Even as businesses progressed through the digital era, convention dictated that a company's strategic objectives were best met by gathering all employees at a specific location - an office, a factory - and using layers of supervisors and managers to ensure work was performed to the required standard. Working from home: Your common challenges and how to tackle them. With IT leaders concerned about the challenges of securing employee’s access to the corporate network, Krupa Srivatsan, Director, Cybersecurity Product Marketing at Infoblox, looks at some rising threats that could be encountered. While the country is still dealing with the reality of the pandemic, some employers have begun setting their return-to-work plans in motion. Staff expect their career development to be made a priority. Working from home is an ideal way to secure work-life balance and comes with a great many advantages. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is determining the suitability of the teleworkers you hire. Thirty-six percent of employers agree the shift to remote work is the biggest change imposed by COVID-19. Working independently with just a computer screen to keep you company is vastly different from the hustle and bustle of an office. Not every task can be effectively done remotely. Access to a larger pool of talent may also mean you have a greater chance of hiring the wrong people. The IWG 2019 Global Workspace Survey found that 3 out of 4 workers around the globe consider flexible working to be “the new normal.” This was before the coronavirus pandemic spurred even more organizations to implement remote work policies. Here are three of the most common challenges managers and companies face when managing remote teams and ways you can overcome those challenges. Communication . Willingness to work overtime: A study (via Science Daily) conducted by sociologists from the University of Iowa and University of Texas found that those who telework at least on a part-time basis work an average of three hours more per week. It's also important to ascertain whether the type of job you're offering is appropriate for a telework setup. Challenge #1: You Have Trouble Managing Your Time Human Connection. For the most part, employers appear to be embracing the transition to remote work. “Our area does not have the necessary level of high speed broadband internet. Lay out all of the conditions of employment clearly and get a definite answer about whether or not the job candidate is willing to comply with them. If you don't consider these factors, your business could end up with higher employee turnover, which leads to more costs for training new employees. Although it provides flexibility, work from home can bring with it a lot of distractions — the hustle and bustle of a household, a television playing in the background or kids sneaking around. Handling 8 Common Challenges of Working Remotely as an Employee. Measuring remote employees’ productivity is near the top of the list for most small business owners. The Challenges of Working Remotely For Employers. In the past, remote work has been largely reserved for customer service representatives but that’s changed now with remote work being a reality for many different industries across the board. Even just having a few square feet in the corner that I don’t use for anything else helps a ton with being able to switch ‘work brain’ on and off.” Efficient communication has been a challenge for workplaces even before the outbreak of the virus. When you hire remote employees, you can eliminate the need to add more computers to the office, reduce electricity consumption for air-conditioning and other energy needs and eliminate the need for more workspace. But just as customers and staff are raising the bar, employers are having to confront the long-term challenges of managing a remote workforce. Worry that your remote employees aren’t doing the work assigned, establish clear metrics of how they will be evaluated. We provide services to those businesses who want to expand worldwide. The IWG 2019 Global Workspace Survey found that 3 out of 4 workers around the globe consider flexible working to be “the new normal.” This was before the coronavirus pandemic spurred even more organizations to implement remote work policies. Better wellness and work-life balance: Working from home could make for healthier employees as they may be exposed to fewer seasonal illnesses, such as cold and flu. Associate editor, Here, I present the advantages of telecommuting while discussing the potential issues that can derail these advantages. The shift to remote work has been a major transition for employers during the coronavirus crisis, and the challenge of supporting their workforce through it has posed a learning curve for many companies. One of the challenges of onboarding training with a remote workforce is to integrate the new person into the organization. Now that millions are working from home, the challenges will become clear. Some of the challenges are obvious, but others you may not have considered. However, being away from a day-to-day office comes with the challenge … What are the biggest challenges facing remote employees? There are factors that can prevent the expected advantages from materializing or turn them into disadvantages. One survey projects a possible 5.3% increase in health plan costs for large employers in 2021. Challenges of a Remote Work And How to Overcome Them. Having to implement the systems used time resources to set up but once it was established and new protocols were in place things moved along smoothly.”. The COVID-19 crisis is confronting companies with a large number of challenges over a short term. So what could go wrong? (Our colleagues have written about those issues here.) For many knowledge workers, there seem to be twice as many meetings (particularly video conferences) now that they’re working from home. Challenges of remote work during COVID-19: Talking with nomad marketer Jason Barnard With the COVID-19 lockdown, remote working for many people is new, difficult, and perhaps scary. 