Working remotely isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires discipline and patience and can be quite isolating. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed people to explore remote working options. Now that the world has opened back up, some businesses have still kept a remote or hybrid working model in place. If your organization is one of these businesses that is allowing remote employment, you may want to make sure you’re aware of the challenges that you and your remote employees may face and the solutions to help overcome them to help keep you and your staff working productively, efficiently and cohesively.
Challenge: Lack of a schedule – Just like reporting in office, it’s important to show up to work at a scheduled time each day. If you don’t know when your teams are working or available to collaborate, then you’re flying blindly. While you want to provide your staff with autonomy and flexibility; responsibility and honesty are essential for being able to trust your employees to get their work done timely, proficiently and effectively.
Solution: In order to avoid employee burnout help them establish a working schedule for when they are expected to be “at work” and on the clock. Encouraging a designated workspace where they can dedicate their time and attention to work and then walk away, to return to their personal and homelife responsibilities will help compartmentalize their day and help reduce non-work related distractions.
Challenge: No clear roles and tasks – If your employees’ job roles and responsibilities aren’t clearly defined then work will fall through the cracks.
Solution: Set expectations clearly and early; work hours, availability of when they will and will not be working, how to communicate with the team, when and how meetings should be scheduled internally and with clients, how to and when to respond to emails etc. Even knowing the organizations chain of command and who reports to who for project updates and accountability.
Challenge: Missing accountability structure – If your staff doesn’t have someone to report to, then they won’t. This can lead to time theft, lost profits and missed deadlines.
Solution: Have a chain of command in place that keeps people accountable to another person, whether that be a team group or superior. An accountability structure will also help keep the flow of communication open to make sure deadlines are met.
Challenge: Lack of communication and project management tools – Working remotely leads to people feeling Isolated and disconnected. Since people and teams might not be able to meet together for a quick pow-wow or have water-cooler chats, it could be easy to feel out of the loop for what’s happening in the office.
Solution: To help avoid isolation and alienating remote employees’ setup processes to have all staff members use communication and project management tools to coordinate and complete projects. If you have multiple people working on projects together implementing a CRM will help keep project notes and records updated and provide everyone with access to the information needed to stay informed on current developments.
Challenge: Lack of team cohesion – Remote employ often leads to a reduction in interpersonal communication and contact.
Solution: Set up the right remote tools can help employees feel part of the company. Employers should check in on employees frequently to make sure their staff’s needs and expectations are heard and met. Regular meetings or development trainings, calling out employee accomplishments and wins will help build relationships, trust and loyalty.
All employees want to know their work and time is valued. Management that has a vested interest in their staffs’ professional development and personal interests will help build trust and loyalty in their relationships. If you’re unsure of where to start to develop relationships or improve employee camaraderie, Resources Unlimited can help you find the right DiSC assessment and resources to meet your organizations’ needs. DiSC is a personalized behavior profile which can provide employees and employers insight into their behavior surrounding motivations, strengths, weaknesses, and fear. The DiSC principles and techniques are proven to help improve relationships, increase productivity, and resolve conflict. Many of our DiSC assessment courses offer flexibility and inclusivity for in-person and remote office situations. Call today to speak with one of our DiSC experts.