How to overcome remote work challenges

Clarify Expectations

 

Due to the Corona crisis, we are suddenly stuck at home and need to rethink our routines and behaviors — not only in private matters but also when it comes to work-related things. Some of us were already used to remote work, but others had to start from scratch.

Either way, remote work creates challenges which 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 face a lack of 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 chat with basically every affected person.

Talk to:

Such talks and clarifications should happen with stakeholders, colleagues, customers, and so on.

Talk about:

In order to tackle the biggest challenges of remote work as soon as possible, the topics below should be clarified and questions such as the stated ones answered.

  • Meetings

Which meetings are needed? Which new meeting rules should be considered? How to handle background noise? Is a new approach for decision making necessary?

  • Alignments

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?

  • Personal Preferences

Do you know the individual situation of the people you work with? Do they prefer alternative working hours due to private challenges and preferences?