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While it's simple to effectively communicate with staff members you see face-to-face, deskless employees must rely on technology, so you can't let remote team members become "out of sight, out of mind." 19. Here are some of the issues you should consider. We provide services to those businesses who want to expand worldwide.…. Here are some of the challenges people face as they work remotely. Flexibility: Many companies that allow teleworking provide flexible working hours. Things are … You'll have to write off the time and resources you spend to train an employee as a loss or unwanted expense, which certainly doesn't equate to cost efficiency. As millions of workers around the world start telecommuting for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, few know what to expect.They only know the image peddled by all those “Work from home!” ads littering the Internet. Internal Communication Problems; We could write an entire 2,000+ word blog on this issue alone – communication is a huge issue when managing remote employees. And don’t miss these top workplace benefit stories from EBN’s editorial team. Over that time, we’ve gained many insights about overcoming the unique challenges of working across time zones and across continents. Now, with social distancing guidelines in place all over the world, working remotely remains the only option to keep things running smoothly. There’s been a 173 percent increase in people working remotely since 2005. Employers should consider adding student loan benefits, if they want to attract potential hires. “Our business is a relationship driven business, so the lack of face-to-face interactions has prohibited our ability to build new relationships with the brokerage community in the employer benefit world,” said a respondent from an insurance company. The biggest challenges facing remote employees include: A small 2015 survey conducted by ConnectSolutions (via SHRM) found that "of those who work remotely at least a few times per month, 77 percent reported greater productivity while working offsite.". Reduced business operation costs, boosted employee productivity, and a wider selection of job candidates are three of the most important benefits of the telework setup. For the inexperienced, the struggles of remote work can catch you off guard. Read on to learn how you can tackle common employer concerns about remote work business challenges. Same principles, different times Jacob Morgan, an author, speaker and authority on leadership, employee engagement and the future of work, said in a recent blog post that more companies will embrace flexible working arrangements. The top issue faced by remote workers was “unplugging” from work. What could possibly spoil these benefits? 5 Common Challenges of Remote Work 1. Create communication channels for both you and your remote employee and also with the remote employee and the team. It will cost money to replace employees. The policy should address working requirements, productivity, employee accessibility, time and performance measurement, and communication with management, Werner said. Others felt their business was suffering because employees are unable to staff brick-and-mortar locations and build relationships with clients. As a manager, it's your job to keep all your employees informed. That’s why it’s important for businesses that hire remote workers to establish clear and strict rules. Remote working-environment: Setting-up the “office” and re-thinking meetings 4 Remote Leadership: Offering guidance and security Content We at Deloitte have extensive experience with working remotely. 1. Challenges of Managing Remote Employees. One of the many challenges of managing a remote team is that the typical day-to-day interactions can’t be replicated virtually. You may opt-out by. Opinions expressed are those of the author. According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work report, the most common problem remote workers have is unplugging after work – an issue 22% of respondents said they experience. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. How benefits bosses at Zynga, Meredith, the Nashville Public Schools system and the city of Azusa, California, redefined their work perks and offerings during the new coronavirus era, Best of the week: The top trends and news from the benefits space, 5 programs making workplaces more inclusive, FSA rules have changed — here’s how to explain them to clients, Here are the major parts of $1.9 trillion Biden relief plan, Lilly invests $30 million in health-equity focused venture fund, Student debt relief is a high priority for Weedmaps, Glassdoor names its top places to work for 2021. Remote work is not new, and many of its challenges such as providing remote work tools, maintaining productivity, staying connected with coworkers, and managing effectively from a distance are well known to employers. A flexible schedule, the ability to work from any location, and no more commuting were the top reported benefits. You should know how to make the most of the remote work setup while addressing potential problems or drawbacks. For reprint and licensing requests for this article. There’s a popular perception that telecommuters are more productive than their 9- to-5, office-based counterparts. There are some excellent opinions out there on the disadvantages of working from home, but most of the responses I got were from online communities. In this article, I’ll share with you 10 challenges that I had to overcome in order to succeed as a remote employee at Time Doctor. While there are great potential benefits of allowing remote work on your team, there’s a problem: most founders and managers still aren’t familiar with the challenges of managing remote employees. If you persevere, you'll enjoy flexibility, autonomy, the chance to work in your best environment, higher productivity—and perhaps also more time for a life outside of work as well. The following are the main reasons I see for this increased productivity: 1. While businesses have offered remote working to some employees for a number of years, it has become increasingly popular as internet bandwidth, WiFi and other related technologies have advanced. 