All three- primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of economies are producing more remote jobs, seeing the number of benefits it provides. But just like most work, remote work has its downside too.
There are various challenges of remote working for employers. Companies are saving huge costs but at the same time, they are facing difficulty in collaborations. Holding up food communications has now become tougher than ever and this stands at the top in the list of challenges of remote working for employers.
However, these difficulties can be dealt with. For instance, tech education can be provided to people who are not familiar with the technology. Casual meets should be organized to build team spirit amongst the employees. Some of the challenges of remote working for employers and their solutions are mentioned below-
Challenges of remote working for employers
1. Difficult collaborations
The virtual era is an era of apps and gadgets. Applications and software have decreased collaboration issues to a minimum, but they still exist. Even with so many options, a lot of miscommunications still take place, which leaves a huge impact on the company as a whole.
In-person conversations depict the expressions and the sense in which the speaker speaks, but all this is missing in virtual collaborations. Co-located collaborations are more immersive due to your body language and tone.
How to ease out difficult collaborations at remote work
- Transparency is the best policy
Be transparent about everything that is going on in the company. Sometimes even the most junior employees can give great advice. This develops inclusivity in the company.
- Give freedom
Give your employees the freedom as well as the space where they can make mistakes. As a manager, be open to new ideas. Accept that people are prone to mistakes, and that is how they replenish skills and talents.
Remember that Ruth Graves Wakefield, owner of Toll House Inn, once ran out of baker's chocolate while making chocolate cookies. She then crunched semi-sweetened chocolate in the batter as she was expecting them to melt. But it was then when accidentally choco chip cookies were invented.
2. Difficulty in learning and mentoring
E-learning is a good substitute, but it can never take the place of traditional classroom-based learning. In the same way, starting a conversation in a room is much easier than initiating a chat online.
Imagine you need to start an online conversation with your mentor every time you don't understand something.
Not only learning but mentoring a trainee online is also quite tricky. Explaining everything on an internet connection is not as feasible as explaining it offline.
How to be effective in learning and mentoring
Video meets allow you to interact in a flawless manner. You can see other people's expressions, which creates an atmosphere of trust.
- Ask questions
While learning, if you have any difficulty, then ask it right away. Don't wait for perfect timing as it could create problems later.
- Be patient
The mentor should be patient with the questions of the learner, and the learner must be patient with the techniques of the mentor. A mutual understanding should be established.
3. Different timezones
The one thing required in remote work is a stable internet connection that helps them connect without any interruptions. Moreover, with tremendous applications available online, you can hire anyone from any corner of the earth.
But the downside to this advantage is the difference in time zones. Employees and employers can conclude to common work hours but are those hours enough to collaborate? Different timezones is one of the biggest challenges of remote working for employers.
For example, Ayush, who is an Indian employee, faces an issue as soon as he starts his work. In order to communicate that difficulty, he calls Bob, who lives in America. Bob gets disturbed as Ayush's working hours are Bob's sleeping hours. And if Ayush doesn't talk about the difficulty he is facing, then his work suffers, which in turn decreases the output of the company.
Solutions to different timezones in remote jobs
- The company should establish certain work hours which suit both parties. Patience is a great virtue here.
- Expecting people to respond immediately as they would in an office setup is wrong.
- Be it an employer or employee, one should flag their concerns and point of discussion at the time of occurrence but learn to expect responses asynchronously.
4. Technical issues and adjustments
Technical issues are not merely a student's escape from lectures. These are the real challenges of remote working for employers.
- Broken internet connectivity and jammed signals are a reality. Companies always wonder why no one is working, but the frequent electricity cuts and device malfunctioning disrupt the company's output.
- With this sudden transformation from paper to electronics, many people have faced a number of adjustment problems. People who never worked on desktops didn't know how to set it up.
- IT instructions are terrible and can be frustrating for someone who isn't familiar with them. Technical issues have ruined the productivity of many companies.
Solutions to technical issues caused by remote work setup
- Strong technical team
Every company should have a solid technical team that resolves the technical issues as soon as possible. These could involve system setups, system malfunctions, and access to various tools and technologies used company-wide.
- Tech education
Employees who are not familiar with technology should be given proper training. They should be educated regarding the same. This can be done through 1-1 demos, webinars, etc.
5. Key roles and responsibilities
Challenges of remote working for employers all include the challenge to know who is responsible for what on the world wide web. Sometimes an employee is blamed and considered responsible for the mistakes he didn't commit. Earlier during office work, it was a little easier for mentors to understand and chart the productivity of employees on the basis of their observations.
Desk configurations and presence in meetings were certain diameters to evaluate the productivity of employees. But nothing of this sort is possible in the remote work scenario. Here is how a manager can improve their bonds with their teams while simultaneously managing them.
Solutions to understanding who did what
- The only solution to this problem is a keen observation.
- A variety of tracking applications can be used to analyze the output of each employee.
- Additionally, using project management and productivity tracking tools can help.
If not taken seriously then this can become one of those challenges of remote working for employers that reduce productivity to a large extent.
6. Scattered information
The information conveyed in the virtual work environment is usually scattered among so many tools and applications. It isn't easy to track such information and hence it is one of the biggest challenges of remote working for employers. As a result, sometimes you miss out on essential information, which obstructs your productivity.
For companies also, it is hard to collect and track the bits of information available on different tools. And often, with incomplete information comes dire consequences.
Solutions to the problem of scattered information at remote jobs
- A common database
A common database must be maintained within the company. All employees should share the essential information in that database to make tracking the information accessible.
- Using collaboration tools
Multiple remote tools are available online that can help teams collaborate both synchronously and asynchronously. Such tools include Google Docs for document collaboration and Baseline for design collaboration.