• Sat. Oct 16th, 2021

10 Challenges of Working Remotely (and How To Overcome Them)

lanwo ayotunde


Dec 11, 2019

challenges of working remotely

Do you face the same challenges I do? I am a remote worker. In fact, all of us at Time Doctor are remote workers.

The benefits of remote work are numerous. You can pack up and move to Bali for three months. You can schedule appointments throughout the day, and no one will ask why you’re leaving the office early. And you don’t have to feel the stress of a long commute.

But let’s face it, being a remote employee isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are some challenges of remote working that you and the organization you work for must overcome in order for you to be successful.

In this article, I’ll share with you 10 challenges that I had to overcome in order to succeed as a remote employee at Time Doctor.

See how Time Doctor’s easy-to-use time tracking software can help your team be more productive.

Who is that?

What does he do?

And where does he live?

These are three questions I found myself asking myself quite often when I first joined the company.

Most of the projects that I work on require a team of people to complete. Whether it’s launching a blog post, building a webinar, or giving my input on a blog redesign, no one person can do it alone.

In a typical company with an office and centralized workforce, members of the team are sitting next to you. In a virtual company, it’s not that easy.

For instance, one of the first tasks I completed for Time Doctor was to write a blog post. After I finished the post, I didn’t know who was going to edit it and upload it to WordPress.

Was I supposed to do that? Or is there someone on the team who will do that for me? Turns out the guy who does this lives on the other side of the world. Literally.

When you first join your new company, insist on attending as many virtual meetings as possible. While this sounds counter-intuitive to other productivity advice, attending meetings is the easiest way to get to meet your colleagues and develop an understanding of what everyone’s job is and where they fit in the organization.

You can put your microphone on mute the first few times and just listen and take notes.

Are You Feeling Isolated?

Let’s face it.

When your nearest colleague lives 800 miles away, the office Christmas party can be quite lonely. There are times when I wish I could have a beer with my colleagues after work.

Or play on a company basketball team. Or grab a cup of coffee before work. But working in a virtual company permits that from happening.

If you think about it, the average employee spends 40 hours a week with his co-workers. In some instances, that is more than the time he spends with his family. Their social lives are built around the relationships they make at work.

As a remote employee, working alone in my home office, I don’t have the luxury of creating a social life around my work friends. To combat this, I take a proactive approach to keep my social calendar as full as possible, work from a local cafe or spend my work day at a co-working space.

Worker feeling isolated

I routinely meet up with local friends for dinner and drinks after work. I participate in a beer kickball league that plays once a week. And I get together with friends to play poker once a month.

Company Culture

At Time Doctor, the culture is built around analytics.

Nothing is taken for granted. We are constantly testing. Everything from headlines, to subject lines, to calls to action, to outreach scripts, and even what we say in sales calls is subject to the same scrutiny of testing.

Conceptually, I understood what that means. However, it wasn’t until I worked with the Time Doctor team for a few months before I was completely immersed in the culture.

Within an office building, a new employee can watch his or her coworkers to see how things are done. They can learn the backstory of the company and why things came to be through casual conversation.

However, in a remote company, these serendipitous conversations and observations can’t take place.

As an analytics guy myself, I have completely embraced this culture. The truth of the matter is, if I didn’t embrace this culture, there is no way I would have been employed this long.

As a remote employee, it can be easy to see your work as simply a paycheck – something to do in order to pay the bills. This can work in the short term. But in order to maintain long term success within the company, you need to truly embrace the culture.

Note: If you do not like the culture of the company for whatever reason, you should not stay. You will be doing both yourself and your employer an injustice.

The Collective Knowledge doesn’t Disseminate

In a typical, centralized company, knowledge spreads like a virus.

One person tells a friend, who then tells another friend, who then tells another, and so on.

Think about it:

When you’re out with your colleagues for drinks after work, you hear about the challenges facing the engineering team with a new customer.

And when you go to lunch, you will hear about the new strategy for driving traffic to the website at a low cost.

Or if you have a problem, and you want to see how someone else has solved it, all you have to do is get out of your chair and ask someone.

But what happens if the person you need to talk to lives on the other side of the globe and won’t wake up for another six hours?

As a remote worker, you have to learn to be resourceful, independent, and patient.

One of the problems that you’re going to face is that knowledge is stored in emails, chats, and private conversations.