2. “A mission-driven culture, transparent leadership and career opportunities are always hallmarks of Best Places to Work winners,” says Glassdoor CEO Christian Sutherland-Wong. Your employees need to understand the company they’re working for and what your mission is. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. Despite the challenges above, remote work is very rewarding—as long as you know what you're getting into and can handle these common issues. As you consider it, read through the benefits, advantages, and challenges so you can make an informed decision. The report “Remote Working: From Surviving to Thriving” finds that nine months into widespread full-time remote working, customers are no longer tolerating disruption. The company is working to identify programs run by people in underrepresented communities. And what must managers do to help navigate the new normal involving remote work? For the most part, employers appear to be embracing the transition to remote work. What will happen when patients finally feel comfortable returning to their healthcare providers’ offices? Our Rising Star Awards nomination deadline has been extended. In honor of MLK Day, here are employers who are working to create a more inclusive workplace. In a study by Zogby Analytics, remote workers reported a lack of information from management and timeliness of the information as the largest obstacles of working from home. Remote work can lead to poor team communication Though many remote workers think working from home is more amazing than sliced bread, a lot of employers … They can go AWOL and make it difficult for their employers to contact them. Conduct a rigorous screening of candidates. That’s why it only makes sense to be more open to telecommuting. Place importance on skills advancement as part of employee reviews. A mobile app addresses all of these HR challenges and pain points associated with poor communication. I’m the CEO of Day Translations, Inc., a global translation company. Of course, not everything is positive about working from home. In order to maintain productivity, a quick adoption of remote working is a must. When it comes to skills development, it’s crucial. For many companies, working from home was a luxury before the COVID-19 pandemic. The security challenges posed by remote working aren’t solved through technology alone. Many employers are hosting training sessions to help their workforce (four out of 10 employers) and their customers (three out of 10 employers) adapt to digital communication. There are some challenges of remote working that you and the organization you work for must overcome in order for you to be successful. Gone were the company lunches on the patio that overlooks Antlers Park and the mountains. The transition to remote work culture is not as seamless as it seems. #1 Poor Time Management. The challenges in implementing remote working. Now, let’s focus more on your remote employee challenges of HR. Employers should anticipate needing to adapt to remote work for the foreseeable future: four out of 10 respondents expect working conditions to return to normal within three months, while three out of 10 expect the time frame will be between four to six months. Leadership needs to acknowledge the added challenges created by remote working and take a top-down approach to solve the challenges. • Be transparent. Arizent, the parent company of Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser, released a new survey this week to learn how employers are addressing the challenges posed by coronavirus. Discovering the most prevalent remote work challenges from real-life managers. Remote-working checklist: 10 top challenges you'll face during the giant work-from-home experiment. According to a study by Zogby Analytics, remote workers reported lack of information from management (38 percent) and the timeliness of the information (39 pe… Karina Tama, founder of Senior Care Clicks caught up with Jason Barnard to share some tips, tricks, and advice. Employers count these trainings as part of their workforce retention efforts. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, less than 50% of companies had a remote work program. There are some challenges of remote working that you and the organization you work for must overcome in order for you to be successful. One of the reasons many managers don't approve of remote work is they fear employees will slack off without that physical, in-person oversight. Continuing claims in state programs — an approximation of the number of people receiving ongoing benefits — climbed by 199,000 to 5.27 million in the week ended Jan. 2. But managing employees who don't report to the office also comes with a set of unique challenges, and overcoming them has become a top priority for many employers… Of course, there are many challenges of a remote work but not all of them are that difficult. Challenges arise from remote working when there is no central strategy. Remote work, once a rare and innovative strategy reserved for tech companies, is no longer a fringe business practice. Managing remote employees comes with a set of unique challenges, and overcoming them should be a top priority for many employers. This post is a bit different. It seems that working remotely is not problematic when it comes to time management. One of the most common advantages associated with