working remotely

Working remotely can be both a blessing and a curse.

It can save money on transportation, reduce carbon emissions and more, but it can also reduce efficiency and productivity. Everyone is attracted to the freedom that comes with benign digital nomads, but there are two sides to every story.

Here are some of the pitfalls of working remotely:

1. Security

Data security can become a big concern if your remote employees or contractors have remote file access from all devices. All internet connections are not created equal. Hackers will almost always go after the easy targets, so it is important to fortify your connections and insist on having remote workers use dedicated servers or equipment for completing tasks.

2. Lack of Communication

Communication is key when it comes to doing business. Employees need to be clear in their communications and ask questions to ensure that everyone’s on the same page. Distance can often lead to a lack of communication and miscommunication. In the end, the business suffers.

3. Distractions

Working from home is wrought with distractions. Pets, children, a stocked refrigerator and so much more. It’s easy to get distracted from the tasks at hand when there’s laundry to do and social media accounts to check in with. Being in a traditional work environment eliminates these distractions and increases productivity.

4. IT Problems

Problems with the technology are bound to happen. When this happens to remote workers, it can often lead to long delays or even a stoppage of business. Sometimes tech issues become convenient excuses for slacking off or failing to meet deadlines.

5. Lack of Community

Team building can be more of a challenge when everyone is working remotely. Face to face interactions do a lot to foster working relationships and increase the feeling of community. Humans are hardwired for facial recognition, so putting a face to a person and business is important.

6. Retention

Some people feel that remote workers are unreliable. And that they are not invested in their work because they’re using remote jobs as a means to a desired end. That end having very little to do with your business. Increasing the employee turnover rate is undesirable.

7. Accountability

When your team is remote, it can be difficult to hold each other accountable. It can be even more difficult to track the activity or productivity of employees. Daily emails, productivity apps and other tools may be necessary.

8. Making Payments

When your remote team is global, making payments may be a little difficult. Currency and tax laws may be an issue, and payment methods and banking institutions may also pose another hurdle.  

9. Isolation

Some people thrive when they’re in a group setting. And even the most introverted soul needs interaction too. It’s human nature. Sometimes remote employees can feel isolated and lonely, which can lead to stress, anxiety and depression.

Although some of these problems do exist, if you’re not sure about trying remote work, try it out on a small scale first. And if you’re set on moving forward with remote working, keep these pitfalls in mind so that you can build strategies to work against them.

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