Working remotely can be challenging, yet it is possible. However, both being an employee and running a remote team can often cause certain problems among employers and employees, if both of the sides are not careful enough. As people are usually learning from their mistakes, or in this case the mistakes of others, we provide you with a simple guide to things to avoid before you actually face the challenge. Here are some common remote work mistakes to look out for, and be ready to recognize and face them on time. Learning about these mistakes will help you always be one step ahead and solve the problem before it happens.

What are the most common remote work mistakes of team managers?

Taking care of your employees and running a team is never easy. The situation gets even more complicated if you’re doing it remotely. Let’s go through the most common mistakes managers make, so you can save yourself some time and run a successful team stress-free.

Hiring people who can’t work remotely

Even though it seems like an easy thing to do, remote work is not for everyone. Many people can’t do it because they don’t have the right environment at home or get easily distracted. That’s why you should pay close attention to who you hire, and find out more about their previous remote work experience. Furthermore, personal contact in this situation is more than necessary. Be sure to get to know your new employees and meet them in person, which will help you build trust and have easier online communication in the future.

a girl reading about common remote work mistakes on her laptop while working remotely

No or little interaction

Yes, working remotely is already a bit isolating. However, communication is necessary to do things right. A common problem in work (and personal) relationships is the lack of interaction and communication. As a manager, you should always foster good communication, and we suggest keeping in touch regularly. This could be through video calls/conferences, surveys, Q&As, etc.

Not being there for your team members

Since you’re not close to each other, your team members may feel that you are hard to reach so they could avoid asking for vital advice. Make sure you’re there for your employees and be available as much as you can. This means responding to messages, emails, and calls as soon as you can, or have some system or dedicated platform to use for work communication.

a person recording a business meeting.

Avoiding reviews

Performance reviews are necessary to remind everybody to work hard and give their best. Therefore, be sure to have regular meetings or video conferences, discussing the performances of everybody in the team. Ask them for their opinions and suggestions, and use that time in the best way possible, since you’re not seeing each other that often. Building rapport is equally important for in-office and remote work.

What mistakes remote workers make?

From another point of view, remote workers also face certain challenges when not working in an office, close to their managers and co-workers. If you start working like this, here are some common remote work mistakes you should pay attention to, and save yourself some time and give the best results. Furthermore, these tips will help you stay productive and happy as a remote worker.

Having a messy inbox

If you let your emails pile up, you’ll be less responsive to the important work emails. Be sure to declutter your inbox, and organize your emails in dedicated folders. Having a separate folder for work emails will help you respond to them more quickly and therefore be a better worker. 

Not feeling like a team member

Even though you’re not working in an office or sharing a desk with another co-worker, that doesn’t mean you’re not a part of the team.  Being independent and free from the office often makes people forget about their responsibilities and regular communication. Don’t forget to be a proper team player, as if you’re part of the office. And if you’re planning to leave the office and convince your boss to start working remotely, make sure to stress that you will continue being part of the team and available as any other in-office worker.

a team of people discussing common remote work mistakes

Being available – to what extent?

Being available to your manager and other team members is a must. However, there should be a line. It’s good to be there for everybody, but this doesn’t need to be all the time. Know when you should disconnect and ‘finish your work’. Don’t let yourself burn out by letting the work take up your whole day. Know the boundaries between your work hours and free time, even though you’re not in the office. So, if you’re thinking of leaving the UK and moving to Hong Kong for a job, remember that working remotely may include different time zones, so be sure to include that in your working schedule.

Moving to another country?

If you are thinking about moving to another place for work, pick one of the best remote work-friendly cities and start getting ready. Just be sure to prepare on time and don’t forget about getting your visa before moving to Hong Kong, so you can have all the documents ready. This will make you more attractive as an applicant, so employers will consider you organized and ready to accept the job.

Not being ready for connection/computer problems

Working remotely means your work and communication depends on your computer and internet connection. However, these often stop working, which shouldn’t stop you from working. Make sure to create a backup plan in case there’s a blackout or simple router trouble. Have an additional internet connection or a nearby café you can work from, and back up your documents on trusted storage. Not being prepared for these situations is one of the common remote work mistakes that can seriously affect your career.

Not having the right work environment

Even though working remotely is quite flexible, it’s not always easy to do. So don’t expect you will be able to do your work anytime and anywhere – one of the most common remote work mistakes. Having the right set up in your home is essential for staying focused and finishing everything on time. If you’re easily distracted, be sure to avoid working from a café, and avoid periods of time where there’s a lot of people in your home. Be sure to set up a working environment that will keep you productive and focus – a comfortable chair or various gadgets that will make you more comfortable while working. Even though these seem like an extra step at first, they can really help you work better and feel more comfortable while finishing your tasks.

The post Common Remote Mistakes to Look out For was first published on Coworkaholic.

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