June 25, 2024 in Motion Control & Motors, Robotics, Vision & Imaging


Engineering businesses must navigate the challenges of remote working to retain staff amidst a worsening talent shortage, says Sally Hunter, managing director of advanced manufacturing and engineering at Cielo.

The transition in the engineering sector from conventional office setting to remote work, also known as “cubicles to couch”, has been a strategic yet beneficial development.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote work in the engineering industry, with many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) conforming to the progress of working from home arrangements to ensure business continuity.

While WFH offers opportunities like increased flexibility and reduced committing time, it also presents new challenges for engineers in OEMs.

In this article we will be looking at the challenges and obstacles faced by OEMs from the implementation of working from home schemes.


Effective communication and collaboration are essential in engineering, where projects and tasks include complex designs, in-depth calculations and thorough observations.

However, working from home can lead to a breakdown in communication, disagreements and delays.

According to a survey by Wakefield Research 72% of remote workers go through communication obstacles, developing into errors and rework.

To battle this challenge engineers can make use of communication tools like video conferencing software(e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams), instant messaging apps (e.g. Slack, WhatsApp), and project management platforms (e.g. Asana, Trello).

Virtual meetings, visible email communication, excellent workflows, can also help ensure easy collaboration.


Engineers in OEMs often demand certain specialized equipment and machineries to perform their tasks efficiently.

However, working from home can hinder access to these resources, limiting productivity and innovation.

A research study by Gartner discovered that 47% of remote workers experience difficulties in accessing necessary

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resources, leading to decreased output or performance.

To address this issue, OEMs can provide remote access to virtual labs, equipment mental services or collaborating work spaces.

Virtual reality tools and cloud-based simulation software can also assist engineers to design, test, and simulate projects remotely.


Working from home has the tendency to breed distractions, with household chores, family members and personal activities fighting hard for your attention.

Lack of a well designed and structured work environment might deprive engineers of the ability to stay focused and motivated to breed a high rate of work output.

To sustain productivity, engineers can create a dedicated work environment, or workspace, establish a non-negotiable routine, and set clear boundaries or restrictions with family and friends.

Effective time productivity techniques like the Pomodoro technique and regular breaks help to maintain focus.


Remote work increased the risk of data breaches and intellectual property theft, specifically in industries like engineering where sensitive information is exchanged.

According to a report by Cybersecurity ventures, remote work has increased cyber attacks by 30%.

To bypass this risk, OEMs must establish robust security measures, such as encryption, secure file sharing, and virtual private networks (VPNs). Regular security audits, employee training, and incident response strategies can also help in guiding sensitive information.


Here's an improved conclusion:

In conclusion, the challenges of working from home in engineering for OEMs are real, but they can be overcome with the right mindset, strategies, and tools.

By embracing communication tools, remote resources, structured work environments, and robust data security measures, engineers can maintain their productivity, collaboration, and innovation while working remotely.

As the industry continues to navigate the new normal of remote work, OEMs must prioritize investments in digital transformation, employee training, and cybersecurity to stay ahead of the curve.

So, what's the next innovation in remote engineering that will revolutionize the industry? Share your thoughts!

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