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The Biggest Struggles of Working Remotely and Ways to Overcome Them


During the dawn of the 2020’s, the traditional confines of the office have stretched to the living room, the local coffee shop, and anywhere with a stable internet connection. 

Remote work, once considered an exception, has swiftly become a norm for many organizations. However, the shift from the hustle and bustle of office corridors to the solitude of home offices isn’t always seamless. 

There are inherent challenges that accompany remote work, but identifying these hurdles and their corresponding remedies can significantly enhance the remote working experience.


The Ghost of Isolation and Loneliness

The first challenge rears its head in the form of isolation and loneliness, the unwanted guests of remote work. No more quick chats by the coffee machine or shared lunch breaks, replaced instead by a silent workspace devoid of human interaction. This lack of communal camaraderie can leave remote workers feeling disconnected and disengaged.

A survey of 2,000 US and UK office workers found that over two-thirds of workers aged 18 – 34 (67%) say since working from home, they’ve found it harder to make friends and maintain relationships with colleagues

The antidote to this struggle lies in the intentional fostering of connections. Regularly scheduled virtual team meetings can bring back a semblance of togetherness, while informal virtual hangouts can provide a space for casual chats and bonding. 

Collaboration tools can be leveraged to create virtual ‘water cooler’ spaces where team members can share ideas or discuss non-work related topics, reinvigorating the essence of office camaraderie.


Communicational and Collaborative Conundrums

In remote work scenarios, communication and collaboration often become complex puzzles. Without the advantage of in-person interactions, miscommunications become frequent, critical updates can be missed, and collaborative tasks may turn chaotic.

The remedy to these issues lies in embracing efficient communication tools and establishing clear protocols. Video conferencing tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, collaborative platforms like Slack, or project management tools like Asana can streamline team interactions. 

Cultivating a culture of open communication and regular updates is essential. It can be as simple as a weekly round-up email or as sophisticated as a shared project dashboard.


Distracting Dilemmas 

Home, while comfortable, is laden with distractions. Be it noisy neighbors, attention-seeking pets, or the ever-mounting pile of laundry, these interruptions can throw a wrench in the gears of productivity and concentration.

On top of all that there are many digital distractions.

While remote workers aren’t expected to be working 100% of the time, it seems that many workers are too distracted by working at home. This distraction leads remote employees to spend working hours doing non-work related activities.

According to ExpressVPN’s survey on remote work problems, some remote employees waste 67% of their workweek doing non-work tasks. These tasks include things like online shopping, online gambling and even searching for other jobs. Surprisingly, this adds up to over 1,400 working hours wasted per year per employee.

This waste of time is detrimental for entrepreneurs, contract workers and employees. As a business owner, you may be wasting valuable time. As an employee, you risk losing your job due to not using your paid hours for work related tasks. 

One solution is setting physical and temporal boundaries. Carving out a dedicated workspace, free from distractions, and establishing strict working hours can help separate work from personal life. 

For online, use productivity apps and extensions to block sites that will distract you while you’re working.


Narrowing Down a Routine

When we work outside the home, there are many things we need to take into account in order to be at our desks and ready for work on time. We need to be in bed at a certain time so that we can wake up in time. We also need to get ready for work and possibly get the kids ready for school.

Then, we need to factor in commute time, 15 extra minutes to stop at Starbucks, and leave a buffer in case something comes up that delays our plans. All of this is possible because we have daily routines that keep things in line.

However, when we work remotely, those routines seem to get thrown out of the window.


The Balancing Act: Work-Life Integration

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com/photo/young-ethnic-woman-trying-to-work-at-home-with-active-children-4474040/

Ironically, one significant struggle of working remotely is establishing a distinct line between work and personal life. When your office is also your home, it’s easy to overstep the boundaries, leading to overworking and, eventually, burnout.

  • Compartmentalize work and personal by having a separate space for working. 
  • Designated work hours should be respected by others in your household.
  • Personal time should be free from work-related intrusions. 
  • Take scheduled breaks. 
  • Have a laptop for personal use and another one for business. 


During your off time, continue pursuing hobbies that you enjoy. Preferably, ones that are outside of the home so that you can get away from the environment where you work the most.

Technological Tussles

In the realm of remote work, technology is both an ally and a potential adversary. While it enables us to work from virtually anywhere, technical glitches, software issues, or an unstable internet connection can disrupt workflows and cause stress.

Ensuring a stable technological environment can reduce these disruptions. This includes investing in a reliable business laptop, securing a robust internet connection, and having technical support on standby. Additionally, having a backup plan – like an alternate device or a list of nearby locations with public Wi-Fi – can provide a safety net when technical issues arise.


Recognition Drought and Feedback Famine

In a remote setting, workers often grapple with the lack of immediate feedback and recognition. The absence of these can lead to diminished motivation and a sense of not being valued. One of the reasons for low employee engagement in the workplace is the lack of proper recognition and feedback. Leaders who make it a habit of not practicing giving their employees the feedback and recognition they need may also see their company’s employee retention plummit. 

To counter this, managers should aim to provide consistent, constructive feedback and recognize workers’ efforts. Celebrating small wins, acknowledging individual contributions during team meetings, or even a simple message of appreciation can go a long way in keeping remote workers motivated and engaged.


Professional Development Predicaments

Lastly, remote workers may worry about being overlooked for opportunities due to the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ syndrome. They may feel their chances for advancement are slimmer compared to their office-based counterparts.

Organizations should reassure remote workers of equal opportunities for professional development. Regular one-on-one career conversations, access to online training, and equal consideration for new projects and roles can help alleviate these concerns.



Remote work, while offering unparalleled flexibility, comes with its unique set of challenges. By understanding these struggles and applying thoughtful strategies, remote work can prove as effective, if not more, than traditional office work.

It calls for a proactive approach, focusing on communication, setting clear boundaries, leveraging technology optimally, and cultivating a culture of recognition and professional growth. The winds of change are upon us, and with the right navigational tools, we can sail smoothly through the tumultuous seas of remote work.

Thomas Martin
Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He has over 6 years of experience with writing on business, entrepreneurship, and other topics. He mainly focuses on online businesses, digital publishing, marketing and eCommerce startups.

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Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He has over 6 years of experience with writing on business, entrepreneurship, and other topics. He mainly focuses on online businesses, digital publishing, marketing and eCommerce startups.

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