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Overcoming the challenges of remote work with digital communication

Gail M.
11 May 2023
Using digital communications for remote work.

The rise of remote work has been a significant trend in recent years, accelerated greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic. While remote work has many benefits, it also presents unique challenges that can impact productivity and communication within a team. Fortunately, advancements in digital communication tools like video conferencing and instant messaging have made it possible to overcome many of these challenges. From improving collaboration and reducing miscommunication to increasing productivity and creating a strong company culture, real-time communication tools offer a wide range of benefits for remote workers and their employers. By understanding these challenges and leveraging the power of real-time communication tools, companies can optimize their remote workforce and achieve success in a rapidly changing work environment.

In the following we will explore how to overcome the challenges of remote work, highlighting in particular the advantages of custom built communication tools.

Learn more about, Why Real-Time Communication is key to Enterprise Digital Transformation

The Rise of Remote

Remote work, or the ability for employees to work outside of a traditional office setting, has become more commonplace in recent years due to several factors.

New Technology: With the widespread availability of high-speed internet, video conferencing, instant messaging, and cloud-based software, it has become easier than ever for employees to work remotely and stay connected to their teams and projects.

Changing Attitudes: Another factor is changing attitudes toward work-life balance and the desire for more flexibility in one’s career. Many employees value the ability to work from home or other remote locations as a way to better manage their personal and professional lives.

Legacy of Pandemic: Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to remote work, as companies were forced to quickly adopt remote work policies to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Learn more about, Why Businesses benefit from Video Conferencing

Key Stats on Remote Work

Statistics strongly indicate that remote working is likely to remain a significant part of the modern workforce in the years to come.

  • A 2022 Gallup survey revealed that 80% of people work in a hybrid or remote capacity, while only 20% work entirely on-site.
  • FlexJobs’ Career Pulse 2022 Survey revealed that 65% of respondents expressed a desire to work remotely full-time, while 32% preferred a hybrid work environment.
  • A McKinsey report found that 58% of respondents reported having the opportunity to work from home at least once a week, while 35% reported having the option to work from home five days a week.
  • According to a report by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, remote work has grown by 159% since 2005 in the United States, and 44% over the last 5 years.
  • According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, remote work can save employers an average of $11,000 per year per employee due to reduced office space, utilities, and other expenses.
  • The same study found that remote work can also be beneficial for employees, with 82% of telecommuters reporting reduced stress levels and 80% reporting improved morale.
  • A survey by Buffer found that 98% of remote workers would like to continue working remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers.

These statistics demonstrate that remote work is not only becoming more common, but is also being embraced by both employers and employees as a way to save money, reduce stress, and improve work-life balance.

Learn more about, Comparing the best business messaging apps

Challenges of Remote Work

While remote work has many advantages, such as increased flexibility and reduced overhead costs, it also presents some unique challenges for companies, particularly when it comes to communication and collaboration.

It can be difficult to maintain effective communication across multiple locations and time zones, this can make collaboration a challenge, as remote workers may have a harder time working together on projects and sharing ideas. This may ultimately slow down productivity.

Insufficient contact and communication may cause remote workers to feel less connected to the company culture and find it harder to build relationships with their colleagues. This can lead to lower employee engagement and retention.

From management’s side, it can be difficult to monitor remote workers and ensure that they are staying on task and meeting their goals. Additionally, it may be challenging to hold remote workers accountable for their performance.

Learn more about, Why Remote Work Requires Video Communication

How to Improve Communication with Remote Workers

Digital communication tools like video chat and instant messaging have become essential in overcoming many of the challenges associated with remote work. From improving collaboration and productivity to enhancing worker engagement, digital communication can help remote workers stay connected and productive, even when working from home.

Recruitment and on-boarding: From the outset, digital tools like online chat and video calling can be used to recruit and hire new remote employees. This saves tremendous time and costs, as companies no longer need to fly candidates in for interviews.The same tools can be used for effective communication when onboarding and training new hires remotely. Using an in-house chat system enables new hires to ask questions in real-time. Virtual training seminars conducted by your team can also be an effective way to help new employees get up to speed on company processes.

