While remote working was fairly common in some countries such as Australia, in the Middle East, many employees in UAE and Saudi Arabia had to switch to a full remote working set up very quickly due to the social distancing advocated during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming weeks, many will experience the challenges of working outside the office space. We share what these two common problems people face and how they can be tackled.  

Challenge 1: Regularly connecting with your colleagues

When you’re working remotely, it’s easy to miss the impromptu water cooler chats, coffee catch ups, team lunch breaks, and brainstorms, which all help with relationship building and creating workplace culture. It can get hard to feel connected to the company and the role, and if a face-to-face communication is not possible for an extended period of time, the feeling of isolation can creep in. Also, it can get difficult to interpret your colleagues’ tone of voice. 

How to overcome this: Employees are encouraged where relevant to pick up the phone and speak with colleagues versus sending emails. Take advantage of the suite of digital tools that your organization offers you such as Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Yammer, and even WhatsApp, WebEx and Zoom. 

Challenge 2: Setting clear work-life boundaries

When you start working from home, the clear lines you had drawn between your work life and personal life become blurry and difficult to define. After all, when your work desk is just a few feet away from your sofa, it can become tempting to quickly send that email or finish off a project. Switching off and disconnecting from work doesn’t become easy. 

How to overcome this: Create boundaries for yourself. Stick to your work times. Build a routine. Get dressed like you’re going for work. Make sure you have a dedicated space where you can work from. Take your lunch break. Be wary of distractions such as the TV. Concentrate on work. You can even organize catch ups with your team at the start of your day to define your plan of action for the day, and then check in at the end of the day to share your achievements.

Other challenges to look out for include an unstable internet connection. To minimize the technical problems you might face at home, invest in a reliable internet connection so you’re not slowed down by load times. Also, make sure you back up your files, and save your work, incase anything crashes! 

If you’d like more Career Advice, click here

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