With the current situation due to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease-2019) global pandemic, many companies and businesses have faced challenges in implementing new working styles to accommodate changes including offering work from home arrangements. In light of these changes, many of them lose track and are unaware of where to start. It’s said to be a given for the current global public health crisis that caught everyone off guard.
Working from home is believed to be one of the most probable solutions businesses have decided to resort to in order to keep on doing business. Both private and public sectors found ways to execute decisions to adapt to workplace changes in practical ways. It’s done to still lead to productivity while ensuring everyone’s health and safety.
Nevertheless, not every company has positioned its footing firmly during these trying and challenging times. The following are some challenges that remote businesses experience during the COVID-19 era:
1. Effective Communication
The importance of communication can’t be overstated. Although it’s not as tricky as it could’ve been in the past, thanks to technology, the lack of physical and face-to-face communication has impacted many families and businesses. Communication among staff and their bosses remains one of the most vital aspects for a smooth business operation. Business leaders should update all personnel regarding changes that take place at all times. An era like this calls for a lot of free-flowing information.
The management team must be transparent about their decision-making process, the expectations of employees, and how they’re navigating this crisis to thrive. And then there’s the communication among workers. It’s said that the need for virtual team building has even spiked as they have fewer times to update each other and build their professional relationships. Overall, businesses have struggled with effective communication and each must eventually choose their method to ensure successful communication.
2. Inability To Focus At Working
When employers communicate about potential distractions, they can help employees limit them while working from home. Usually, the most common forms of disruptions when working from home are children present at home, household chores, hobbies, or pets. It’d help if everyone were open about their household struggles to help each other overcome them.
With so many possible disturbances at home, it may be tough for you to focus on work. However, you must find ways to enhance your productivity by preparing your workstation away from plausible distractions, setting work time more strictly, and communicating to your family about how you need to work efficiently. There are various distractions that employees may face, but assisting them with identifying what causes them to lose focus and finding solutions can make a big difference.
3. Difficulty Of Retaining Work-Life Balance
For home-based work to be successful, creating a healthy routine and setting solid boundaries are believed to be paramount for every employee. One common complaint among workers is that the fine line between personal and professional lives has grown thinner during the pandemic. It’s said that many people have been working longer since it’s easier for them to drag their office obligations to their personal space and time.
Although the flexibility that comes with remote working is one of its ultimate perks, it’s also kind of like a curse. Now it’s up to you to manage your tasks. It’s a good idea for employees to attempt to work the same hours on the same days every week, while at the same time being flexible and open to schedule changes in case there will be emergency obligations.
4. Distance Working Arrangements
It’s possible to ensure continued business operations by splitting teams. This is can also be helpful in limiting the spread of the virus. But this has become a challenge since teams who work together but are physically apart must find ways to make projects and collaborations work from a distance. Running and monitoring online teams has become a challenge for managers and leaders today.
Although some businesses may have implemented two or three separate worksites to implement worker social distancing, it’d remain a struggle for them and the other coordinating departments of the company. However, many businesses are said to be implementing various ways to minimize the number of workers reporting in the office all at once.
Remote working usually tempts you to do other things while attending to your work and tasks. And as expected, multi-tasking isn’t something that accurately leads to productivity. The change of environment and staying in the comforts of your home might trigger demotivation.
During this era riddled with many drastic changes, you need to set boundaries. However, there are ways for you to stay motivated as much as possible like the following ways:
- Insert an exercise session before, between, or after work.
- Set the alarm to wake up on time.
- Continue with your entire schedule as if you’re still reporting to the office.
- Always be on time to do all tasks.
6. Employee Safety And Health
It’s very important for your employees to remain safe during this challenging time. The type of job, the location, and their health may pose different health risks to fellow employees. Depending on your industry, some may feel that their health is at stake while they’re on duty. Whether they work from their homes or in the office, health risks are potential challenges during these times.
Employers are encouraged to monitor their employees’ health if they still have to report physically to work. Additionally, social distancing can be ensured, increased hygiene toolkits can be provided, and protective clothing can be worn by your employees.
7. Creating Remote Work Policies
It’s not enough for your business to consider operating remotely right away as a precautionary measure in the midst of the global pandemic. This transition will require your company to instill rules and guidelines that staff must follow. These rules may tackle working hours, job roles and responsibilities, task deadlines, teamwork and projects, technical requirements, and so on. All of this has become a challenge particularly for businesses that have just begun operating remotely.
However, when rules and policies are clearly set and communicated to all staff and company members, they’ll create a smooth flow of work and will increase productivity. Gray lines on what should or shouldn’t be allowed while working will be no more. With proper guidance, employees will be aware of their obligations while working from their own homes or workstations.
The flexibility offered in work arrangements doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Since their benefits have been brought about by many business owners worldwide, it’s worth considering that employees remain productive even when rendering their duties online. However, it’s also worth mentioning that countless people are still dealing with different everyday struggles working remotely. Hopefully, these issues will be resolved to improve company productivity.