Working Remotely: Readiness and Challenges
During the pandemic and subsequent quarantine, and in light of all of our efforts to encourage interactions among entrepreneurs, Elm arranged a webinar and invited Mr. Alkhamis, who explored the perks and advantages of working remotely for employees, challenges faced while working remotely during quarantine, and ideal methods to create an employee work routine while working remotely.
Is Remote Work Considered an Ideal Approach for All Businesses?
It is hard to determine with absolute certainty if remote work arrangements are ideal for all companies, however, many administrative functions can be achieved from home, and many other functions can be partly achieved remotely, for example dividing one's work hours between the workplace and home. There are of course, some functions that can never be achieved remotely.
Advantages of Remote Work
The gained advantages from remote work vary. The most noticeable advantage might be ensuring that employees are not being distracted at work by ongoing chats with colleagues. In comparison to the time spent commuting to a workplace, one can improve efficiency and productivity by taking that commuting hour to go through a daily To-Do list and noting achieved tasks. Remote work also enables an employer to attract global talent; as remote work does not require employees and their families to be based at a particular workplace location.
Steps to Prepare Employees for Remote Work
Effective communication is crucial to ensure a successful work routine among managers and their subordinates. In addition to changing the work pattern by regularly asking questions such as: what project are we prioritizing this week? What is expected to be achieved this week? It is important to create a communication plan, taking into consideration that not all team members have a quiet space at home to work from, and some employees have to work during late hours to ensure quiet, order, and professionalism.
Challenges in Remote Work
The major challenge facing remote work employees is their different living conditions. Some have a properly equipped and quiet space to work smoothly, while others do not have access to such a space. Another challenge depends on an employee’s ability to find an effective work routine of their own. It is thus important to try multiple routines to determine an ideal arrangement. Another important challenge is social interaction. Working remotely for so long in isolation and social distancing from other teammates, can slightly affect an employee’s mental health. A good solution could be switching from home to work hubs from time to time.
Does Remote Work Mean Employees are Available 24/7?
Remote work does not mean an employee is ready to work at any minute, but how does an employee avoid unexpected random work tasks? Some companies connect the employees’ email addresses with their personal calendars, allowing them to insert non-work-related daily tasks, which helps managers to be aware of more suitable times for sending tasks and to set up deadlines that avoid workload pressures.