Remote work has been a talk of the day for some time now, coming as a viable solution many business owners adopted during the Covid -19 pandemic. Employees sent to work from the comfort of their homes have soon realized that they’ve had more flexibility and autonomy to do their work than ever before.
This is a crucial reason why most companies want to continue running their businesses remotely, now that the major health crisis is coming to an end. Even though remote work’s soaring popularity is well deserved, numerous drawbacks can’t be overlooked easily.
This article is for those managers who are still on the fence about embracing fully remote work.
Here you’ll find the ways to tackle the negatives of working out of the traditional office which will in return help you make the right decision for your business and employees.
Lack of Real Life Communication
One of the major worries many managers face when building a remote work environment is the lack of in-person communication. And this worry is justified to an extent because so much important information can easily get lost in translation when communicating on Zoom or Slack, trying to cover different time zones sometimes. Not to mention that people who work from home could feel a bit isolated due to lower levels of socialization.
Providing open and seamless communication between remote team members is a challenging task that can be completed with a smart strategy and a bit of understanding. Namely, you need to make a clear remote communication policy outlining what channels will be used for specific business operations and employees’ needs. For example, you can maintain work-related communication via email, discuss significant business strategies during conference meetings, and reserve Slack for chats and socializing.
Poor Time Management
When you work from the office, everybody knows what set work-hours are. One of the most praised benefits of remote work is that employees can choose when and how they do their job. However, this advantage can easily turn into a drawback if they lose track of time.
Namely, many people complained that working remotely made their performance invisible, leading them to work overtime just to prove that they are working on their tasks and projects.
On the flip side, work-from-home employees can be susceptible to an array of distractions lurking from every corner. Whether they take a break to do something around the house or get swayed by social media feeds, they often let time slip through their hands, leaving them with unfinished tasks and missed deadlines.
Remote worker monitoring software may be an easy fix to the poor time management issue. By involving this advanced tool in your workflow, you’ll be able to track the time your employees spend at work, identify time leakages and help them become more time-efficient.
Lack of Self Care
An assumption that office-based workers are more productive than remote ones is proved wrong by numerous studies showing the increase of productivity of the remote workforce. However, the same studies point out that work-from-home employees tend to work longer hours compared to their office-based counterparts.
These findings are related to the feeling that the remote workers’ achievements may go unnoticed, so they think that they need to work more to prove that they are highly productive. This way, some remote employees tend to neglect their basic needs, skipping meals or not taking much-needed breaks. This behavior almost always leads to burnout that may seriously harm their mental and physical health.
For this reason, it’s crucial to foster people-first culture, encouraging your remote team members to express their concerns and going above and beyond to meet their needs. You can start by encouraging them to take frequent breaks to take a short walk or stretch out. Or you can devise and deploy an effective company wellness program to show that you put your employees’ well-being first.
Going fully remote may be the best decision you’ve ever made provided that you tackle all the drawbacks effectively and create a thriving work environment for your employees.