Remote working comes with lots of amazing perks that makes it difficult to ignore but that doesn’t mean it is a mere walk in the park. True, you have a more flexible schedule compare to your office counterparts but there is the time management problem. What about issues arising from the difference in time zones and the struggle to balance work and personal life?
Yeah, it brings with it as many challenges, especially at the beginning, as the advantages too.
So, before you hop onto the remote working trend, as an employer or an employee, it is best you equip yourself with just enough knowledge of the advantages and challenges you may face so that you can excel in the trend come what may.
Here are some of the challenges a remote worker may face.
In contrary to the general belief that remote workers are lazy and may abandon work for leisure, they often tend to overwork. More often than not, remote workers put in extra hours to see that they beat their deadlines and meet the daily tasks. It is a big issue adjusting the work-personal life clock. When does work start and end? What is the best time to take a break while working?
This could be because they scheduled their time in such a way that they attend to other distracting issues (so that they can concentrate on work) before work or because they are in their comfort zone and just lose track of time. Whatever the case may be, overworking is detrimental to their health in the long run and this is the case with most remote workers.
With office work, on the other hand, it is easier to maintain the clock because you usually have working hours. You hardly find stressed-out office workers picking up their laptops to work when they get home.
2. Striking Work-Life Balance
As with the point above, overworking, it is usually difficult for remoter workers like me to strike a balance between work and personal life. Due to overworking, we end up having little to no time for catching up, hanging out, attending parties, and the likes.
Balancing work and personal life is a huge challenge that every remote worker has to deal with and to excel in remote working you have to make that blurry line between work and personal life clearer.
3. Difficulty Building Team-Bond
Bonding with your team members is a lot easier when you get to spend several hours with them than cases when you only communicate online and this communication, in most cases, is limited to work alone. This creates a kind of difficulty trying to bond with coworkers or team members or employers even.
4. Feeling Isolated
Boredom and/or loneliness are yet another challenge facing remote workers. Over time it gets boring repeating the same activity every day all by yourself. The truth is that your coworkers are, most often than not, your social circle. Those little chattering and working side by side other workers help to alleviate the feeling of isolation or loneliness.
True, technology is there to help you connect with others but that doesn’t suffice for human interaction.
5. Difference Between Time Zones
Time zone difference can be much of a challenge sometimes especially when the time difference is not just a few hours. Say you operate an opposite time zone to that of your teammate (that is alternating day and night). Just when you are ready to start the task of the day, your teammate had just finished his day and ready to hit the bed. Frustrating! Yeah, it is. Say you have a pressing question that is relevant to completing your task but your teammate is fast asleep on the other end because it is midnight over there but it is dawn at your end. How do you communicate? Wait for the next 5 to 6 hours? That would be evening over here and you are tired and frustrated for the day to get any work done anymore. Then, you go to bed and the circle starts over. Frustrating, I know.
Operating a flexible schedule is enticing and most workers won’t think it twice before choosing remote work over working in the conventional office but it is important to know that remote working is not all roses and sunshine. It comes with a couple of challenges that may take months or years to combat. Maybe never, and you just have to find a way to live with it. A proper time management and a good understanding between teammates is your best shot at combating these challenges.