The shift to remote work is a new and challenging experience. It comes with its obstacles and opportunities as well. Although access to remote work has never been easier, many people are still unprepared for the challenges of being a remote worker.
In this article, we will be discussing the benefits, challenges and the skills everyone need to excel in any remote job.
Remote work advantages
Working from home has many advantages for both employees and employers, but the most notable one is increased productivity due to the absence of a daily commute. Correctly implemented remote work arrangementsand policies allow both workers and employers to concentrate on their actual performance at work.
With less commuting time, more autonomy, greater flexibility and better work-life balance, remote work is shifting the workforce and pushing the horizons of productivity into new untapped areas.
Here are the results of a survey that discussed the benefits of remote work
Challenges of remote work
As everything has its pros and cons, there are many struggles that can result from remote work such as; distraction, poor communication quality, feelings of loneliness, working across different time zones, overworking, and decreased supervision. All of these things can affect the quality of work and concentration.
The following results shows what struggles that remote workers face and their percentages.
Many of these challenges can be solved by acquiring new skills and by making some changes in your lifestyle. Here, we will be discussing the skills that can help you overcome these challenges as a remote worker.
Skills that every remote worker should have
1. Time management
Working from home has its benefits, but it can be a stressful experience if you don’t know how to manage your time effectively. As a result, you may struggle to meet both your professional and personal obligations. Therefore, it is essential to have total control over your schedule when working from home.
Effective time management is one of the most important and difficult aspects of working remotely. When done correctly, it will result in more flexibility in scheduling and higher levels of productivity.
Some tips for time-management:
1. Be aware of how you spend your time.
2. Establish a regular work schedule.
3. Have a dedicated workspace.
4. Prepare for each day in advance.
5. Set aside time for relaxation.
6. Recognize when to quit.
7. Get out of the house and socialize.
There is no one to keep an eye on you while you are at home working. Since you’re on your own, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to move forward with your tasks.
You must be self-driven to succeed in a remote work environment. It will help you get things done on time while working remotely. You have the power to direct your own attention by establishing a routine and schedule that works for you. If your home doesn’t already have a dedicated office, you can convert any room with a door into one. This will aid in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Part of the beauty of remote work is being able to work on a schedule that works best for you, but if you’re online and working at all hours, you’ll start burning out quickly. We’ll need to build clear rules around how technology can be used to help us maintain those boundaries for work-life balance.Ryan Bonnici ( Chief marketing officer of G2 Crowd )
You are your own manager; this does not mean that no one will monitor your work, but it does mean that your manager’s supervision will be different than regular office job. You will be more accountable for your actions and their results. Doing so will enhance the mutual trust between you and your manager that is necessary for productive remote work.
Without the right level of self-discipline and motivation you might end up working much less than working at the office, this definitely will put you on a brink of gradually losing your status at your job. So it is totally in your control to either shine as a remote worker or fade with time depending on your self-management.
As opportunities for remote work expand, adaptability is becoming an increasingly important skill. The ability to adapt to new software and technologies, working in different time-zones, optimizing collaboration opportunities, ensuring flawless projects, maintaining good communication and managing time, all of these necessitates adaptable and progressive candidates.
Those who are new to remote work may experience decreases in their productivity and communication at first, but fortunately, these effects are not permanent so in order to grow, you simply need to adapt.
5. Setting boundaries for un-plugging from work
Having a place for both working and living can make it difficult to separate between the two. Twenty-five percent of remote workers have trouble disconnecting from work, and twenty percent reported working more hours, according to Buffer’s 2022 State of Remote Work report.
Working from home allows you to set your own hours and avoid costly commutes, which is great for your work-life balance, but it also means that your workday will no longer have a clear beginning and end. This can make it hard to un-wind and un-plug when the workday is done, posing a challenge to the pursuit of a healthy work-life balance.
You will need to diversify your remote work space, try working from a different location, like a coffee shop if you can.
6. Good communication quality
Face-to-face communication is usually difficult enough, but working from home makes it even more difficult! One of the most common challenges you will face when working from home is communicating effectively.
Video conferences can be helpful for remote teams to boost the quality of team communication. Some people prefer to talk through emails or instant messaging, this should not affect or hinder the quality of the communication if done properly.
Diversifying the communication methods has proved to be the best way of efficient and healthy communication, sometimes you will need to talk over a video call, or a shared board, or just through instant messaging, every situation is different, the key here is to quickly know which type of communication you need for every situation.
Also, since remote workers rely heavily on written communications in many cases. It is essential that you can communicate clearly via emails, text messages, and chats. Statistics say that body language represents 90% of any human-interaction. In remote work, there’s no body language or visual cues, that’s why you will need to be wary of this while you communicate remotely to avoid misinterpretion.
7. Cultural openness
One of the best things about working with a global remote team is connecting with people from different cultures. Employers want to hire best talents regardless of where they are. They prefer teams who are open to new cultures so they can homogenously grow together and deliver a high quality of work without the presence of cultural barriers.
Knowing how to work with people from all over the world who come from different cultures and speak different languages will help you to work more efficiently without any cutural-related frictions.
In today’s competitive job market, it’s essential that everyone has the skills necessary to be a productive remote worker. Remote work has become the new normal way of work and it is here to stay.
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Read more at SupportFinity’s blog.