Most remote organizations use a project management software such as Basecamp. One thing that might help you find solutions to problems you have is to ask for access to all of the projects – not just those that pertain to you.

Completing Your Projects

Speaking of project management software, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the challenge of completing projects.

Yes, you’re probably going to use Basecamp, some other project management tool or even different remote working tools to help you organize and complete your tasks.

But as I mentioned, most of your tasks are going to require a team. I know all of mine do.

What might be your top priority, might be someone else’s fifth priority. Also take into account that your team may be spread across multiple cities, countries, and time zones.

Submitting your work on a Tuesday afternoon may mean that your team member won’t get it until Wednesday morning.

In working with Time Doctor, I’ve learned that I need to submit my work a full 48 hours prior to the deadline. This will give everyone, no matter what time zone they’re in, the opportunity to view the work and take action in time to complete their end of the project.

How to Focus in a World full of Distraction

On any given day, the laundry needs to be done, the car needs to have it’s oil changed, a package is getting delivered, or the dishwasher is getting fixed.

If you have a family, this doesn’t count phone calls from your wife, your kids busting into the office when they get home from school, or playing chauffeur.

Distractions happen. And unfortunately, they can be hard to prevent.

Here are some strategies that I’ve used to reduce the number of distractions that I face:

  1. Make sure that your family and friends know that during the hours of 9 AM to 5 PM, you’re at work. This means you’re unavailable to help people move, or to take phone calls just to chat, or to run errands. If they wouldn’t contact you if you were in a more traditional office, then they shouldn’t contact you now.
  2. I made an office out of a spare bedroom. A space that is just for me to get work done. When I’m in the office, I am able to focus on getting work done. I don’t worry about the leaves on the ground, the laundry in the washer, or anything else that needs to happen around the house.
  3. I am most productive in the morning, between the hours 8 AM and 11 AM. And then again from 3 PM to 5 PM. That’s not to say I don’t work from 11 – 3, but this is the time that I use to schedule deliveries, or run errands if I need to. During the week, I schedule my life around work as much as possible… not the other way around.

How to “Turn Off” Work

At the end of the day, a typical office worker checks out at 6PM, drives home to his or her family and spends the evening doing some leisure activity.

I do know that many knowledge workers take their work home from time to time, but there is still a clear delineation between being “at work” and being “at home”.

Being a remote employee, my office and my home are one in the same place. And to be perfectly honest, I have an extremely hard time turning off work. When I’m watching TV, I’m thinking about a new potential blog post. When I’m eating dinner, I’m thinking about a potential headline. And when I’m lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, many times my mind will race with promotion strategies.

For me, getting burnt out doesn’t happen because I’m working long hours in an office, instead, burn out happens because I’m thinking about work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The struggle is real.

I realized a long time ago that in order to maintain my sanity and work at my peak performance on a daily basis, I would need to find a way to differentiate between being “at work” and “at home”.

Here are a few strategies that work for me.

  1. At the end of the work day, I do a strenuous workout. While working out, my concentration shifts from work, to the exercise that I’m doing at that time. Eventually, my mind becomes clear. And by the end of the workout, I’m too sore to think about anything other than how tired my muscles are. Yes, this is a bit extreme. But it works wonders for me.
  2. If you’re not a fan of having a rigorous workout routine, then perhaps this strategy is more your speed. When you’ve decided that you’re finished working for the day, have a glass of wine. For me, when I have even a sip of alcohol, I know that I won’t be able to work for the remainder of the day.
  3. My final strategy is to take a night-time walk to connect with the universe. I know this sounds a bit far fetched and out there. But for me, there is something special about looking up at a clear night sky and gaining perspective. When you realize how small your place is in the universe, you begin to take yourself a lot less seriously.

These strategies may not work for you. And that’s OK. But the point is, make sure you find something that you can do every day that signifies that you’re done working and you’re now ready to enjoy your home life.

Stop Sitting; Start Moving

Before I became mindful of how stationary I was, here was a typical day:

Wake up in the morning and turn on the computer. Grab breakfast and bring it upstairs to my office where I would sit for hours and do work until I got hungry again. Then I’d make a trip to the kitchen for food, and the process would start all over again. My waste line grew. My posture suffered. And my overall health became incredibly poor.

Not to mention, I became increasingly unhappy.