telecommuting is reduced operating costs. Many remote employees work from home, which means ample distractions (the dishes, the laundry, the un-mowed lawn, maybe your children and spouse)—and it’s all too easy to get sidetracked. Even though we have the second highest level of speed available in our area, many times the internet is running very slow,” an accounting firm respondent said. 38% of the virtual workforce says communication is the biggest issue. Some researchers have concluded that employee productivity increases with virtual work. Offer recognition when your remote employee goes above and beyond. Working remotely is a style of working that allows you to work outside of a traditional office, whether at home, in a co-working space, at a coffee shop or other location. Banks, regulated industries, and many financial services companies did not encourage remote working. For example, one of the most difficult challenges is managing workers across several time zones. So were the fitness events that the company sponsored as part of its wellness program, and the town hall meetings that helped bring people together. But how do you know if your remote employees or those working from home are being productive? “We have shifted the bulk of the workload to a virtual environment, but had the infrastructure in place to do so. Karina Tama, founder of Senior Care Clicks caught up with Jason Barnard to share some tips, tricks, and advice. You should conduct the recruitment process systematically and take the following steps: • Thoroughly verify the candidates’ credentials. 2. Having a written remote work policy or employee agreement can circumvent many problems. Whether you're thinking about working remotely or are currently a remote worker, you'll be happier and more productive when you meet these challenges head on. However, doing so does not mean you won’t face some challenges as a remote professional. Distract and redirect: Engage in activities that benefit your well-being, bring you joy and distract you from existing challenges. But let’s face it, being a remote employee isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. When remote employees fail to function efficiently, you'll be forced to terminate them or let them work in a traditional 9-to-5, in-office setup. Remote work can be challenging - here are the stories of 15 remote employees about the challenges they face, and the ways they deal with them. HealthEquity explains how the Consolidated Appropriations Act will affect plan participants in 2021. Despite its perks, remote work can be isolating. Demotivation – an in-depth study by the Martec Group found that working from home during the COVID-19 crisis has reduced job motivation by 20% 1. An additional 33% of those workers say their company lacks the right technology to accommodate their needs. Remote working can present issues when following the law in terms of particulars of employment in terms of the BCEA. For some workforces that moved to an entirely remote environment, employees could return to their workplaces, usually in a staggered fashion and under new working arrangements. If your business is rolling out a flexible, telecommuting or remote working model, it’s worth confronting – and make contingencies for – the biggest disadvantages of remote work, for both employer and employee. Check our list to find out if you’re working in the right way! Related: How To Overcome the Communication Barriers for Remote Employees. During employee reviews, effective processes can make sure there is an ongoing focus on skills development. 4. The top issue faced by remote workers was “unplugging” from work. Read more about remote work in our guide to remote work. ; Loneliness, time … The remote work setup has its advantages, but it also has some drawbacks and obstacles that companies and employees should overcome. As well, the lack of person-to-person communication can be a challenge for some people. Another important benefit of telecommuting is that you can tap into skilled global talent. When asked if they agree with the statement, “My company is providing me with the resources and support needed to succeed in my role during this crisis,” 77% of respondents agreed. Additionally, employees who work from home may be able to spend more time with their families. Loneliness is the second most common problem (19%) while collaboration (17%), distractions at home (10%), time zones (8%) and staying motivated (8%) are all issues that affect remote workers and the companies the… Here are some of the significant challenges presented to employers due to work from home. Common Challenges of Remote Work. To get the necessary speeds we would have to move our offices 50 to 60 miles, which is not practical for our tax clients.”. Here are a few common remote-work pitfalls and how to sidestep them. The six long-term challenges of widespread remote working. Remote Work Presents New Rules and Challenges for Companies As workers stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, companies are having to … You should be prudent when you're hiring remote workers from overseas, though. Employees Don’t Say “No” Enough. A study (paywall) published in the Harvard Business Review in 2014, for one, confirmed this: At one company, call center employees who worked from home took 13.5% more calls than in-office employees. The transition to remote work culture is not as seamless as it seems. Remote working is one aspect of organisational life which is currently undergoing profound change. Remote work, once a rare and innovative strategy reserved for tech companies, is no longer a fringe business practice. Here are some of the challenges people face as they work remotely. These issues obviously impact the individual but they also have an effect on the team they’re a part of, too. Managing Remote Work. 3. As our clients and their needs are at the heart of what we do, we would