Overcoming the 5 Major Challenges in Remote Collaboration

Remote collaboration comes with its own perks.

There is no uncomfortable commute; neither are there supervisors or peers looking over your shoulder. Most importantly, nobody takes your lunch from the office refrigerator.

Remote work is fantastic. But there is a catch: It’s not all sunshine and rainbows for someone who works remotely.

According to a United Nations International Labour Organization report, although employees who operate outside of the traditional office are more productive, they are also more vulnerable to overwork, isolation, lack of work prioritization, work-home conflict, and others.

In this blog post, we discuss some of the major challenges in remote collaboration and the possible ways to overcome them.

Challenge No 1: The dilemma of overwork

The dilemma of overwork

Many bosses oppose remote work because they believe employees would lose track without in-person supervision. In fact, however, the opposite is true: remote workers may overwork because it’s more difficult to turn off when your personal and professional lives merge.

When does the workday begin, and what does it end: It is difficult to draw a clear border between work and home, which eventually leads to frustration, exhaustion, and burnout.

Additionally, work is limitless. However, your home becomes your office when you start to work from home.

How to collaborate effectively (remotely) without overworking?

For effective remote collaboration, you may need to fool yourself into taking breaks. You may also need to designate the certain beginning and ending hours; burnout could result if you don’t.

In this regard, the following solutions may be helpful:

a) Make plans to leave your home office at the end of the day in your calendar.

It may be to visit the gym, buy groceries, or simply take a short trip around the neighborhood. Or perhaps you have to finish the current chapter of the book.

b) Create reminders to take breaks in a similar manner.

You may have a daily task that includes going for a walk.

As for myself, to help motivate me to exercise and replace my water bottle, I enabled the macOS clock to shout the time every hour.

Similarly, in Windows, you may set up a similar hourly alert using Task Scheduler.

You may also use the Pomodoro technique  to time your day might also be beneficial.

c) Make a quick announcement in WorkHub Connect to let your team know when you’re leaving. However, make sure that you actually shut off your computer.

Honestly, some of us are horrible at actually pausing the work.

d) It is also a great idea to set up barriers between you and your workspace physically.

The ideal situation is to have a designated office space where you can shutter or lock the door and say, “Do not disturb.”

When your workday is over if you don’t have a separate workplace, even something as easy as placing the laptop away can help you resist the need to go back on.

Alternatively, you may try creating a work zone by dividing a room into several areas.

Challenge No 2: The inability to prioritize office work

The inability to prioritize office work

Because no one is always watching over our activity or directing our time for us, remote employees need to be highly motivated and skilled time managers.

While managing a calendar and to-do list can be demanding for any employee, remote employees who have more fluid, free-form schedules find it to be particularly difficult.

Additionally, it is naturally difficult to manage your own tasks.

There’s also the persistent temptation to give in to the want of an episode of one of your favorite tv shows during your lunch break, clean the kitchen while putting off a task, or walk the dog because of their murmuring expression.

But then you realize that the day has suddenly come to an end, and you haven’t done any significant office work. And this, of course, also affects remote collaboration.

How to achieve maximum productivity & remote teamwork

a) According to a quote by the famous American writer Mark Twain, if you eat a live frog as your first act in the morning, you may go through the rest of the day knowing that it is probably the worst thing that you’ll be going through in your day.

To be clear, your ‘frog’ here is your largest, most significant task. And if you don’t do anything about it, you’re most likely to postpone it. So, better to eat the frog as soon as you start working.

b) Don’t take on more than you can handle each day.

You can use the Eisenhower matrix to identify the next things to do and to keep away from time-wasting activities.

You can alternatively follow the 1-3-5 rule by only doing one major task, three intermediate tasks, and five little tasks per day.

c) Control your energy instead of your time for a rather productive remote collaboration.

Precisely that your energy fluctuates and decreases throughout the day, so approach projects according to how much of your energy they’ll demand and how much you’ll be able to work for them at various times during the day.

Challenge No 3: Family and household Interruptions

Family and household Interruptions

The great thing about working from home is that it spares you from office distractions and coworkers popping by your desk. It also saves you time from “It’s someone’s birthday! Let’s have a cake in the break room, please!.”

The bad thing, however, is that you’ll probably have to deal with additional interruptions and diversions, such as the mail-post guy requiring your signature or, worst of all, your in-laws unexpectedly coming by!

Moreover, having small children who don’t understand that even if they can see you, then it does not mean that you’re available to play with them also makes remote collaboration difficult. And, of course, telling them that you can’t play with them over and over again worsens the situation.

