Think of a company you admire. Or an entrepreneur whose success you covet. Chances are they have gone through their ups and downs before they got to where they are today.

Each organization has its own unique set of workplace challenges that it faces regularly.

Managers try to make their teams function smoothly. Technologies are integrated, people management activities in place, and yet there is no way to eliminate job challenges.

What we can do is learn about the different types of challenges and how to respond to them.

Challenges at Work

Workplace challenges are neither novel nor avoidable. Despite one’s best efforts, there will be many things that create friction in the workplace. Numerous internal and external challenges can make work difficult and slow down growth.

We can overcome regular job challenges by identifying the areas in which they occur and taking steps to proactively reduce their occurrence.

Whether it is handling stubborn colleagues, overcoming organizational barriers, or motivating disengaged employees, it is imperative to know the techniques and ways to handle job challenges effectively.

Examples of challenges at work:

Let’s take a look at five of the most prevalent and critical examples of challenges at work:

1. Communication challenges

Organizational success usually depends on the clarity and effectiveness of communication within the organization. Every organization should have a clear communication protocol. However, this is easier said than done.

Different employees communicate differently. Some people tend to respond to emails and messages in a matter of minutes, while others take days. Many don’t even respond to emails or messages at all.

This lack of communication and the resultant absence of coordination between different employees can pose a challenge to organizational harmony and success.

2. Low employee engagement and motivation

No matter what you do, there is always a chance of feeling demotivated. Let’s say you love photography and traveling, and have been traveling all over the world taking countless photographs for your work.

Despite your love for your work, you may very well feel demotivated. It is natural to want support, encouragement, and motivation from time to time.

In a conventional desk job, the need for motivation is usually more acute and recurring. People can get tired of doing the same work each day. They need stimulation and engagement in the form of connection.

This lack of engagement and motivation is one of the biggest challenges in organizations. It not only brings down employee satisfaction and productivity, but it also reduces organizational progress.

3. Difficult people and rigid hierarchies 

This is probably one of the most common challenges at work. In almost every office, some unhappy employees feel frustrated for some reason. They bring others down with their constant complaints and negativity.

And some people are usually unwilling to welcome changes, new activities or perspectives. They believe that their way is the only right way of doing things.

In some companies, the hierarchy is not clearly defined or multiple departments stake claims to the same resources. This can cause many challenges and impact the smooth functioning of the organization.

4. Lack of conflict resolution 

Where there are several people, there will always be some conflicts or problems. There could be disagreements about processes, targets, working styles, or individual behaviors. In large organizations, it is common to witness conflicts between different departments.

The operations team might seek more human resources, but the finance department might disapprove of fresh hiring or budget allocation citing a cash crunch. The sales department might feel that they are not getting enough support from the marketing team.

Many of these kinds of workplace challenges occur due to office politics and ego clashes.

5. Lack of skill development and professional growth

Everyone wants to grow in their career. Employees look forward to acquiring more skills and knowledge as they move up the ladder.

Skill enhancement of employees is essential to improve performance, especially to keep pace with new technology. Otherwise, they risk becoming irrelevant or outdated.

This is a commonly seen challenging situation at work. Organizations that don’t focus on employee growth and skill development routinely face such challenges at work.


Challenges at work are a part and parcel of professional life.  As you have seen from the examples of challenges at work, organizations must be prepared to tackle some common problems.

Harappa Education’s Navigating Workplaces course is an effective online learning resource to help you understand workplace challenges, their causes, and the ways to resolve these challenges. Sign up for the course to learn how to navigate workplace challenges.

Explore topics such as What is a Conflict, Types of Conflict, Stages of Group Development, Thomas Kilmann Model, Ways to Give Feedback to Employees & Types of Corporate Culture from our Harappa Diaries section in order to build trust-rich relationships at work.