system right on time to use to do at the office, complete all the tasks within the time and log off as usual.
If there is any pending task, update your lead or the manager about doing it tomorrow and that you are done for the day. Do not receive any call outside office hours as that will take your mind again into that professional zone which won’t be good for your personal life.
Worsening of mental and physical health
No doubt working from home has created several distortions in employees’ mental and physical health across various industries. According to studies, people working from remote locations have complained about dealing with excessive stress, lack of focus and concentration, frustration, and several other mental ailments. This is another biggest challenge of working remotely.
Some people even have gone into chronic depression due to the increasing pressure of work and lack of socialization. Due to the worsening mental health, the impact can be easily seen in the physical health of individuals. Everything has changed from sleeping schedules to eating times. This is because offices allowed to work from home during the pandemic.
Although it is difficult to establish the proper balance between mental and physical health while working from home, taking small steps towards it might be helpful for several employees. For example, whenever you feel stressed or unable to concentrate on your work, take a break, listen to some podcast, cook something for yourself, or do any other activity apart from work.
This will help you release the stress and keep yourself physically active simultaneously. Since you will be working for 9 hours, take at least 10 minutes of break after every hour. It will keep your mind refreshed and get rid of the tiredness from your body and also overcome the challenges of remote working.
The galore of distraction
Working from home and not getting distracted is something like denying your favorite food. Whether you have to do the household chores or you have kids throwing tantrums for not paying attention to them, there are several ways in which your mind will get distracted from the work.
Once you get engaged in some other activity, your brain will forget everything happening with your office work. As a result, when you sit in front of the system again, you will find yourself at a loss. This is a big challenge of working remotely. You won’t be able to comprehend what was going on before you took the break to attend to any emergency.
The best resolution for this problem of remote working is to set up your workspace in a quiet and peaceful ambience, just like you had back in the office. During the time you will work, try not to let anyone inside. Because that can distract your mind and prevent you from completing the tasks within the day. It is more important when you have to attend a virtual meeting with your colleague or clients.
Little to almost no socialization
Another concern that has left remote working employees in a dilemma about the decision of working from home is the absence of little to almost no socialization. When you used to go to the office, you at least had the opportunity to talk with others in person.
Besides, while going to the cafeteria or outside the campus, you at least used to see many people’s faces, which was somehow a relief for your stressed mind.
While working from home, the only way of communication that you have with others is through a virtual platform. Yes, a challenge of remote working! In office meetings, there is no way you can communicate anything other than work. The lack of socialization has lots of impact on mental health, social skills, and also work life.
You should go for video calls with your close colleagues and within your friend circle. As you have weekends and holidays, meet with your friends, go for lunch, shop as much as you desire, and be outside your house. Interacting with others on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram will also help you keep your social life active and reduce stress significantly.
Last but not least, you may have to deal with several technical issues. For example, when your system suddenly stops working, you have to raise a ticket with the IT team and wait for the resolution or the call from their experts.
Similarly, people are facing another remote work challenge. Network issues and the inability to complete their work on time due to a lack of connectivity. This is causing the work to pile up for the next days, thereby introducing an imbalance in work life.
Dealing with technical issues is not in your hand, especially the ones concerning your systems. Therefore, find some alternative like working from your laptop or computer through a VPN network.
You can follow up with your company’s technical expertise to get the earliest resolution. As for network issues, use strong Wi-Fi instead of mobile hotspot because the cellular network often suffers from disturbances.
This comprehensive list of remote work challenges is enough to give you knowledge and make you aware of them before you plan and start hiring remote workers. The best thing, we have also mentioned the tips and solutions to handle the challenges of working remotely.
Most of the challenges of remote working have their solutions with eSparkBiz technologies. Hence, if you are planning to hire dedicated developers from India for your software/app/website development project, do hire from us.