Remote work offers businesses numerous advantages: it helps them save on office rent costs and recruit top talent. But there are also drawbacks to this growing trend.
During COVID-19, workers and business leaders alike are demanding flexibility to reach their work-life objectives. That is why many are turning towards remote work as a solution.
1. Reduction in productivity
One of the primary concerns for many businesses is the loss of productivity that remote work can cause. This is especially true when employees work long hours without getting regular breaks to stretch their legs or take a walk.
However, it’s essential to recognize the many advantages of working remotely. Companies who make the switch can save a considerable amount of money in office costs, reduce employee commuting time and access a wider talent pool for selection.
Studies have consistently demonstrated the productivity benefits of working from home. Some even find remote workers to be more efficient than their office counterparts if they enjoy high levels of job autonomy and have control over their own schedules.
2. Increased absenteeism
As remote work becomes more and more commonplace for businesses, more employees are missing out on their tasks. Unplanned absences due to health issues or personal needs pose a significant challenge for HR departments.
One way to combat this is by offering flexible scheduling options for your employees. This enables them to be more adaptable and responsive to their own schedules and needs, while also showing your company that you trust them with the job.
Another crucial element in workplace morale is creating a positive atmosphere and adhering to an organized work ethic. Offering employees regular feedback and recognition can promote teamwork, which in turn leads to improved productivity levels.
A two-wave panel study was conducted to explore the effects of remote work on stress reactions and presenteeism. A total of 3,123 office workers across 23 tertiary industries were surveyed. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were run to uncover any associations between remote work, psychological and physical stress responses, as well as presenteeism.
3. Reduction in teamwork
Remote workers experience a serious reduction in teamwork. A study published in Nature Human Behavior indicates that those who telecommute lose essential connections between their teams across organizations.
Connections are vital for working collaboratively with other team members and finding solutions to problems. Without these connections, employees may not be as innovative or productive.
Particularly introverted individuals who struggle with group interactions and brainstorming sessions.
However, it is possible to encourage creativity and innovation in remote work settings by prioritizing collaboration and providing opportunities for team members to connect.
Additionally, creating a strong culture is essential to guarantee remote employees feel connected to the company and valued as valuable members of the team. Furthermore, providing healthy work-life balance can help motivate and productive employees alike.
Remote workers often experience a sense of loneliness due to being separated from colleagues and social relationships, which can have an adverse effect on their mental and physical health.
There are many ways to combat feelings of loneliness at work. One strategy is ensuring employees have regular physical meetings with their coworkers and supervisors.
Another strategy is to offer work perks that benefit all employees, even those who are remote. Doing this will guarantee that remote workers have a way of connecting with their company and maintaining healthy mental and physical wellbeing.
Loneliness can be a difficult obstacle to overcome, but it can be addressed if managers and individuals take the necessary steps. This may include encouraging workers to reconnect with their past as well as connecting them to others going through similar struggles. Doing this will give them a sense of belonging and purpose.