Due to the Corona crisis, we were suddenly stuck at home and needed to rethink our routines and behaviours — not only in private but also in work-related matters. Some of us were already used to remote work, but others started from scratch.
Either way, remote work creates challenges that we do not face at the office.
Challenges of remote work
Old and settled office routines and rules get challenged. Suddenly employees prefer to work at unusual times, for example in the evenings when their homes are calmer. Active communication is required, whereas a short and random exchange in the hallway or kitchen was everything that was needed in office times. Chats and phone calls leave more room for interpretation and misunderstandings compared to a face to face conversation. If expectations and objectives are not clearly stated, employees can lack clarity and direction.
Solution: Talk, Talk, Talk
The answer to these challenges is to clarify expectations as much as possible. The biggest mistake is to assume that everything is clear and the same as back at the office. That assumption leads to frustrations and misunderstandings for every person involved.
However, remote work changes a lot and therefore, it is important to clarify expectations and have a conversation with basically every affected person.
Such talks and clarifications should happen with stakeholders, colleagues, customers, and so on.
To tackle the challenges of remote work as soon as possible, the below topics should be clarified.
Which meetings are needed? Which new meeting rules should be considered? How to handle background noise? Is a new approach for decision making necessary?
With whom and how often should alignments take place? Should this communication happen via chat, email or video call?
Goals and Objectives
Are the goals and objectives clear? How can transparency be increased? Is everyone aware of who is working on what?
Do you know the individual situation of the people you work with? Do they prefer alternative working hours due to personal challenges and preferences?
After these questions are clarified, you will notice an improvement in the remote-working situation. Moreover, it will build mutual trust, and the employees will feel understood and motivated!