Finding a convenient location to have conference calls can also be difficult if you don’t want to disturb sleeping children and, at the same time, want to avoid family interruptions.

Avoiding family Interruptions for a better remote collaboration

There is no way to completely shield yourself from interruptions from your loved ones, pet animals, or neighbors. It is because, at times, you need to be disturbed at instances like your child has recently been harmed or your dog needs to be taken outside.

However, it’s crucial to be clear about which disruptions may wait and which should be addressed immediately.


a) Create a statement that lets people know when you’re focused. Like when you put on your headphones or have a “do not knock” sign on your door. Or perhaps you need to genuinely shut the door and act like you’re away.

b) Describe why it is crucial for you to avoid interruptions. You may also cite how they disrupt your focus and increase the difficulty of your task.

c) Unless you intend to work just when they are asleep, finding childcare for small children is a need.

d) Teach your children and your partner how to be independent and entertain themselves. It’s annoying to be interrupted when you’re the only one who remembers where the sellotape is.

e) Maintain regular working hours. Simply don’t take calls while working, and if necessary, compensate for meetings.

f) If everything fails, as a last resort, consider working from a coffee shop, library, or co-working facility.

Challenge no 4: Isolation, Loneliness, and absence of human interaction

Isolation, Loneliness, and absence of human interaction

Now, it will take work to get through this challenge, particularly if one of the motives you like working from home is to avoid being near too many people.

Nevertheless, it is about finding a balance:

Moreover, if no family members live with you while you work, you may have the opposite of the family interruption problem: isolation.

Even with internet connectivity, spending too much time alone in one spot might cause ‘cabin fever.’

It is too simple to slip into the routine of working from your house all day and then staying in your home for the duration of that day and maybe for consecutive days.

Just maybe for remote teamwork, there should be a disclaimer: “Warning: you may become a monk.

It can also lead to difficulty in generating the confidence to face an unforgiving real-world environment and engage in conversation with smarter people.

Working in a shared office might lead to spontaneous ‘watercooler’ conversations and perhaps sharing meals or after-work drinks.

As for the remote employees, they frequently work non-real-time with their coworkers. And so they are only left to communicate to only-God-knows-Who!

Creative ways to communicate with remote employees without being isolated

a) It is suggested to incorporate social breaks into your routine by working for a few hours and then devoting an hour or two to something away from home. For example, going to lunch with friends and then returning back to work.

It can be refreshing to simply walk outside and get a snack while speaking with the bar staff.

b) You can also consider working in coffee shops or co-working spaces to at least feel like a part of society. However, it may cost you some bucks. But with that, you can discover that you become acquaintances with those who work from and at the coffee shop. So, consider it your secondary office.

c) Make joining community groups and organizations a priority. You can also join a Meetup, go to networking events, or enroll in some programs at the recreation facility in your community.

Challenge No 5: Different time zones

Different time zones

Those awful time zones have something to do with feeling or being out of the loop, which is one of the major hurdles in effective remote communication.

It’s possible that you wake up right as your colleague is about to go to bed. Meaning that you can’t always count on your teammate (in a remote setup) to be there to respond to an urgent question or take care of any other pressing issue.

To find a way out of it, your teams may need to overlap for four hours at least.

No doubt that effective communication while working remotely typically necessitates some time overlap between team members. Therefore, for effective remote collaboration as well as feeling like a team, you may need a good four hours of overlap.

For example, it is more of an issue when you work with a colleague based in Copenhagen while you’re in Chicago than when working with someone in Los Angeles while you’re in New York.

If that is the case, you may need to make a compromise because there is no simple way around it: to work for at least four shared hours.

How to overcome the time zone difference problem?

When collaborating with people in various time zones, remote employees must be adaptable.

You need to be a little more careful about when you send messages to other people. You may also need to stop checking your phone for notifications when you’re not going to be working so as to not make your mind switch back to the ‘work mode’ again.

But that’s also a benefit: you can shift your work around as necessary, and you can delegate work to others so they may complete it during their working hours and return it to you.

How WorkHub helps you counter remote collaboration difficulties?

WorkHub is perfectly suited to facilitate remote collaboration in a hybrid or entirely remote work setting.

It is one of the most affordable platforms for raising the efficiency of teams that work remotely or in hybrid environments.

Additionally, it integrates internal and external communications to give you a one-stop solution for all of your remote and hybrid communication needs.

Essentially, the technology behind WorkHub, by incorporating external communication with internal, allows any external client to interact with individuals within the organization.

To sum up, its functionality leads you to overcome several challenges that remote teams face.

To actually see how WorkHub improves remote team collaboration by helping you get the better of pertinent problems, you can schedule a demo here.