Remote work is on the rise. But, despite the growing popularity, remote work comes with its fair share of challenges.
We have identified a few challenges remote workers face and tips on how you can overcome them:
Lack of socialization, feeling lonely
The main challenge a remote worker face is isolation. Although, the benefits are they can more or less work on their own hours (pressing deadlines aside) and from any location, the fact that they work alone (as a sociable person) is something that they have to overcome.
Tip: Purposely build socialization into your daily routine. Befriend other freelancers and go with them to coffee, lunch, dinner, or workouts. Get a part-time job that requires you to talk to people.
Different Time Zones
Since remote workers work with clients from across the globe, not being in the same time zone as the client is a major challenge. There are many simple queries that can be answered right away, but since we are in different time zones, it often leads to a waste of time.
Tip: Remote workers may be compelled to work in the client’s time zone to make sure things are moving along smoothly.
Lack of a proper routine
While remote workers can limit their working hours when working from an office, it takes a lot of self-discipline to make sure they’re not working all the time when working from home. You may find yourself working all the time as there was no clear distinction between work and home. This may have a negative impact on your lifestyle and well-being.
Tip: It is better to set up a dedicated workstation, and aim to limit the time spent in that room.
Having no time to enjoy travels
While the ‘working while traveling’ thing definitely is a lot of fun, sometimes you may feel like you’re missing out on all the sights of a new destination when you’re glued to your laptop screen – which often leaves you questioning yourself why you paid to fly all the way to somewhere new. Despite a very relaxed employer and flexible schedule, it’s sometimes difficult to fully enjoy a new destination when there’s a deadline looming in the back of your head.
Tip: You can make an agreement about your working days and your days off with your company, and use days off for fun travel activities.
Adding structure to your days
Although this is one of the best reasons to work remotely, it can be a challenge if you find yourself working too much. When you don’t have the physical cut-off of leaving an office, you can find that you work all the time and don’t take breaks as much as you should.
Tip: It is always good to add some structure to your day and, if you like working late into the evening, give yourself a few hours in the day to yourself.
Not being properly integrated into the company culture
If you are the only remote worker in a large in-house team, it can be tricky to integrate yourself into the company culture and be visible to management. This can affect long-term prospects if not managed correctly. It is important to be included in important team meetings and events and to feel a part of the team. Getting together in person as regularly as possible or making the most of technology such as video conferencing can make a lot of difference.
Tip: Try to get together with your colleagues face-to-face as much as possible, and participate in video conferences.
You want to take some time for your friends, family, and acquaintances
It’s important to remember that it’s okay to say no sometimes. It’s not your job to educate all your non-remote friends and family but it helps to explain what your day/week looks like and illustrate that most times your projects require your full attention.
Tip: Compromise, take an afternoon off, and schedule your remaining work for tomorrow. Just remember to keep your phone close to you, and check your email from time to time.
Remote working brings a lot of potential benefits to the table but you’re never going to get to a point where you can enjoy these unless you achieve a level of productivity and discipline that helps achieve a work-life balance. There’s not much point in working remotely if your job starts eating into your personal life and vice versa.
That divide needs to remain in place and this can be challenging if you work from home or remote locations. We’ve looked at ten of the most common remote work challenges in this article and solutions to overcome them.
Now, the rest is up to you.