Remote Work Era: Three Challenges to Overcome
By Amy H. Chiu, Tech Brand Content Developer
In May 2022, Airbnb’s career page received 800,000 visits since its remote work announcement. What’s the hype? When people say, ‘I work remotely,’ do you think of working from home in pajamas and not worrying about being stuck in traffic?
Remote working is more than that.
As we embrace hybrid and remote workspace, there are more conversations you and your team will be having, including challenges and solutions. As a full-time remote associate who works from a different time zone, I’ve learned methods to stay connected with my team.
My friends in tech often ask me what it’s like working remotely because some of them are considering switching their workstyle. My short answer is remote working is not for everyone.
The story began when I started working remotely as a freelancer a few years ago. Without going to the office, I engaged and experimented with various strategies to complete projects with accuracy and efficiency.
Challenge One – Communication
Are you afraid of missing the hallway conversation that could potentially build trust and work relationships among the team? As an extrovert, my solution is to speak up and share my updates during virtual happy hours and video calls. For example, I challenge myself to say more than “how are you” and answer more than “I’m good.” Having a real, human-to-human conversation during virtual happy hour has taught me to be more empathetic and understanding. I’d check in with my coworker from the other side of the country who caught the flu and adjust the calendar priorities accordingly.
I imagine reaching out can be a challenge for those more reserved in a new environment when they first start in a full-time remote position. This is when turning on video cameras can be helpful during online meetings. We recognize facial expressions during conversations that help us understand the tone of voice without saying too much, and smiling is always a plus!
Challenge Two – Time Management
Another challenge comes in time management, which is especially important for those who work with teams from different time zones. I recommend productivity and time tracking tools such as Toggl and DeskTime that allow you to log the time you spend on each project. The key is to build a schedule for yourself and stick to it. It’s easier to have a routine despite having scheduled meetings on the day or not.
Knowing when to start and pause working is the key for ambitious individuals. Since there’s no hard stop or visually seeing your coworkers packing up to leave at five in the afternoon, give yourself the reminder and permission to finish tasks during your working hours.
Challenge Three – Work Motivation
For those who enjoy the office atmosphere, I recommend joining coworking spaces such as WeWork and Galvanize. You could find a variety of office layouts and meeting spaces, using them to focus on your business. The community can also be an excellent opportunity to network and increase motivation at work.
I work from home and dedicate a space for work only. Having the habit motivates me and sets me in business mode every morning. According to a Social Psychological and Personality Science paper, the researchers asked subjects to change into formal and casual clothing before cognitive tests. They found wearing formal business clothing increases abstract thinking. On the days when I need an extra energy boost, I put on business clothing, even off-camera. The formal attire makes me focus better, and I tend to complete my tasks faster with accuracy.
Welcome to Remote Work
Remote working requires self-discipline, communication skills, and an open mind to collaborate. There will be challenges working with time zones and across teams when you are not sitting across from your coworker in the same office. However, the rewarding feeling of accomplishing projects remotely with the team makes the experience valuable. Please grab on to the perfect opportunity to learn organizational skills, independence, and self-motivation!
We are hiring!
Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current remote openings.