Challenges of Remote Work


The unexpected outbreak of the Corona virus in 2020, led to a myriad of adjustments in the business world globally.
The whole world came to a halt, for the first time since the Spanish Flu of 1920 and lockdowns were imposed in many countries that had confirmed cases of the virus.

It became quite impossible for economic and business activities to be carried out in workplaces and offices, as only ‘essential workers’ were exempt from lockdowns, therefore, corporations had to resort to working remotely from home.
Many organizations moved to create and implement remote work policies to ensure business continuity, and with various advancements in technology, Tech companies created solutions to m remote work easier.

Platforms like Zoom and Slack have become quite popular and well utilized in keeping business operations running.

Although it offers some merits to employers and employees alike, this paradigm shift creates a few challenges when compared to working from the office.


Since working remotely reduces commuting stress and time, it slows down productivity and tasks might take much longer to be completed.
Research has shown that the physical absence of team members and supervision can cause reduced pressure to get things done, thereby affecting morale and motivation.

Working from home comes with a lot of distractions and the ability to focus on tasks might be impaired, thus slowing down productivity and efficiency. Whether it’s the kids or a spouse, pet or even the delivery man, distractions can come in various forms and the more distractions and interruptions, the less productive one could get.


When working remotely, it might be challenging to create the perfect working environment within the home. To avoid distractions and disorganization, it is important for remote workers to set aside a defined space for work. Most times, this might be quite challenging as employees would have to spend money and time defining a workspace that would suit their specific work and tasks to be carried out.


With the continual connectivity and access to the workplace, via technology, a conscious effort is often required to clock out. Most remote workers find it difficult to separate work hours from time off work.
Before the emergence of remote work, this was as easy as leaving the office building and heading home but when work is carried out from the residence, it becomes quite challenging to switch off work and focus on personal life.

According to a survey by the Japanese Institute of Labour Policy and Training( JILPT 2015), the issue of ambiguity of work and time-off was the highest-ranking h disadvantage of remote working among women and men at 36.4% and 39.3% respectively.
Furthermore, research by the
Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHLW 2014) covering employees in 30 Japanese companies, found that 43.5% of respondents find it difficult to draw a line between work and family life. These overlaps between work and personal life are a major challenge of remote work and often lead to employees overworking and putting more hours into projects.


Human beings, who are social butterflies, would find it difficult to thrive in isolation and far away from social interaction, as often common with working remotely and this would take its toll on their general well-being and thus, become a major challenge. Certain people need human interaction to function at their optimal level and isolation can often lead to boredom and loss of motivation to carry out important tasks.
According to a survey by ‘Gallup’, 21% of remote workers have felt more isolated and lonely when working remotely.
More so, according to the Eurofound report, one of the issues of remote working is the lack of access to the informal aspect of office work. Most coworkers would be hesitant to have general chitchat over official channels and this goes hand -in- handi with formal work, as it eases work tension and strain.
Also, in building bonds and team spirits, such forms of connection are necessary and remote work negatively affects this.


With working hours not clearly defined, there is the tendency for employees to overwork and put much strain on team members with the intensity of work, without taking necessary precautions and breaks to prevent total burnout.

Conclusively, with the recent breakthrough in the development of vaccines and the gradual opening up of places and offices to the general population, after about 16 months of lockdowns and remote working, the world might go back to the old and familiar methods of operation. However, certain job roles might remain remote and with the ever-increasing advances in technology, effective ways of making remote work efficient would be developed, thus harnessing the avalanche of possibilities that abound in the remote workforce.