like to share our insights in the form of this practical guide with you. There are many challenges of managing remote employees. However, you can’t access the benefits without going through some challenges. In this article, I’ll share with you 10 challenges that I had to overcome in order to succeed as a remote employee at Time Doctor. I've found that employees who don’t do well with self-discipline easily lose productivity without the usual supervision of someone who is physically present. Distractions at work. ... we encourage employers to ensure that their remote workers have both dedicated workspace and adequate childcare before allowing them to work … 38% of the virtual workforce says communication is the biggest issue. Banks, regulated industries, and many financial services companies did not encourage remote working. Comfort and convenience: What could be more comfortable than working in your pajamas with access to home conveniences and freedom from the typical office noises and distractions? Employees working remotely can see the doctor more easily, eat healthier and take care of ailments better; which means that they have the ability to work more efficiently and have less time off than if they were in an office. Challenges of remote work during COVID-19: Talking with nomad marketer Jason Barnard . Expertise from Forbes Councils members, operated under license. 5. A common concern among employers across industries is “the speed and reliability of the internet in rural areas.” Those employers suggested the problem would be solved if the federal government took steps to make the internet more reliable and accessible throughout the country. Possible challenges to existing social contracts. Only a small minority of employers reported negative experiences (4% “poor” and 2% “terrible”). Working with a remote team offers the potential for increased productivity, but managers must also overcome some virtual-related inefficiencies. #7: Maximising productivity. For example, in Stanford University’s two-year remote work productivity study, the researchers followed 500 employees after dividing them into “remote” and “traditional” working groups. The remote work setup can also make it easy for employees to find excuses for failing to do what their employer expects of them. However, employers can botch them with poor hiring systems and decisions coupled with a lack of understanding of the nature of telecommuting. This research is a follow-up to a previous survey conducted in March, when shelter-in-place orders first took effect. Here are eight common challenges of working remotely for employees, and tips on how to overcome each one: Challenge: Maintaining engagement and focus. You might find yourself slipping and failing to meet deadlines, or on the other end of the spectrum, overworking and exhausting yourself. Without the clear-cut change of location and defined office hours, many people had a tougher time clearly dividing their personal and professional time. Hiring telecommuters can be rewarding in many ways. It can be tempting to work more while you have your work at home, however it can also be taxing on your health and well-being, so stick to a schedule with healthy boundaries. And this makes it easy to feel like you need to join every single meeting—with the camera on. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, less than 50% of companies had a remote work program. The remote working group results not only showed a work productivity boost equal to a full day’s work, but also fewer sick days and a 50 percent decrease in employee attrition. Remote work is different from the typical work … Challenges of remote work Challenge #1: Maintaining good communication. Here are four big challenges employers … However, this also brings with it some difficulties. Several research reports suggest that employees working from home or a remote location are more productive than those working in an office. Meanwhile, remote workers can enjoy the freedom to work from anywhere they choose, cut down on time and money spent on transportation, and have a greater sense of work-life balance. Employee Engagement. Now, let’s focus more on your remote employee challenges of HR. • Get leads from your top hires and only use reputable job market sites. Hiring remote workers supposedly lowers operating costs, as well as some capital expenditures. For example, telecommuters should be required to provide various contact details and possibly include the contact number or email of somebody (like a family member or acquaintance) who the employer can reach in case they can't reach the employee. The vast majority of employers reported that their organization’s “digital preparedness” for the transition to remote was positive (43% rated “excellent” and 40% “good”). Employee Benefit News. Again, some employees aren't suited for remote work -- a situation that can be worsened by poor management. Have each department or team manage remote strategies independently is a recipe for disaster. “But on the positive side, lots of future business opportunities arise having to come up with solutions to new problems in the new normal that are likely to be ongoing,” a professional services respondent said. With the COVID-19 lockdown, remote working for many people is new, difficult, and perhaps scary. Remote work, of course, is not something new. Remote work challenges for individual team members. Ninety-nine percent of employees polled in Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work survey expressed interest in working remotely for at least a portion of their careers, citing a flexible schedule as the top benefit. Already, employers are finding themselves offering that as a benefit, that flexibility of remote work, set your own work hours and location. Working too much. Thirty-six percent of employers agree the shift to remote work is the biggest change imposed by COVID-19.