The truth is, a lack of movement and exercise is the effect of some of the other challenges described on the list. When your nearest colleague works a thousand miles away, you can’t get up from your desk to visit them to collaborate on a project.

And when your team is scattered throughout the globe, there isn’t the opportunity to grab a basketball after work and shoot some hoops. And turning off work is an impediment too. There is always one more email to respond to. One more sentence to fix. One more line of code to debug.

And before you know it, you’ve been sitting in front of your computer an extra two or three hours. And by the time you’re done, that trip to the gym just isn’t happening.

Hopefully, by the time you’ve reached this stage of the article, you’re mindful of the fact that you need to move around and exercise.

Not only will it help with your physical health, but it will also help you focus more on your work.

That Damn Printer is Jammed Again…

Several years ago, I spent some time working in an office.

When I would hit the print button, and was prompted to change the toner, I would simply walk over to the supply closet, grab a new toner, and replace it with the old one.

It was a simpler time.

Back then, I had no idea how where the cartridge came from, and I knew even less about how much the cartridge cost to replace. You can be damn sure that I know exactly how much it costs to replace the cartridge. (In case you’re wondering, Staples sells my cartridge for $197 for the three pack of colors.)

In the office, when my laptop died, I submitted a purchase requisition to the IT department. The next day, I had a new one on my desk.

Today, if my laptop dies, I have to fork over $1,200 to Best Buy or Amazon or some other retailer in order to replace it. By the way, that’s $1,200 of my own money. When the internet goes down, you’re the one that has to fix it.

I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve spent resetting modems and routers and contacting my Internet Service Provider – which in case you’re wondering is voted to have the worst customer service among companies in the United States.

When you’re negotiating your salary with your new employer, make sure that you factor in any potential IT costs that will arise in the coming year. They are quick to add up.

Still Want to be a Remote Employee?

I know that you want to take your laptop to the beach, or hang out in the neighborhood coffee shop to get work done. I’m sure you’ve pictured the freedom in your head a thousand times.

There’s a certain romance to it.

And now to dump a cold glass of water on your head. Because let’s face it. Being a remote employee simply isn’t for everyone.

It requires the discipline to avoid and overcome the various distractions that you’ll encounter throughout the day. You need to be motivated enough to get work done, when you’re surrounding environment is telling you to procrastinate.

And you need to have the organization skills to manage multiple projects and your day to day life – often within the same room of your house or apartment.

Sure, being a remote employee can have a lot of benefits. But in order to reap those benefits, you must overcome these ten challenges.

If you’re working remotely, what challenges did you have to overcome?

Leave a message in the comments section and let us know.

Try Time Doctor

Greg Digneo

Greg Digneo

Greg Digneo writes for TimeDoctor.com, a time monitoring and productivity monitoring software designed for tracking hours and productivity of remote teams. If you would like to see where you and your team are spending your time during work, then try Time Doctor FREE for 14 days.


23 thoughts on “10 Challenges of Working Remotely (and How To Overcome Them)”
  1. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the
    expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a variety
    of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard very good things about blogengine.net. Is there a
    way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  2. Information To Register At The Official Soccer Playing Site
    Discussing concerning the ball actually crossed our minds in regards
    to the existence of soccer. Sports is a sport that
    is very fashionable amongst different sports. Moreover, FIFA as the
    highest mum or dad all the time holds trophies such as the European Cup, English Cup, World Cup and Latin America.

    For those of you soccer lovers who wish
    to try their luck by placing in your favorite
    team. We’re certain that the gamers who be part of this on-line gambling sport will win hundreds of hundreds of thousands
    of rupiah if you’re good at taking part in.
    So don’t be surprised if the game of playing is the most popular game played by all individuals.
    With the rapid growth of know-how, enjoying football betting is quite simple because you possibly can already play
    it using your smartphone or personal pc.
    And by enjoying football betting at residence you not should be afraid of getting caught whereas playing
    soccer because you now not must search for a land ball
    On the internet there are many selections of web sites, however only a few that you should use as a
    playground. Because you need to decide on an official bookmaker with a purpose to keep away from loss.

    Right here to make it simpler for you to choose a quality soccer
    The best quality online gambling websites can usually be seen from the usage
    of an elegant and revolutionary design, as well as having updated info.

