Remote enabled companies can definitely benefit from it, however, in order to do it properly they have to face some challenges which come along with remote work.
Challenge #1 – Communication
In many cases (but definitely not all of them) it’s simply easier to approach someone sitting in the office next to you and ask/explain something. When it comes to remote work you have to support yourself with communicators, calls and video calls. As a result something which normally takes 1 minute may take you a quarter of an hour or more to explain on the communicator.
Furthermore, it is way easier to interpret other people’s emotions and receive feedback while talking face to face (i.e. when our interlocutor doesn’t understand what we just said you will probably see on his face). We will explain more how to deal with challenge in chapter 1.6 Remote communication.
On the other hand, we tend to organize meetings inviting many people (often too many) as a result wasting hours of our/others time. When you start working remotely you quickly realize that instead of gathering another meeting you can quickly discuss a given matter on chat including only required parties. We will show more advantages like that in 3.1 Advantages
Challenge #2 – Team Communication Feels Fragmented
When you’re not in the flow of in-office traffic, you’re going to miss impromptu lunches, coffees, or spontaneous deskside brainstorms. So it can occasionally feel like you’re not getting the full picture or like you’re the last to find out about things.
In order to deal with that issue you should consider to enforce policies that i.e. all communication happens via communicator. We will cover that in 2.1 All or nothing?
Challenge #3 Technology Trips You Up
There are industries which have remote work in their DNA like software developers, on the other hand there are still plenty of branches like Banks, Insurance and Medical/Pharmaceutic companies which by default are not allowed to keep data outside their data centers and so do their employees. So how to work from home if you are not allowed to take data out of your office? We will cover that in 1.8 Remote Access
Another technical challenges are as trivial as internet speed connectivity or simply disruption on on the line during the call which can ruin entire meeting. We will talk about that more in 1.7 Remote meetings
Challenge #4 – Productivity
This might be a real show stopper. We have to be honest – working from home demands a lot of self-discipline both from the employee as well as his household / family. For some reason many people believe that when we work from home we do not actually work.
Honey, could take a dog for a walk?
Dinner on the table, come eat.
Could you please take care of Carol for half an hour, I have to do something.
And when you argue that you are currently at work, sooner or later you hear that your boss won’t see that you don’t work.
But this also works other way round – it is tempting for ourselves to do more breaks, scroll Facebook or play with your kids. (Un)fortunately you can quickly learn self discipline, especially once you realize that it is already 6 PM and you still have tasks for another 4 hours….
Co-Founder @ MDBootstrap.com / Forbes 30 under 30 / EO'er
For years I've been working as an IT Consultant in countries like Netherlands, Belgium, Poland or India developing enterprise class systems for the biggest companies within domain.
Since 2016 I'm co-founder of MDBotstrap.com - world class UI Framework used by NASA, Amazon, Nike, Airbus, Samsung, Apple and many other Fortune 500 Companies.All author posts