The meteoric rise of remote working has left employees and employers alike having to scramble to adapt to an era in which the office is no longer the hub of the business world.
From a management perspective, there are a number of challenges that remote work entails, and understanding that they exist is the first step to addressing them, so here is a rundown of the biggest obstacles employers face when embracing remote working.
Attendance & time management issues
Working from home effectively amplifies the elements of individual employees’ time management skills which, in an office context, would have been less pronounced. And it is much trickier to keep employee attendance in check if there is no office environment involved.
This is where time card apps for small businesses are becoming indispensable, as they allow you to emphasize the importance of good time management and honesty with regards to attendance, without needing to take on a lot more manual administration in the process.
Hardware & software inconsistencies
In an office, a business can be entirely in control of the kinds of hardware and software that employees are using to fulfill their duties each day, with centralized procurement preventing the potential for compatibility issues and security vulnerabilities from persisting.
This is not the case in a remote working scenario, as team members may be forced to rely on their own tech to communicate and collaborate with colleagues. This can create conflicts between hardware and software alike, while also creating a disparity between those who have access to powerful devices and fast connections, and those who do not.
Software compatibility complications have largely been overcome by migrating to cloud-powered solutions rather than programs that rely on locally installed code to run. Meanwhile, more businesses are accepting the need to send out laptops and accessories to remote working employees so that there is parity and consistency across the board.
There is a big difference between having face to face meetings with colleagues, managers and clients in order to push projects forwards and further the goals of the organization, and needing to handle these essential interactions entirely online.
Employers may find that while some workers are able to thrive at a time when virtual meetings are becoming the norm, others are less well suited to contributing in this context, and furthermore it may be tough to tell who is feeling the most disengaged, because getting the cues which indicate this is harder in this environment.
Managers are having to make sure that more one-to-one time with employees is scheduled in, so that concerns can be raised, conflicts resolved and issues ironed out.
These are just some of the things employers are required to cope with as remote working culture gains momentum, and while there are certainly hurdles to leap over, there are also opportunities to grab. Those firms that accept the new reality they are faced with, rather than trying to fight against it, are in the best position to succeed.