    Presenting variations of essentially the most complete bet
    varieties akin to asian handicap, over underneath, 1×2, right score, odd even, and combine parlay.
    Often the largest soccer websites will provide the best soccer market in comparison with different websites.
    There are occasions when the player has the intuition of the match will end with a total aim in excess of 5 factors that
    have a high-paid market. So players can double
    their winnings by choosing the bet over possibility.

    Having a clear betting system, all bets that you just place shall be recorded in your account so
    this turns into one of the important options for bettors.
    If there is an error in your set up cost system, members can ask the relevant site.

    REGISTER Steerage TO Become A MEMBER In the OFFICIAL Sports Betting
    The characteristics of the bookie are in the Sbobet bookie,
    Sbobet is a world gambling firm that has been established since 2004.
    As a result of Sbobet is a global company that makes use of English, so Sbobet needs to carry a football agent like Depobola to help account registration companies.

    Depobola itself is a web-based playing agent that
    gives many worldwide playing site suppliers akin to Nova88,
    Joker123, S128 and lots of others. To register yourself an important requirement is aged
    18 and over, have already got an energetic bank account, email and cellular quantity.
    After finishing the above circumstances, all you must do is access the Depobola website and search for the register menu discovered on the highest proper and tap as soon as.
    After that you discover the registration form with several columns.
    Please fill out the kind, as defined beneath:
    Username: the username that will probably be displayed.

    Password: a password with a combination of numbers and letters of
    not less than 8 characters.
    Verify password: affirm the password that you just created earlier.

    Full title: real name in accordance along with
    your data.
    E mail deal with: enter your e-mail tackle.

    Secret question: select one of the accessible columns.

    Reply: reply to the key query you chose beforehand.

    Game: choose the game product you want to decide on.
    Financial institution Title: fill in the kind
    of bank you’re utilizing.
    Account name: account name as registered.
    Account number: your account number.
    Reference: embody the referral code if you happen to know it
    from one other player.
    Captcha Code: fill in the code written under the reference column
    When completed, please contact our customer service to verify the account you registered.
    That’s the solution to register an account by a Depobola agent,
    you can even register by customer support for those who experience difficulties.

  3. Bandar Judi Joker123 Online
    For anyone who are now searching for activities
    to be able to pass the time whilst at home, there is certainly such a point because the joker123 sport.
    Not only does it provide pleasure and generate
    off boredom in your spare time, you can also create a lot of money.

    Yes, as opposed to before where gambling is recognized as something of which
    is not helpful, now gambling has changed into a business activity of which produces.

    Therefore, right here we would just like to introduce a new site that has been confirmed able
    of providing the very best service in their class named Joker123.
    Bandar Judi Joker123 is actually a city which offers various types of quality online games and international standard.

    Betberry has worked with with some of the particular best gambling online game provider
    sites for the loyal customers within Indonesia.

  4. Situs Login Joker123 Terbaru, Internet gambling games in Dalam negri are increasingly well-known and growing after the mushrooming regarding
    several gambling online websites that offer the very best and most trusted
    wagering games for fans in the nation. One of them is the particular Joker123 site which offers
    a number of00 video games such as online casino gambling, slots,
    and most recently fishing.

  5. The Best Joker123 Slot Internet site

    In an era of increasingly complex technology, the
    popularity associated with online gambling is usually increasingly in demand by the people associated with Indonesia.
    More than thousands of broker sites that offer the best gambling products you could find on the Web.
    Unfortunately not just about all sites provide services according to your current expectations.
    One associated with the best slot sites that offers been fairly extended is Joker123,
    this provider provides typically the best features supplied to its

  6. CBD or Cannabidiol is an extremely fascinating and also
    valuable plant. It is one of the most effective yet all-natural
    materials recognized to man. It has many healing residential or
    commercial properties that can not be found in any kind of various other natural material.
    People from around the globe have actually been utilizing it as a solution for different disorders for centuries.

    This short article will supply several of the benefits that
    we can stem from CBD oil.

    Also visit my homepage :: cbd oil near me

  7. Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you
    if that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

    My web page :: Zac

  8. CBD or Cannabidiol is a really interesting medication since it is
    totally untapped and also the oil is extracted from
    another plant that does not contribute to global
    warming in any way! It has actually been located to be extremely effective in dealing with lots of types of
    conditions such as arthritis, depression, anxiety, nausea, epilepsy,
    erectile dysfunction as well as much more. The oil is
    originated from the marijuana plant and has
    been used for several years in the USA, in Mexico, in Canada, in Russia and many European countries.

