Guest post written by Hannah Parker
While remote learning garnered quite a buzz since the past few years, it’s only in 2020 that the buzz around it has reached a crescendo. If you’re still oblivious to the buzz around remote working, a quick internet search will show you endless benefits of it.
Whether you prefer remote working or not, surveys suggest that it’s here to stay for many organisations and their employees. Remote workers are said to take fewer sick leaves, stay motivated for a longer period of time, and also stay in their jobs for longer.
So, remote working sounds like the business revolution that everyone was waiting for, but it’s not something you can easily switch to and hope for the best. As with anything, there are downsides to working from home as well. Let’s elaborate further on this.
1. Managing time effectively becomes an issue
Working from home sounds appealing to many people, at first. No more setting the alarm for 6 am. No more sitting in your tiny cubicle, with your only escape being lunchtime. You can set your own time and work when you feel like it. You feel free.
Except it doesn’t work that way. When you get a few set hours, you know when you’re supposed to work and when you’ll are done for the day. Without that strict structure, many remote workers find themselves having trouble.
They sleep in, they procrastinate, and they convince themselves they’ll slog it out later on. Many conventional employees complain about the regular workplace. But it actually helps them to accomplish more.
2. Reduced supervision and direction
In any organisation, be it large or small, it’s imperative to maintain a proper direction and supervision across all levels. This is when a manager or supervisor’s role becomes vital. They not only instruct the employees what they need to do, but they provide useful feedback about your progress on it.
When you’re working from home, it becomes difficult to maintain supervision and direction. Your manager (or clients, as the case may be) typically don’t give you as much guidance. This is something many of you may desperately need to stay on track.
So, you must remain in close communication with your supervisor. Talk to them about which projects you should prioritise and what their expectations are from you to reach each milestone.
3. Communication between colleagues gets hampered
When employees mostly work from home, they can only rely on emails and video calls to communicate with their colleagues. Remote working isn’t conducive to maintaining proper connections with coworkers in the same way that working in the office is.
This is crucial in case of two reasons—first, interacting daily with coworkers help set expectations. When new employees notice of their colleagues, they’re able to decipher the standards of performance and communication much more quickly than they would remotely. Second, social interaction is intrinsically related to workplace engagement and satisfaction.
4. Difficulty separating professional and personal lives
When you work remotely, you don’t have a proper geographic division between workspace and personal space.
Essentially, your home is a place of relaxation and safety. It’s a place where you subconsciously attain a calm state of mind, leaving the stresses of the workday behind you.
However, working from home disrupts this calm and that neat mental division. You may have heard many employees complain they feel like they’re never off the job. They always feel a compulsion to check their emails and get just one last thing done. In other terms, they have a hard time turning off and relaxing. Ever.
5. Inaccessibility of proper tech support
While working in the office, you could reach out to the IT department whenever your laptop stopped working. But it would be difficult for you to reach out to them if something happens to your remote work setup. In such situations, it becomes difficult for the It support staff to determine the issue with your laptop.
The excellent way to eliminate this problem is by considering this as a possibility before it happens. If your computer or internet connection fails, what will you do first? It’s best to have multiple devices handy or add a tablet that you can work on in a pinch. And also, make sure your wifi hotspot on your phone is functional, in case your internet connection fails.
6. Dealing with language and cultural differences
When you have a team of remote workers from around the world, you’re going to have a diverse language and cultural backgrounds coming together on projects. The most obvious outcome of this is different efficiency levels in English (English homework help), but there are more subtle cultural differences that also need to be remembered.
When you have a cultural understanding between the people on your team, you’ll be in a space to understand which aspects of remote working are more difficult and will try to overcome them.
7. Causes distractions
It’s possible for employees to face interruptions from their families or pets or neighbours who don’t quite understand that even though you’re home, you’re still engrossed with work. Working from home and also caring for children becomes immensely challenging. This requires extra support from employers and other family members.
When it comes to adults and older children in your house, you can set appropriate boundaries so that they understand when it’s acceptable to talk to you or enter your workspace, and when it isn’t. You can devote ‘do not disturb’ hours if you have a very urgent meeting or presentation to deliver.
8. Keeping track of tasks and the performance
To meet big targets, you need to ensure all the smaller tasks are completed on time. Monitoring the progress multiple remote workers are making on a daily basis can be a troublesome process.
How can you determine the progress of individuals while also paying attention to the project-wide progress? In this case, there are several incredible project management tools that will help you keep track of everything.
In simpler words, these tools will highlight when team members have started tasks and finished them, but you only get this detail after these interactions take place. They don’t really offer you with feedback or tell you how productive team members are while they work on their tasks.
Winding it up,
Remote working presents a bunch of benefits on the table. But you’re never going to enjoy these perks unless you achieve a level of productivity and discipline that allows you to maintain a work-life balance. Nothing good comes out of working remotely if your job starts eating into your personal life and vice versa.
Author bio: Hannah Parker is a human resource manager for a distinguished firm in Australia. Parker has acquired her MBA degree in human resource management from MyAssignmenthelp.com. She has close to a decade long experience in this field. She’s also an academic advisor for MyAssignmenthelp.com.