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Navigating the challenges of remote work: Nifty tips and solutions

The founder and CEO of Firstbase makes a valid argument in his post. If I had a penny for the number of times I’ve not wanted to go to work because of the commute; I’d never have to go to work again. Since the pandemic pushed companies into embracing remote and hybrid work cultures globally, the debate on the effectiveness of remote work has been raging. 

Is it worth the hype? Does it empower companies and employees? What does the future of work look like? Let’s find out.

The benefits of remote work

32% of all new job postings throughout Q4 2022 were advertised as remote, and 74% of businesses intend to move their staff to remote employment, says a Gartner survey. The pandemic’s restrictions may have catalyzed the shift to remote work, but it is here to stay because of its benefits to both the enterprise and the employees.

Benefits of remote work for employers

1. Remote work is cost-effective

Companies that offer remote work options could save up to $10,600 per employee annually.

2. Remote and hybrid work models save time

Global, always-on businesses can function across time zones increasing business revenue and improving customer services.

Scott Farquhar, who’s the co-CEO of Atlassian, realized this benefit very early on: If we don’t have to go back to offices, we can tap into an even more extensive global talent base.

3. Working remotely makes your workers more productive

In a Stanford study, the remote working group showed a work productivity boost equal to a full day’s work and fewer sick days.

4. Lower employee turnover

The same study also reported a 50% decrease in employee attrition. “We don’t call it hybrid or remote. We call it intentionally flexible,” says Nickie LaMoreauz, Senior VP and Chief HRO at IBM.

Benefits of remote work for employees

1. It is cheaper to work remotely

Employees save on fuel and transportation costs, rent is lower in the suburbs, childcare is more affordable, and working remotely has tax-saving advantages. 

2. Remote work grants autonomy over time

In the United States alone, remote workers havegained60 million hours per day. And they’re using this extra time more effectively: pursuing new hobbies, going to the gym, spending time with family, or working on projects they wouldn't otherwise have the bandwidth for.

3. Better productivity

Remote workers are happier, and a happy employee is a productive employee. 30% of workers get more work done in less time when they’re working remotely, reports a survey by ConnectSolutions.

4. Superior employee experience

In addition, remote work positively impacts underrepresented groups, such as LGBTQIA+, women, or people with disabilities, who often face challenges in traditional office environments.

5. Resonates with the younger population

Younger workers seek jobs that harmonize with their values and serve a purpose beyond just a paycheck. 63% of workers say they would “absolutely” look for a new job if forced to come to the office.

The benefits of remote work for the enterprise, its leaders, and its team are enough to tempt organizations into considering it for the long term. According to a 2021 survey by Gartner, 82% of companies plan to allow remote work in some capacity. But… the road to a great remote or hybrid workplace culture is not straight. It requires careful consideration of multiple parameters to be a success. 

The challenges to implementing a thriving remote work culture 

1. A missing sense of community

An average human might spend nearly one-third of their life at work. A sense of camaraderie automatically created while working in person is often missing when employees work remotely. There may be a sense of isolation or loneliness if employees don’t feel a sense of community and belonging, even if they’re working remotely.

2. Lack of communication with leadership

Leaders and team managers, including Human Capital and Human Resources executives, need to iterate the need for communication. Remote work is notorious for creating silos and miscommunication, which can lead to poor employee engagement.

3. Poor onboarding experiences

Employee experience and engagement begin from day 1 of the hiring process and continue throughout their lifecycle. But infant attrition - when an employee quits their job within six months of joining - has been correlated with poor onboarding experience

4. No centralized FAQ database

Joining a physical workplace is daunting enough; imagine joining a company where you haven’t met anyone in-person. New joiners often have many queries they may hesitate to voice out, and without a centralized portal or document, there is bound to be a disconnect.

5. Delayed identification of burnt-out and disgruntled employees

With the proper tools and software to continuously improve employee engagement, it is easier for an HRBP executive to proactively identify burnt-out or at-risk employees. This leads to higher employee turnover and poor external and internal reviews and ultimately hampers an organization's overall talent attraction endeavor.

Nifty tips to ace your company’s remote workplace culture!

1. Create a safe space for your employees

Building and maintaining a sense of community in a remote workplace is difficult, but communication can empower your team through this roadblock. The assumption is your enemy — so ask your employees where they feel stuck or how the company could do better to support them. Create open and safe dialogue channels, and encourage feedback even when your team or the leadership doesn’t initiate it.

A crucial yet often underrepresented step in building a sense of community and safe space is that of feedback. Actively listen to your employees, take cognizance of their feedback, and remember: close the feedback loop. 

