Remote work has grown in popularity across the world. In fact, more than 50 percent of the U.S. workforce has a job that allows them to at least partially telework, or remote work. The benefits of remote work are endless: increased productivity, convenient or flexible scheduling and more. But, even the best concepts have their faults.
Remote teams are likely to encounter a handful of challenges. We’ve rounded up the top four for CAD and engineering professionals, and how to overcome them.
1. Adjusting to Time Zones
Like many engineering and CAD firms, some of your team members, clients or other partners may be states away, or overseas. Varying time zones can lead to challenges when trying to schedule calls or meetings, communication via email or simply getting in a rhythm when editing and delivering work.
So, how can you overcome this? Teams must first become aware of others’ time restraints. Consider smaller meetings with only those that have to be present to avoid as many scheduling conflicts as possible. Use tools like World Time Buddy or Every Time Zone to coordinate a time that works across multiple time zones to meet. For those who can’t attend, record the meeting for them to listen to later to make sure they’re up to date with the status of all projects.
2. Being Too Connected to Work
Many remote professionals work within their home, which can make taking breaks from work difficult since they never truly leave the office. Similarly, teams that are spread out among many locations may find themselves constantly checking phone and email for work from other time zones to come through.
It’s important to set expectations ahead of time among your entire team. Clearly communicate hours that you can and cannot be reached, the hours you plan to work and when others should expect projects from you. Then, stick to those hours when you can to avoid feeling overworked and stressed.
Collaboration on CAD projects can be difficult with some team members working remotely. Without your teams in the office, it can be challenging to discuss projects back and forth, go over revisions or updates and work together for true collaboration.
Project management tools like Asana or Basecamp can help set a production schedule to encourage teams to keep track of projects. These tools are also useful for communicating the status of projects and other details that may be needed. Similarly, CAD software that is 100 percent cloud-enabled can also streamline collaboration. With cloud capabilities, users can access projects from wherever they are and, in some cases, may be able to work in the file simultaneously with their team members.
4. Inconsistent Designs and Project Quality
Finally, one of the biggest challenges for remote CAD professionals is replicating the same consistent, high quality designs as those who may work in an office. This is because those who work in the office may have access to the same tools and CAD hardware, which gives each person the same design capabilities and accuracy.
To solve this problem, consider investing in or offering your employees their own CAD equipment with mobile capabilities, like the SpaceMouse Wireless Kit. The SpaceMouse Wireless Kit includes two wireless tools: the SpaceMouse Wireless and the CadMouse Wireless. Both work together to select and position, and create easily with both hands. Also included are the CadMouse Pad Compact, Universal Receiver and the 3DxWare 10 software driver.
No IT installation is needed, meaning your remote teams can set the equipment up themselves for the ability to produce the same consistently accurate designs.