The Covid pandemic has had quite a significant impact on the work environment. Many organizations, which do not run a manufacturing plant or do not need to physically deal with the public, have switched entirely to a remote working model. There are conflicting opinions on the effectiveness of remote work when compared to working in the office.
Remote work certainly has its advantages. Work commute fuel expense gets eliminated. Employees also save time that they would otherwise have to spend to get to and from work. Employers benefit as well as they don’t need to invest in office space. However, there is uncertainty about how long and to what extent remote working practices will continue. So it creates uneasiness from a planning point of view.
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Problems With Remote Work
All organizations must have remote working strategies to take into account any emergencies. They need to train their staff to adjust to this new environment. Another challenge for management is enforcing work policies. Here are some problems associated with remote work.
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Absence of Management
Remote work creates a physical barrier between employees and management. This can lead to communication issues. Employees need assistance and direction. Lack of physical proximity because of remote work causes some problems in this regard. This can lead to misunderstandings between employees and management.
Lack of Coordination
Being physically distant can lead to some coordination issues for everyone working in the organization. When people are present in the same location, they can easily discuss work projects. Remote work makes this process a little tedious and time-consuming.
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Working From Home
Working from home has its challenges. There are often a lot of distractions at home. There is chance people may go on watching TV or take naps during work hours when working from home. Employees will need to self-regulate their behavior to ensure their work does not suffer.
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Remote Management Best Practices
Managing work from home requires strategies and techniques to handle employees and ensure they complete their tasks on time. Some of these strategies are mentioned below.
Employees and employers need to develop trust to ensure smooth work operations. A trust deficit is bad enough in any situation and even more so in a remote working environment. Managers must keep their faith in their employees to complete their work duties on time.
Very often employers make assumptions that their employees may slack off during work from home. They should not make such assumptions otherwise things will go haywire. They should hold regular virtual meetings to instill confidence in employees. This will make employees feel important and hence prevent unnecessary tension during work.
Provide Emotional Support to Employees
We live in uncertain times. Uncertainty makes everyone feel uneasy. There may be some employees dealing with job stress or other anxieties. Managers should talk to their employees frequently to keep a check on their health. They should enquire why they are not able to fulfill their work requirements. Communication is the key to maintaining a conducive work environment.
The work policy of any organization will not be complete without a feedback system. Both employees and employers should be open to accepting constructive criticism and feedback to make themselves better in the future. In addition to improving work policies, a feedback mechanism also helps create an environment of trust between employees and employers.
Remote work has become quite a norm in the past couple of years. It is likely to continue becoming more prevalent in the foreseeable future. Organizations need to adapt to this situation accordingly. Following the suggestions mentioned here will help them adequately manage this scenario.