Things are changing in the modern workplace. Influenced by factors such as the global pandemic, new technologies, and the changing workforce demographic, more and more organizations are embracing remote work as a viable option for their employees. And rightly so. Primarily, remote work gives employees the flexibility to work from anywhere and at any time, boosting productivity and morale, as well as reducing overhead costs for employers.
Still, remote working brings its own set of challenges that should be considered if organizations are to make the most out of this way of working. Here are some common pitfalls to look out for.
Things get lost in translation during non face-to-face interaction. Without the benefit of eye contact, body language, and other nonverbal cues, important messages may be misinterpreted or misunderstood and lead to serious miscommunication issues.
Imagine a law firm working on a huge arbitration case where a remote team is involved. Lawyer A who is based in New York and Lawyer B who is working from London rely on emails to communicate most of the time. If Lawyer A sends an email with unclear instructions which are misinterpreted by Lawyer B, this could cause a major setback in the case that has serious legal implications and potentially cost the firm thousands of dollars.
Invest in quality communication tools that enable employees to communicate clearly and frequently. Tools such as video conferencing, project management software, and cloud-based file sharing are great for keeping everyone on the same page.
When working remotely, it’s easy for individuals to get stuck in their own bubble and become socially isolated. But people require social interaction, even to do their jobs right.
Imagine a software developer working from home. He spends long hours in front of his computer coding, with little to no interaction with other people outside of work hours. This can lead to burnout, stress, and frustration which will ultimately affect the quality of his work as well as team morale.
Make it a priority to encourage teams to interact and build relationships. This could be done by setting up regular team video calls, introducing virtual happy hours, or organizing online group activities that promote collaboration and camaraderie.
For remote work, the security of sensitive data is at risk. Without proper security measures in place and regularly updated tools, unauthorized access to confidential information can occur.
Consider a company that stores inventory data with real-time inventory visibility and transactional data software. If hackers were to gain access to this information, it could be damaging to the company and its customers.
Prioritize data security by investing in secure cloud-based storage solutions and regularly updating software with the latest security patches and features. You also want to provide your teams with comprehensive training on how to protect sensitive information.
The benefits of remote work are undeniable, but it’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls that can arise as well. By taking steps such as investing in quality communication tools, encouraging social interaction, and prioritizing security measures, organizations will be better positioned to make the most out of this way of working.