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Tackling the Downsides of Working Remotely: Solutions and Strategies

Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable shift towards remote work, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend. With more workers than ever before working from home, remote work has become a new normal for many companies, and many are now re-evaluating their approach to workforce management. However, remote work isn’t always easy and there are some downsides to this new style of working. In this long-form blog, we will discuss the main challenges of remote work and provide solutions and strategies to overcome them.

Challenge 1: Lack of Social Interaction

One of the biggest downsides of working remotely is the lack of traditional social interaction. Working from home means that employees miss out on face-to-face interactions with colleagues and can feel isolated. This can have a profound impact on mental health and wellbeing, leading to feelings of loneliness and depression.

Solution: Create Virtual Watercooler Moments

To combat this issue, companies should encourage virtual watercooler moments. These moments are casual online interactions where employees can talk about non-work-related topics, just like they would at the office. This can include virtual team-building activities like online games or virtual coffee breaks.

Challenge 2: Difficulty Staying Focused

Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. While it’s great to have the flexibility to work from anywhere, it can also be challenging to stay focused and avoid distractions. With all the comforts of home around them, employees might find it hard to stay on task, leading to a lack of productivity.

Solution: Create a Dedicated Workspace

The first step in staying focused is to create a designated workspace. This space should be quiet, clutter-free, and well-lit. This will help your employees to get in the zone and stay focused throughout the day. Additionally, you should provide your employees with the necessary tools to be productive, such as a good internet connection or monitor.

Challenge 3: Less Access to Information

When working in an office, it is easier to access information and ask colleagues for help. But, working remotely, this can be a challenge. It can take longer to get answers to questions and resolve problems, which can impact productivity and undermine team cohesion.

Solution: Utilize Collaboration Tools

To overcome this issue, companies should utilize collaboration tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. These tools allow team members to communicate in real-time, share files, and collaborate on projects. Additionally, companies should provide their employees with access to resources they need to do their jobs, such as company wikis, shared drives, and a knowledge base.

Challenge 4: Maintaining Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a work-life balance can be tricky, especially when working from home. When the home and office blend, employees can struggle to switch off, leading to working longer hours, feeling burnout, and decreased productivity.

Solution: Set Boundaries

To achieve work-life balance, employees need to set boundaries. This includes setting working hours, taking regular breaks, and avoiding work-related tasks outside of working hours. Employers should encourage their employees to take time off when needed and make sure there is a clear differentiation between time spent at work and time spent at home.

Challenge 5: Security Risks

Working remotely can also pose security risks to companies. With employees working on personal computers or using public Wi-Fi, it can be challenging to maintain data security and ensure that confidential information is not compromised.

Solution: Establish Security Protocols

To mitigate security risks, companies need to establish security protocols. This includes providing employees with secure VPN connections, ensuring that sensitive data is kept in secure locations, and regularly training employees on best practices for data security.

Challenge 6: Lack of Structure

Remote work often comes with a lack of structure, which can make it difficult for employees to manage their time and stay productive. Without the usual daily routine of commuting and working in an office, employees can find themselves struggling to establish a new routine.

Solution: Set Clearly Defined Goals and Expectations

To address this issue, employers should set clearly defined goals and expectations for their employees. Establishing a firm structure can help to create a sense of purpose and ensure that everyone is working towards common objectives. Additionally, regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings can provide employees with a way to stay on track and receive real-time feedback.

Challenge 7: Time Zone Differences

Remote work can often involve collaborating with team members who are located in different time zones. This can make it challenging to schedule meetings and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Solution: Establish a Clear Communication Plan

To address this challenge, companies should establish a clear communication plan. This should include guidelines for scheduling meetings, ensuring that all team members are involved in decision-making processes, and making sure that everyone is aware of important deadlines. Additionally, companies can consider using tools like WorldTimeBuddy to help coordinate across time zones.

Challenge 8: Difficulties in Building Relationships

Building strong relationships with team members is essential for any successful organization. However, building rapport and camaraderie can be challenging when working remotely.

Solution: Create Virtual Social Events

To build relationships with remote team members, companies should consider organizing virtual social events. This can include virtual team building activities like online games, virtual coffee breaks, and themed Thursdays. Additionally, companies can create an online social platform for remote employees to connect and build relationships informally.

Challenge 9: Difficulty with Career Advancement Opportunities

Remote work can sometimes limit an employee’s opportunities for advancement within a company. This can happen because the employee is not physically present in the office or because they are not vocal enough about their contributions.

Solution: Take Action on Professional Development

To ensure that remote employees are given the same opportunities for growth and advancement, companies should have a formal professional development plan in place. This can include regular training and development opportunities, networking events, and mentorship programs. Additionally, managers should provide employees with regular feedback on their work and offer opportunities for advancement within the company.

Challenge 10: Difficulty Maintaining Company Culture

Maintaining a strong company culture is challenging when employees are working remotely. In-person interactions can reinforce company values and foster a sense of community that can be difficult to recreate when working remotely.

Solution: Reinforce Company Culture through Communication

To maintain company culture when working remotely, companies need to communicate their values clearly and consistently. This can include regular messaging from senior leadership, virtual team events, and recognition of employee contributions outside of work-related metrics. Additionally, companies can create virtual channels that enable employees to share stories, engage in healthy debates, and celebrate each other’s achievements.


Remote work continues to transform the way we work and live, and the benefits far outweigh the challenges. As companies continue to adapt to this new reality, they need to embrace these solutions and strategies to ensure that they are maximizing productivity, employee satisfaction, and company culture. Each solution is as unique as the company implementing them, but the most important thing is that these solutions must be tailored to the organization’s specific needs. With the right approach, remote work can have a positive impact on all aspects of company operations and create a happier and more productive workforce.

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