2. Enable agile and quick collaboration

Building a tech stack that enables easier workflows and collaboration ensures your workers have the tools and software they need to excel.

If you have a global team, a great way to foster constructive collaboration is to define structured in-office or available times — because nobody wants to be in a meeting that could have been an email. Conversely, maintaining a healthy in-person time is critical to succeed. Encourage cross-functional teams to have enough interaction and invest enough time and resources to encourage frequent in-person meetups. 

A few tools that enable collaboration include:

  1. Slack - a messaging platform that allows teams to communicate and collaborate in real time.
  2. Zoom - a video conferencing tool that enables virtual meetings, webinars, and screen sharing.
  3. Basecamp, Asana, Jira, Trello: Basecamp - project management and team communication tools that enable teams to organize projects, share files, and collaborate on tasks.
  4. Microsoft Teams and Google Workspaces: a collection of productivity tools that allow for collaborative editing and real-time feedback.
  5. Notion - a collaboration platform that allows teams to create, share and collaborate on notes, tasks, and databases.
  6. Figma - a design collaboration tool that allows designers to collaborate on designs, prototypes, and animations in real time.
  7. GitHub - a code management and collaboration tool that enables teams of developers to work together on software projects.
  8. HubSpot - a customer relationship management tool that allows teams to collaborate on customer data, manage workflows, and automate processes.

3. Coach the leadership to adapt to a remote-first mindset

Employees who need clear communication from top management are more anxious and 2.9 times more likely to be burnt out. Identifying isolation, burnout, and loneliness is critical to creating a thriving remote workplace atmosphere. Creating a sense of trust and belief through communication requires your leaders to be adequately trained in adapting to a remote workplace. Rewards and recognition could be an annual way to celebrate big wins but urge your managers to acknowledge small victories frequently. 

4. Develop processes that anticipate remote work challenges

Being a recruiter in a remote workplace is daunting, and your team can make this experience smooth and glitch-free. Leverage AI chatbots to ensure your recruits have a top-of-the-class employee experience from day one. These chatbots can help screen, shortlist, recruit, onboard, and follow up with new joiners, provide prompt answers to frequently asked questions, and even follow up with them regularly to ask how they’re coping. Any at-risk employee will be automatically flagged, and your team can proactively manage such recruits. 

5. Make employee experience and well-being a top priority 

Generic annual surveys are simply not efficient. They’re easy to evade, impersonal, and often focus on trivial matters without focusing on emotions that matter. Employee well-being and experience are not limited to company retreats and benefits. It is a continuous process, and without real-time insight into your employees’ sentiments — you’re in for big trouble!

To overcome these challenges, your team must turn to AI chatbots for support. The benefits? Get conversations going with customized messages for employees at different stages of their lifecycle. A new recruit will have different expectations and concerns compared to an employee who’s been with a company for more than three years — AI chatbots use this intel to tailor-make questions and filter at-risk employees, which your team can then take up personally. This is just one example of how AI chatbots empower EX.

6. Learn from the pros: Don’t reinvent the wheel

Gen Z has loved remote work's flexibility, mobility, and entrepreneurial freedom — and they’re holding on to it. LinkedIn says Gen Z is and will remain the most mobile generation. 

And the bigwigs are taking this seriously. 

  • Amazon recognizes that for a company their size, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and that they will be “in a stage of experimenting, learning, and adjusting.”
  • Wharton management professor Martine Haas told the World Economic Forum that while productivity soared during the pandemic, there are other parameters that organizations need to consider: “There’s also creativity and culture and mentoring, all these other things that go into making the workplace go beyond short-term productivity. We will have to watch all of those carefully over the coming year.
  • Here’s another Work From Anywhere statement from Spotify: “A flexible working culture is built on trust, communication, collaboration, and connection… We have considered labor law, tax, and insurance readiness for our workforce to be ‘working from anywhere’ – whether working from home, in a café, hotel lounge, or a co-working space.

7. Listen, analyze, iterate — Strategize like a boss

For any successful long-distance relationship, communication is key! In a remote workplace, your workers, leaders, and team must work cohesively to build a culture of listening. While feedback and communication will never be a rinse-and-repeat task, you can have a dedicated, repeatable workflow to ease your team’s data collection, analysis, and action responsibilities — leveraging AI-powered tools and platforms, such as inFeedo’s Amber. Such platforms provide real-time data to your HR, highlight prioritized action points, and enable data-driven decision-making. 


Remote work is going nowhere, and if an organization wants to succeed and be relevant, it will have to adapt to the requirements of the new workforce. With Amber’s employee engagement platform, your team can continuously listen, slice and dice the data to identify what’s working well, ultimately scaling the insights to the entire organization.