    Here is my page: best CBD oil UK

  9. Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is more frequently recognized, is one of numerous potential natural
    therapies for different types of medical disorders.
    Recognized as CBD, this material is produced by the very
    same glands as THC, which is the major part
    in cannabis. It is not an intoxicating medication like THC,
    the long-lasting effects on the human body may consist of impaired judgment, sychronisation and memory,
    according to the Canadian Pain Clinic. In addition to being used to deal with clients with specific conditions, CBD is likewise being studied as
    a therapy for epilepsy, depression, chronic pain, nausea or vomiting, radiation treatment, glaucoma as well as far more.

    Here is my homepage :: best CBD oils

  10. The advantages of CBD oil have actually been talked about in detail in different health publications
    over the previous couple of years. Numerous physician have reported favorable outcomes, consisting of lowering or
    eliminating the typical side effects most generally
    associated with pharmaceutical medicines: nausea or vomiting,
    vomiting, wooziness, and also sleep troubles. By helping
    clients manage their signs, CBD oil can provide a brand-new and encouraging way to deal with a variety of ailments and conditions, including pain, stress and anxiety, clinical depression, irritation, chronic
    exhaustion, swelling, nausea, seizures, and also far more.

    Also visit my web-site; CBD oils UK

  11. Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is also known, is one of two chemicals found in cannabis,
    the various other one being THC. Cannabidiol, like THC, works as a psychoactive medicine, but
    does not produce a “high” in the way that cannabis does.
    Instead, CBD has been revealed to shield the human nervous system and also might even prevent the growth of specific
    kinds of cancer. In addition to its possible anti-cancer abilities, cannabidiol has actually also been shown to ease the
    signs of inflammation as well as discomfort connected with joint inflammation, as well as it might also aid to enhance the wellness of those with glaucoma.
    Learn more regarding the healing benefits of CBD oil by adhering to the links below.

    Check out my web page; best CBD oils

  12. CBD is referred to as cannabidiol, which is just one of the lots of chemical
    substances discovered in marijuana. It is an extremely valuable part of marijuana due to the fact
    that it has numerous medical benefits. Several of these
    are the therapy as well as curative impacts for some diseases and persistent diseases.

    It has actually also been confirmed that CBD oil is very valuable
    to the skin. A recent scientific test entailing 2 different teams of people revealed
    that three months of regular massage therapy with CBD oil enhanced skin flexibility
    as well as did disappoint any type of adverse effects.
    If you have aching muscular tissues or joints, are looking to enhance your health and wellness or are searching for an all-natural means
    to kick back, then you might intend to think about including CBD oil to your
    day-to-day regimen.

    my web page … best CBD oils UK

  13. CBD or Cannabidiol is a very fascinating and also helpful
    plant. It is just one of the most effective yet
    natural substances known to guy. It has several healing residential
    properties that can not be found in any other all-natural compound.
    Individuals from all over the globe have actually been using it as a remedy for various ailments for centuries.

    This short article will provide some of the benefits that we can originate from CBD oil.

  14. Cannabidiol, likewise referred to as CBD, is a lipophlic photo-cannabinoid discovered in Michigan. It is among the minority
    of all understood cannabinoids and represent greater than 40 percent of the plant’s
    weight. The other two phytochemicals are both unknown. Regardless of
    the absence of understanding about its health advantages,
    the only factor many individuals take CBD is
    because it’s utilized in the treatment of persistent discomfort.
    If you need to know even more concerning CBD, continued reading …

    My web site: best CBD oils

  15. Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is a new compound that has revealed guarantee for treating patients
    with persistent pain. It was initially uncovered by mishap: in 1940, a drug store discovered that including a material to
    a cannabis bud might cause a total cessation of nerve signals in the brain, therefore allowing a person struggling with serious pain to relieve his or her suffering by quiting
    the nerve signals being stimulated. This discovery resulted in the research study of CBD, which when utilized as an essence from the cannabis plant, has been discovered to efficiently soothe pain without any
    negative effects. As a result of these promising outcomes, researchers are currently researching
    CBD for its feasible usage in dealing with a range of disorders.

    Also visit my blog post: best CBD oil in UK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *