It’s no longer news that technology has changed the world, including how most industries operate. The pandemic, in fact, necessitates the adoption of technological means to continue to run businesses and establishments.
Remote working has become the new normal for most industries and establishments. However, employees who were not exposed to remote working before the pandemic find it challenging to adjust to this new normal. The difficulty in transitioning to remote work has affected the productivity and morale of thousands of workers.
For productivity to be maintained and increased in any organization, team members or employees must stay motivated and engaged to get their work done. However, remote working can significantly reduce this motivation due to the change in environment and lack of personal contact with co-workers and team members. The following are three common barriers in remote working:
Difficult Work-Life Balance
One of the benefits of working in an office is that there is a definite opening and closing time. This means employees are only expected to show up at a particular time, and when it is closing time, employees can leave their unfinished tasks at the office—offering a window of time to achieve work-life balance.
However, when the office is now in your home, it’s possible as a remote worker to find yourself working round the clock. The seemingly unlimited time you have at home may result in continuously putting finishing touches to your work, and not giving your body some break time to rest, eat, sleep, and exercise.
Distraction From Daily Tasks
Working from home poses a lot of temptations and distractions as there are many things at home to keep you busy or entertained. Tidying the house, buying groceries, playing games, and even watching your favorite shows on TV are all possible distractions that can hinder you from giving your best or completing your daily task as a remote worker. And for those who have young children, there’s always a struggle between prioritizing your child’s needs or addressing urgent work concerns.
Working from home means less personal communication between team members and fellow employees. Creating healthy bonds with co-workers, and friendly discussions in the office are significantly reduced with remote working. This can cause feelings of helplessness and loneliness for remote workers that can greatly affect motivation and productivity.
How Technology Addresses Barriers In Remote Working
Thankfully, recent technologies are breaking down the barriers mentioned above and are making remote working a more sustainable norm. With the aid of technological innovations, managing remote teams has become easier because of the following:
1. Time Trackers:
With the use of time tracking software, you can establish a definite working schedule for your team by setting official work hours. Work notifications may also be put on hold during non-office hours to help encourage work-life balance.
2. Task Management Software:
These platforms help teams and employees keep track of projects and tasks. Task management software offers a place for employees to check tasks, tick to-dos, and report their daily activities to the management. With structured tasks, employees can remain focused on their work and become less distracted as they know what to accomplish within the day or week.
Using these technologies will help promote teamwork among remote workers since each member would be aware of impending deadlines. The management can also track and follow up on tasks that are getting delayed as well.
3. Virtual Conferences:
Of course, the only way to address communication barriers is by encouraging and offering more opportunities to keep in touch with team members. This is now made possible due to apps and services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. Despite working from home, employees can still communicate with their co-workers and managers through real-time video calls and chats.
Aside from that, many video conferencing platforms are capable of holding virtual events, conferences, and webinars where many people can attend and participate. Team building activities can even be done online as well! The use of technology like video calling and other virtual tools will ensure that you do not feel isolated, even as a remote worker. This can help you stay socially in touch with the rest of your team.
Working from home is already a thing for many employees even before the pandemic. However, this setup is not openly embraced by a majority of industries until the COVID-19 pandemic happened. And even though most were not prepared for the sudden change, technology came to the rescue.
While remote working can result in difficult work and life balance, numerous distractions, and communication challenges, these barriers are effectively addressed using technology. That includes using the right platforms, software, and online communication tools.