Remote Work – Challenges

by | Nov 22, 2019 | Business


In our previous post, we have discussed general information about home office, why it is beneficial for both employees and employers and why the trend is rising.

Today’s post we will go through the downside of remote work, such as challenges, misconceptions and what do we do to avoid to be successful in telecommuting.

Misconceptions about remote work

Lower productivity rate

Just as we mentioned previously, studies show that working from home actually raise productivity 20% to 30% and also saves money on every home-based employees.

Managers sometimes misinterpret telecommute, as they believe if they cannot supervise a person directly, productivity will drop. This is simply not true in most cases. There must be trust built and also clear expectations are very important.

Working from remote location
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Remote staff should be available 24/7

This is not true. Working hours or working hours per week should be stated in the contract. Schedule is also important if there is any. The problem arises when telecommuters are unable to ‘unplug’ from work.

Remote workers are not part of the company or the team

This is a subject can be true, however, if the company does it right and have the correct methods, processes and equipment, this shouldn’t be an issue. Within Sponge Hammer we all can make decisions up to a certain level, we all contribute to the meetings and we also build friendship outside of work.

Remote staff = bad communication

Currently, there are so many apps for business communications, therefore if you working from home you can be still connected.

We have a rule here at Sponge Hammer if you need to talk to a colleague, just make the call. The recipient will answer it or decline it – depends on how busy the day. Exactly like you would stand up and walk across the office to your colleague.

Remote work challenges

We have already mentioned the positive side of being a telecommuter, however, there are a few things we need to point out as remote work – unfortunately – cannot fit for everybody.

Solving difficult problem. Working from home
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Is this work style suits for me?

We cannot answer this question until you try it. For some employees are very easy to find a suitable home office job, for some it isn’t that simple. It is a common misconception, that remote work is simple: you sit down to your laptop and do the work.

Sometimes it is more challenging than a day-to-day office job. Can you keep on track, when the dishwasher is empty? Can you stay focused when you know that you should cook dinner? When you receive notification from social media? Would you be able to handle loneliness?


The office can be loud or disruptive. Other co-workers can distract each other – remote workers often avoid this. However, there are other factors can distract you from work if you are at home as we mentioned above. If you have a checklist and you stick to that, it might help you not to get distracted.

Sticking to a schedule helps, as a remote worker not different from the office workers: still have a deadline and need to finish the job.

Frequent communication is the key to feel you are at work, not at home.


As the study showed, being alone plays a huge part in the employee’s decision to stay in the office. As a result of this research, after ten-month 65% of the employees decided to stay in the office as they felt lonely at home.

Remote companies, just as Sponge Hammer invest a lot to communication software to tackle this problem. Day to day video calls, meetings and ad-hoc calls during the day can help a lot to come over loneliness.

Another option is to work from a coffee shop or shared workspace, therefore you will not feel lonely and it might help you to keep on track.

Unplugging from work

Many remote workers are unable to ‘unplug’ from work. Even if they are outside of their normal working hours they are still checking emails or notifications or finishing the project beyond those hours.

There are a few ways to ‘unplug’ from work:

  • Tell your co-workers you are finished for the day
  • Turn off work notifications
  • Don’t check anything work-related
  • Get away from your work tools
  • Participate in your hobby
Remote work challenges, unplugging from work
Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

Final words

Despite remote work is trending and getting more popularity we can see that is not for everybody and also has its downsides. However, if we keep our strict schedule and get a solution to the issues we meet, we can be successful working from home.

If you have any comments, ideas or personal experiences, feel free to share with us. We are curious to hear new ideas, solutions, and perspectives regarding the above. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media!

You can also find the rest of our blog here!

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