Business operations teams boost value and profitability by driving projects and resources. But when entire teams have to work remotely, the challenges of working from home can hinder productivity and put a bottleneck in operations. However, the right tools can help solve many common challenges in operations management as well as the unique problems with working from home.
Read on to learn more about working from home challenges and discover how to work from home effectively.
Problems with working from home when managing operations
Working remotely is nothing new. In fact, virtual teams comprised of employees and managers from across the globe have become increasingly common over the past several years. With the outbreak of COVID-19, though, many organizations that previously worked together in person have been forced to adopt a work from home model — and many are making the move to remote working a permanent one with significant investment in remote work equipment.
That said, the challenges of working from home are not new ones. Here are some of the most common operations management challenges that come with remote working.
The most obvious challenge associated with working from home is communication. A lack of face-to-face interaction and supervision can be difficult for team members and their managers to adjust to, especially if they’re used to being within arm’s reach during the workday.
Of course, communication is the single most vital element of success for operations teams, so it’s critical that remote managers facilitate communication protocols and practices to aid the flow of information both vertically and horizontally.
Another common issue with remote management is scheduling. When employees are spread across multiple time zones or working on different schedules (or both), linking up for a team call or video chat can present quite the challenge.
- Tracking employee performance and productivity
When employees aren’t within eyesight of their managers, it can be difficult to determine how they’re performing and whether they’re working to their potential. Plus, seasoned managers know that different employees need different levels of management. Working from home makes it more challenging not only to provide the support some team members may need, but also to ascertain the amount and type of management a new remote employee will best respond to.
- Company culture
A healthy company culture goes a very long way in helping you recruit and retain top talent. But, developing and maintaining a culture becomes much more challenging when your team members work in isolation from one another.
- Building trust
Finally, working from home can be a hindrance when it comes to building trust between employees and their managers. As an operations manager, you need to know that you can rely on your workers to keep projects moving on time and on budget, and it takes a healthy amount of trust for remote teams to run at maximum efficiency.
Working from home challenges for operations teams
Operations managers are not the only ones who face problems with working from home. Below are a few of the unique challenges operations team members struggle with when working remotely.
- Prioritizing work
Without a morning briefing, pre-laid schedule, or in-person manager to direct them, many remote workers find it hard to prioritize their work. Additionally, continuous email updates and notifications can make it even harder for employees to ascertain where their focus should be.
- Interruptions and distractions
Perhaps the greatest challenge for employees working from home is the myriad distractions and interruptions that can disturb their focus and put a severe cramp in productivity. This can be a particularly difficult transition for team members used to working next to their peers in the office, as coworkers tend to hold each other accountable when it comes to buckling down and getting the work done.
- Lack of in-person interaction
Often, the idea of remote working sounds like a dream come true — until employees realize just how isolating it can actually be. For many, the office represents more than just a place of employment. Team members form bonds, and when they’re suddenly unable to interact with each other in person, it can be hard to cope with.
How Wrike helps solve remote operations management challenges
As working from home becomes the new norm for many businesses, operations managers need to adapt to the challenges presented by remote work setups. Good news: Wrike helps to combat the disadvantages of working from home for employers.
For instance, Wrike makes scheduling projects and team member tasks a snap, so employees can know at a glance what’s top priority for the day. Wrike also enables easy organizational communication through integrations with the most popular workplace tools like Slack. What’s more, Wrike enables managers to see precisely how much bandwidth a given employee has, whether they’re overloaded, and if they’re completing their tasks on time and to standard.
Want to see for yourself all the ways in which Wrike helps remote operations teams and managers make the most of every workday? Sign up below for a free two-week trial and put it to the test!