Another Year Working Remotely: Challenges and Opportunities
The year 2020 stands out as what you would call the banner year for remote work. While a good number of people worked remotely before that, the outbreak of the pandemic forced a major shift to remote work. People and companies that hadn’t embraced remote working had it rough trying to adjust to the circumstances.
However, what seemed like a tragedy for most people might just have ushered in a blessing in disguise - the future of work. After experiencing the benefits of remote working, anyone can predict that this way of working is here to stay. Moreover, while the challenges of remote working are far from over, the year 2021 promises to be better with a vaccine in sight and more experience at hand.
Here are the challenges and opportunities this year is likely to present for remote workers.
1. Communication and collaboration
For teams to work together successfully, collaboration and communication need to happen seamlessly. As a remote worker, you need to know what the rest of the team members are doing-especially when working on the same projects. Sharing documents and videos needs to happen as at when they are needed. Otherwise, you risk doing repetitive work or missing deadlines if you aren’t on the same page. Nevertheless, this continues to be a challenge when each individual in your team is working in a different location.
However, with most companies transitioning more than half of their workforce to remote setups, employers are highly likely to be willing to invest heavily in the support of their remote workers. There will be no room for compromising on productivity. Employers are going to invest in better communication and collaboration tools to ensure that teams remain productive. So, when you have to send large videos to your colleagues, you can expect to use tools that are more fast and reliable in 2021.
2. Work-life balance
Remote working promises a better work-life balance for individuals. However, many people are yet to enjoy this benefit. Most people have had it hard working remotely during the pandemic, having to deal with the emotional turmoil that came with it. Others had to take care of a full house with kids at home from school, leaving them with little time to work. This meant working long in the night and forgoing leaves and off days in order to compensate for the hours lost.
Now that the world is slowly opening up, the year 2021 promises a better experience working remotely. If you are a parent, kids are back to school and that allows you some free time to improve on your routine.
In addition, now that you have had a year working remotely, you most likely know what works for you. You are in a better position to create an improved routine. To top it up, you now have the freedom to get out from the confinements of your home. You can now start enjoying the freedom of working from different places such as coffee shops or even traveling to another country.
3. Better incentives
Employers have come to embrace remote working as time goes. Furthermore, they understand the challenge that comes with working in isolation for a prolonged time. In addition, when they have to deal with some workers working in-house, the need to be heard and seen for those working remotely will be more evident this year.
As employers rampage to find equality between the two setups, they are highly likely to settle for better incentives for the people who have to bear working off-site. More reward programs and recognitions are bound to arise. You can also expect employers to upskill their workers to bring them on board in the use of new technology solutions that they might invest in. Companies will start hiring ethical sourcing audits to receive reports about the working conditions of every member of the staff and also get advice on what to improve.
One good thing about working remotely is that you can work from anywhere. This means that you are exposed to a global pool of employers and job opportunities. Now that you are not confined to a 9-5 work schedule, you can grab job opportunities from anywhere in the world. This gives you an opportunity to earn more money in different markets. In addition, you can enjoy the diversity of working with different people, transitioning into a more creative and innovative individual.
The year 2020 might have thrown you into an unfamiliar territory of remote working. The good thing is that you have had a year for you and your employer to adjust to what works for you. The year 2021 can only get better. The challenges will be easier to handle and numerous opportunities that will emerge are yours for taking.