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The internet has changed the labor landscape when it allowed for telecommuting or home-based work setup. While this promises comfort and convenience to workers, it gave rise to several challenges.

Productivity Problems
In an article by Inc.com, a flexible schedule helps individuals adjust their work hours to their preferred time of the day. However, a remote workforce may struggle with productivity. It can range from an unstable internet connection to environmental distractions.

Productivity issues can be remedied by setting up a designated work area where there are minimal distractions. If an extra room is not available, dedicating a space like a living room or bedroom corner arranged with lamps, office supplies, and plants will suffice. Studies in the UK show that plants in the workplace increase productivity by 15% and lift up one’s mood and self-esteem. Clothes can also mentally set boundaries between home and work. Casual clothing can make one too comfortable, so dressing up in casual or professional attire may enhance productivity.

Connectivity and Communication Challenges
Another challenge is connectivity. An online poll conducted in 2019 showed communication topping the major remote work challenges. A remote workforce with a stable internet ensures that everyone stays on the same boat and access to the necessary tools. A stable internet also establishes a more connected team. Initiating conference calls is another method of securing good communication. Except for urgent issues, conference calls may be limited to twice a week. Emails can sometimes better communicate special issues.

Keeping a Team Together
A March 2020 study states that quarantine can lead to emotional and mental health decline. This can lead to demotivation, loneliness, and an overall decrease in mental health. Actively participating in casual group conversations helps reduce the feelings of isolation and anxiety. Communication is key in keeping a team together and raising team morale. Leadership coach and workplace culture consultant encourages leaders to hone their virtual leadership skills and maximize technology to collaborate and engage their team often.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for remote workforce problems. Each team is different with their own unique set of problems. Approaching situations with open minds and good communication will see the success of an endeavor.

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Kate Vergara

Kate is a Xilium writer and a former lifestyle and business assistant editor at a local Philippine newspaper. She holds a degree in pharmacy and literature, so her writing spans holistic and alternative health, medicine blog articles, and advertising and legal services. She enjoys blogging, poetry, and short fiction and has published in indie zines and anthologies.
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