Agile

10 Ways To Overcome Remote Work Shenanigans

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Almost 70% of full-time workers in the U.S. are working from home during COVID-19. In 2020, after COVID-19, 80% expect to work from home at least 3x/week. Remote work can seem like an opportunity at first. But later on, you might discover significant drawbacks. 

These setbacks could compel you to hate the remote working experience. To avoid this fate, remote workers need to be aware of these potential problems and take steps to mitigate them. Here are some common issues with working remotely. We will discuss corresponding solutions as well.

1. Lack of Social Interactions

You can start to hate remote working because of the lack of social interaction. Working remotely will cause you to lose social interaction. Working in the office leads to bumping into a coworker for a fast answer or running into someone in the corridor for a brief chat. 

Correct this by socializing with coworkers when you meet in person. You can go out or invite them over. Another way is through technology, such as video calls and chat rooms.

2. Non-Stop Work 

Remote work provides flexibility, but it is a trap for the undisciplined. It is easy to let yourself work all day when no one is looking over your shoulder. After a while, working non-stop can get tiresome. If you do this but don’t want to quit your job, there are ways around this problem. 

To avoid this, remote workers should set specific hours for working and stick to them as closely as possible. You can use the Pomodoro app to set a time for a few hours and dedicate timing to an activity you enjoy.

3. Too Many Zoom Meetings

Excessive Zoom meetings could be a source of major distraction, but they could have the potential to be productive. With video calls, it’s easy to feel like everyone is in the room with you. This can lead people to behave as such, even if they’re not.

You will feel a sensory overload and make other participants less comfortable than they could be if there were physical barriers.

Easily distracted workers can mute themselves during the meeting. You should pay attention when it is your turn to speak. Also, you should try to limit yourself to one meeting each day.

4. Distractions and Interruptions 

You hate remote working because of continuous distractions and interruptions. The lack of structure with remote work can make it difficult for workers who get easily distracted or interrupted. 

To combat this issue, remote workers should set specific office hours during which nobody may bother them – no matter what. It’s important during these times to do nothing but work. Also, you should also avoid working from bed or their couch, as these places are conducive to distractions.

Read More 6 Productivity Killers for Remote Workers

5. Technology and Networking Malfunctions

Technology and networking failures are problems that all workers face. No matter how many precautions you take, though, these types of failures can occur – even when you’re not at work. The main issue is that there are no co-workers available to solve the problem.

Most people use technology during remote work. Internet or device failures could be very problematic for workers who are not in traditional office space. Normally you can easily collaborate with other employees on-site if your equipment malfunctions. 

However, there are ways to prevent it from happening by backing up your data daily. You should remain calm and try your best to recover any lost data or files. You can minimize this by connecting with Wi-Fi (instead of using data) and VPN. Also, you can work only on devices you are familiar with and have tested to make sure they work.

6. Social Media Interference

Remote working can lead to abusing social media sites, leading to time-wasting.

Limit the use of social media sites when possible and avoid using them during working hours. If you still get distracted, there are browser extensions that block access to them after a certain period. Also, you can set a specific day or time for checking social media websites.

7. Seldom Leaving the House

Also, working remotely can lead you to miss out on important social events. 

You can avoid this by scheduling your work hours around these events or using social media to stay connected. Also, you can try to get out of the house a few times during the week for lunch or coffee with friends.

8. Procrastination

Remote working is a problem because you end up procrastinating.  

Solve this by setting specific hours for distractions and avoiding them during working hours. You can try setting up an accountability partner or group that encourages checking in on.

progress throughout the workday. This way there are no surprises at the end of each week/day regarding how much work you completed.

9. Lack of tech support

Teleworkers often complain about not having access to a tech support team.

To solve this problem, make sure you fully charge your devices before starting the day and limit work on unfamiliar devices when possible.

10. No Privacy

You hate working remotely because you feel like people can see what I’m doing. 

You can solve this problem by closing all programs that are not work-related when video conferencing and having a private place where you work.

11. Loneliness

Working at home can lead to loneliness. 

To solve this, you can join groups that work remotely, schedule regular check-ins with your boss or supervisor, and take breaks away from the computer screen to visit friends.

12. Absent of Motivation

You hate remote working because it leads to a lack of motivation. 

Solve this by setting specific hours for distractions and avoiding them during office hours, 

having a healthy work/life balance, and getting plenty of sleep to avoid burnout.

Read More Remote Working Tips | Keeping Employees Motivated In COVID-19

13. Minimum Accountability

Remote work means no one is around to keep you accountable since no one is watching you. 

To solve this, take scheduled breaks from work and check in with your supervisors throughout the day.

Alternative to the Problem

Hybrid solutions are another possibility for those who are having problems working remotely. You achieve this through working a few days each week at the workplace and a few days each week at home. You will benefit from working from home and you will get advantages of interacting with coworkers in person occasionally. That is certainly something that employers should consider.

Final Thoughts

Although you hate remote work, after extensive research, you find its pros outweigh the cons. It is a good option for some people. Just be sure to avoid the above pitfalls to enjoy the experience. If you’re considering remote work, take the time to learn how it can affect your life before choosing that route. You may find that other options are better suited to your needs! 

We discussed the problematic aspects of working remotely and how best to mitigate them. In the end, all parties must know what they can expect from each other before making any commitments. This way, both company and employee will make an informed decision about whether it’s worth pursuing a remote opportunity.

Steve works as senior editor at PL. When he's not writing or slashing through content, he loves to dabble in board games, coffee and all-things-Agile.

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