7 Remote Team Management Challenges and Workarounds in oVice

We launched oVice, a virtual office platform, in 2020, amidst the COVID pandemic. Back then, a lot of team leaders had to quickly reorganize operations to fit the remote team management paradigm. As they did so, they discovered that working from home makes leading teams a lot more challenging and demanding.

Our customer success team is always in contact with SME and enterprise team leaders. We talk to them about the challenges they face when managing remote teams and incorporate the insights they share into a product that helps run efficient remote operations.

In this post, we will take a closer look at the frustrations remote team leaders shared and explore the ways to address these challenges with oVice.

Challenge #1. Lack of connection and communication

  • According to Statista, 35% of remote employees struggle with isolation and loneliness.
  • Gallup research shows that remote workers are 16% less likely to feel involved in goal-setting.
  • In 2022, 17% of respondents working remotely faced difficulties collaborating with teammates

Without physical proximity, remote employees can grow disengaged and lose motivation at work. Team leaders also lack situational awareness when they don’t see the team at the office. Not having enough communication creates bottlenecks, increases employee turnover, and breeds chaos within the organization.

How oVice solves the problem

oVice brings remote teams together by creating a space where managers can instantly reach out to people on the team. Using a virtual office in addition to other collaboration tools fortifies communication through:

  • A space where all teammates can come together and share meaningful discussions.
  • A platform for team building: virtual offices have more tools than collaboration and video conferencing tools for engaging in team-building events.
  • A space for casual interaction between teammates that promotes networking and fosters a collaborative spirit within the organization.

Challenge #2. Managing international teams

  • Research shows that global team managers find building trust and employee engagement challenging.
  • A third of global companies struggle with communicating efficiently because of time zone differences.
  • Emails are still a prevalent way to communicate among global team leaders.

The pandemic-induced shift to remote work encouraged business owners and hiring managers to expand their talent reach and hire people from all over the world. Building global teams brings forth a lot of benefits — diversity contributes to workplace creativity, increases workplace engagement, and motivates teams to build globally relevant products.

At the same time, managing people from different countries comes with unique remote team management hurdles, such as language barriers and time zone differences.

How oVice solves the problem

  • Designing office spaces with multi-lingual teams in mind (e.g. showing names of different areas in many languages) helps deal with the language barrier.
  • Having different floors for teams from different countries improves accessibility, and removes the impact of physical distance while keeping processes organized.
  • Virtual offices are a place for global teams to come together, connect, and share knowledge and experience.

Challenge #3. Technical difficulties

  • Zapier, one of the biggest remote-first teams recognizes technical difficulties as one of the biggest challenges of running a remote team.
  • According to a study by Riverbed, 94% of remote team leaders have been impacted poorly by connectivity issues.
  • Business leaders find modern remote work tools limited and complain about the lack of operational visibility.

For years, technology has been the lifeline of remote work. Leaders use task management tools, collaboration platforms, payroll software, and many other solutions to streamline processes and have a full view of their otherwise fragmented teams.

However, as they explore the productivity and remote team management solutions, leaders discover that a lot of tools are either inflexible and rigid or resource-draining and difficult to navigate. At oVice, we focus on finding the middle ground and combine customization with ease of use.

How oVice solves the problem

  • By using 2D instead of 3D layouts, the platform minimizes resource usage without sacrificing convenience and immersion.
  • oVice has a to-the-point feature range making sure teams don’t have to pay for redundant functionality.
  • The platform supports team leaders with outstanding audio and HD video quality for a better user experience.

Challenge #4. Onboarding new hires

Switching from in-office to remote work is not as damaging to experienced employees as it is to new hires and fresh graduates.

Research shows that people are struggling to create a career plan in a remote and hybrid environment and feel confused about finding ways and tools for professional growth.

How oVice solves the problem

  • In a virtual office, new hires can easily reach out to their colleagues without having to schedule meetings and exchange messages back and forth.
  • The platform offers a space for workplace training events — orientation sessions, workshops, and knowledge exchange meetings.
  • oVice allows new hires to seamlessly become part of the team by joining other teams’ discussions and being involved in all processes.

Challenge #5. Work-life balance

  • In 2020, 28% of remote workers struggled with taking time away from work.
  • In 2022, 25% of respondents resonated with not being able to unplug after a remote workday.
  • People who switched to remote work from office work during the pandemic report increased stress levels and reduced work-life balance.

Remote work is associated with productivity gains but these are coming at a cost of work-life balance. Working from home makes the line blurs the line between productive and resting time.

In fact, some remote employees report that taking a sick leave became harder as it seemingly made no sense.

How oVice solves the problem

  • oVice helps managers encourage teammates to work only when they are logged into the virtual office during work hours.
  • Having tangible proof of their presence at work for 8 hours removes pressure from employees and motivates them to unplug after work.
  • Being connected to a virtual office encourages office-like routines promoting overall work-life balance.

Challenge #6. Trust and performance tracking

  • Performance tracking is a major pain point in remote team management
  • Team leaders lack the tools to seamlessly oversee their teams
  • Employees feel that most remote work trackers are unnatural and invasive

At the office, employees have little resistance to oversight — they feel relatively comfortable sharing the workspace with managers.

In a remote environment, teams feel more pressured by time trackers or 8-hour-long Zoom meetings that prove their work availability.

How oVice solves the problem:

  • A virtual office makes “management by wandering” possible, helping managers oversee teams without being intrusive.
  • Employees don’t feel pressured by having to log into a virtual office since they can keep their cameras off and microphones muted.
  • Introducing a virtual office helps foster workplace discipline and keep workflows structured even for a remote team.

Challenge #7. Complicated workflows

  • Repetitive work tasks like answering messages and scheduling meetings take up to 40% of workers’ productive time.
  • 60% of employees estimate that cutting off redundant workflows could help save up to 6 hours a week.
  • 70% of remote meetings keep employees from productive work.

With its heavy reliance on technology, remote work added a layer of artifice to interactions that would be seen as natural in an office environment.

Starting a call in person is considerably faster than scheduling an appointment with a colleague who’s working remotely. On top of that, due to the rigidity and inflexibility of video conferencing tools, multitasking and loss of concentration during meetings are extremely common.

How oVice solves the problem

  • One-click audio and video conferencing eliminate extra steps needed to set up an appointment saving employees a lot of productive time.
  • The platform improves meeting efficiency by allowing participants to share screens simultaneously or seamlessly leave the meeting when their input is no longer needed.
  • oVice is a lot more flexible and interactive than traditional video conferencing tools — moving around the space or having teammates join casually makes meetings more natural and stimulating.

The Bottom Line

Remote work has unique benefits that prove its validity and, in some cases, superiority compared to office work. Commute-associated time savings, no distractions, the comfort of one’s place, and the ability to break geographical limits make a strong case for remote work adoption.

As they commit to working from home, team leaders should be aware of the challenges that will come to light in the long run: lack of employee engagement, widespread burn-out, Zoom fatigue, and others.

After talking to thousands of team leaders, we’ve learned that a lot of them want to combine the benefits of offices — open communication, spontaneous collaboration, and seamless discipline — with the comfort of remote work. That’s why we created oVice — a virtual office platform for remote teams. It tackles the challenges of remote team-building through the lens of technology and innovation.

Find out how SMEs and enterprise companies use oVice to improve remote team management, maximize productivity, build strong teams, and create a comfortable, sustainable remote work environment.

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