5 Barriers to Widespread Remote Work Adoption
There’s no doubt that remote work and flexible working conditions are becoming more commonplace in the current job market. The Flexjob and Global Workplace Analytics Report note that since 2005, there has actually been a 159% increase of people working from home for at least half their working hours in the US. This is excellent news for remote adoption, but why are some of us still struggling to find jobs that offer these conditions? Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that every employer is joining the trend and allowing their employees the freedom to choose when and where they work. Even though the benefits of remote working have been shown time and time again, some companies are still not willing to embrace what looks to be the future of work. There are still barriers that have to be overcome until we will see remote work really breaking through to the mainstream.
A lack of remote training and skills
This can be one of the biggest reasons (or excuses!) that a company can offer as a reason for not offering their employees remote work opportunities. With workers not having the correct skills and experience to make the most of remote work, managers are not willing to grow and nurture a remote team to get the same results as in the office. This barrier is two-fold. Companies are not investing enough in the training of their employees, and possible remoters are not making use of the resources that are available out there. Until fairly recently, it has been quite challenging to find comprehensive training on all the different aspects of remote work. However, with services like our Remote-how Academy and numerous blogs all over the internet, it is now easier than ever to take this into your own hands and get clued up. Companies are also beginning to see the benefits they can receive from training their employees, but the uptake is still slow. Expect in the future for this to be much less of an issue, as people gain more experience directly with remote work and the results it brings.
A working culture has yet to catch up
The idea of the 9 to 5, the office commute, and crowding around the water cooler all spring to mind when we think about the usual work routine. These concepts are part of a pretty much all-pervasive working culture that we have grown up with along with older generations. New ideas on flexibility and how work can be completed can be seen as a threat to the working culture of older, more conservative companies. For example, managing a remote team can be seen as directly incompatible with the goals and values of a traditional manager. Without being able to monitor and check in on employees continually, management in the conventional sense ceases to exist. This kind of working culture is firmly rooted, meaning that it takes time for managers and teams to catch up and experiment. As we move into the future, younger companies that have taken on the challenge of remote work will become more established. Culture takes a while to change, but we will get there. Don’t worry!
Hiring remotely is not always easy
One of the great benefits of having remote workers is that you get access to some of the best talent all across the globe. Having a diverse, highly skilled, and international team is a great working environment that a lot of companies in colocated offices just can’t provide. Whilst this is a massive advantage over traditional jobs, hiring and employment laws can complicate the whole process. If you don’t have experience already in this area, it can be a nightmare when trying to recruit people remotely. HR policies, tax laws, and workers’ workers’ rights can vary significantly from country to country. You will find that you will need to comply not just with the rules of your own country, but also those of others. This often requires some expert help to make sure you stay on the right side of the law. This then can act as another barrier to a company implementing remote work policies until easier regulations come into place.
Companies don’t all use the right tech
To make remote work a success, you need to make sure that your company has access to the right tools. Over the years, as technology has improved, a laptop and a good internet connection have often been enough for a remote worker. Nowadays, however, you’ll find people all sorts of new tools to cooperate even better, often with a subscription plan. These extra costs can be enough to deter a company from implementing remote policies. Most places are making use of some of the essential basics like shared drives, but not everywhere will have the specialist software needed for more complex remote collaboration. A lot of the software on offer is also beneficial to employees in the office as well. But until a company decides to pay for the correct tools, it won’t successfully be able to implement remote work at its full potential.
Remote work misconceptions
The stereotypical idea that most people have in their head of remote work is the digital nomad sipping on a cocktail, or somebody working from bed at home. Both these ideas don’t reflect reality; however, for a lot of people! With these two extremes in mind, it is easy to think that it doesn’t fit your situation… Perhaps you only want to work remotely on some days to fit better with your family schedule or for a few months a year at a time? All of these are options, without having to stay fully at home or go jet setting around the world. Another common thought is that people end up being unproductive at home. However, it ‘sit’s completely possible to work at a productive level when working in an arrangement that suits you. As more people get to experience that remote work, they’ll realize that a lot of the misconceptions are untrue. When you find out you can make your job fit around you and still produce great wear, it ‘sit’s hard not to be a convert.
Make your journey to remote work barrier-free
Think that your company needs to get clued up on how to best implement remote work practices? With some more insight into remote work, they can begin to break down the barriers and offer more flexible arrangements. Sign up to our 6-week online program and get certified in distributed management, where you’ll learn how to build and lead highly effective teams despite the distance. Go to the program website to sign up now and find out more information about what Remote-how can do for you.