Learn more about, The Benefits of Chat for Recruitment and HR Software

Improved collaboration & productivity: Real-time communication tools facilitate collaboration by allowing team members to work together on projects, even if they’re in different locations. The ability to ask questions and get answers in real-time, reduces the time it takes to solve problems and complete tasks. Effective communication also helps employees to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page. For example, a quick video chat can help to clarify a complex task or provide feedback, allowing team members to move forward with their work more quickly. All these factors help to increase productivity.

Asynchronous communication: In addition to real-time communication, digital communication tools also support asynchronous communication. This is important for a remote workforce located in different time zones, or who may have their own personalized working hours. Once a chat message, voice message or video message is sent, it will remain stored on a server, making it accessible at any time from anywhere.

Higher Transparency: Because all communication that occurs over a chat platform can be saved, workers and employers can access a treasure trove of information. These communications provide great reference points that can be used by your team members to facilitate work. For example, if one of your team managers lays out a project in a message thread, all members of that thread can refer back to the message as they complete their tasks. Furthermore, these saved messages can be used in the future for audits, performance reviews, and analysis. Employers have an effective means to assess employee engagement, by tracking their level of participation in online communication.

Fostering Connection & Common Interest: Real-time communication via chat and video can help remote workers feel less isolated and foster a sense of connection to their team and organization. For example, Digital Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are virtual or online communities of employees within a company who come together based on a shared identity or interest. Unlike traditional ERGs that meet in person, digital ERGs use technology to connect members across different locations and time zones. They use instant messaging, video conferencing, and online forums, to communicate and share information. They may also use social media platforms or dedicated digital platforms to engage members and promote activities.

Recreational activities, such as a virtual company book club or virtual happy hours over a videoconference, where work-related topics are off-limits can also facilitate connections and allow employees to connect. Company management can also use video conferencing tools to hold regular presentations on company news to help coworkers stay in touch and feel better connected.

Learn more about, Best Video Conferencing Apps in 2023

Best Communication Tools for Remote Workers

The right communication tools and strategies can improve collaboration, boost productivity, and enhance employee engagement. While there are plenty of third-party communication apps available in the market, more and more companies are choosing to build their own communication platforms for internal use.


There are several benefits that companies can reap by building their own communication platform:

  1. Customization: Building your own communication platform gives you the flexibility to customize it according to your organization’s specific needs. You can tailor the features and functionalities to fit your unique business requirements, which may not be possible with off-the-shelf solutions.
  2. Security: By building your own communication platform, you can ensure that your data and communications are secure. Third-party apps may not have the same level of security measures in place, and you may be at risk of data breaches or leaks. By building your own platform, you have full control over the security measures implemented.
  3. Data Control: If it’s your own messaging app, and especially if it’s hosted in your own environment, then you control all the data. You can maintain access to all chat histories.
  4. Integration: If you build your own communication platform, you can integrate it with other internal systems and applications, which can streamline workflows and boost productivity. Integrating communication tools with other business software can help teams work more efficiently, collaborate better and ultimately drive business growth.
  5. Cost-effectiveness: In the long run, building your own communication platform can be more cost-effective than using third-party apps. Off-the-shelf solutions often come with subscription fees that can add up over time. With a custom platform, you have full ownership and control, and can avoid costly licensing fees.
  6. Learn more about, Building a Chat App with QuickBlox is better than Building from Scratch

    QuickBlox communication solutions for Businesses

    Overall, building your own communication platform can give you greater control, customization, security, integration, and cost-effectiveness, which can ultimately lead to better internal communication and improved business outcomes.

    QuickBlox is an excellent choice for building a chat or video calling app for internal communication between remote workers. With its easy-to-use, customizable platform and advanced features like push notifications and real-time analytics, QuickBlox can help enhance productivity and streamline workflows. Additionally, QuickBlox is known for providing reliable, secure, and scalable solutions, making it a trustworthy option for companies of all sizes. To find out more about QuickBlox’s comprehensive and efficient solutions, contact us today.

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