The remote work model started as an experiment out of necessity to keep employees safe and healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the past two years, however, it has grown into the most popular work model that offers flexibility and autonomy rarely experienced in the office. When you match this freedom employees have to do things at their own pace with the significant business expenses cuts, you get a perfect future work model, right?
Well, nothing is perfect and you need to look at the other side of this medal and face potential downsides of this coveted work model so that you can recognize them and take efficient steps to fix potential issues. In this way, you’ll boost your productivity and show your remote workers that they are appreciated and valuable team members.
Here are some negative sides of remote work you should pay attention to, followed by efficient steps you can take to avoid these pitfalls and keep your remote workers happy and motivated to do their best.
Remote Workers May Feel Isolated and Excluded
Working from the comfort of a home, favorite cafe, or restaurant definitely has its perks. But, over time remote workers will start missing social interaction with other coworkers. Over time this feeling of loneliness and isolation may grow to cause serious mental health issues. Numerous surveys have shown that a large number of people working remotely had to tackle depression or increased anxiety.
For this reason, you need to find a way to include necessary social interaction in your digital workspace so that your remote team members won’t feel so alienated and isolated. Even though nothing can replace in-person communication, try using communication platforms like Zoom to recreate a “watercooler” atmosphere, encouraging your employees to spend their coffee breaks video-chatting with each other. This may be an effective way to help your remote workers feel more connected with the rest of the team.
While flexibility is one of the most significant advantages you have when working remotely, it can be a double-edged sword. Namely, without strict office hours, remote workers tend to work overtime forgetting to take breaks or even have lunch. This may easily lead to burnout that can seriously affect their health and productivity.
The good news is that you can use remote worker tracking software to recognize signs of burnout and take steps to fix this issue. For example, this efficient monitoring tool can tell you what apps and websites your employees are visiting, dividing them into productive and unproductive ones.
If you notice that your otherwise productive employees started spending too much time on social media or news websites, make sure to check whether they are overwhelmed with work. Because they may visit unproductive sites to escape this work overload for a while, trying to vent out.
Once you recognize burnout, try helping your employees by distributing workload equally, delegating some of their tasks to those who have free time on their hands. Furthermore, foster company culture focusing on employees’ health and wellbeing.
Remote Workers May Struggle with Organization and Time Management
Opposite to overworking, remote workers may tend to procrastinate, losing track of time. Numerous distractions that are lurking from every corner may ruin their focus and interrupt their workflow, running down their productivity in the long run. By allowing employees access to their track records, they may see how they spend their time at work, noticing the strong sides and the weak spots.
Then they can use this information to organize their work better by tackling complex, time-consuming tasks when their productivity is peaking. By doing this they will create a well-structured workflow, improving time management along the way.
You can also use the productivity tracker data to offer unbiased, real-time feedback to your workers, focusing on their achievements and providing support in work segments they may struggle with.
By rewarding their hard work and offering guidance to overcome obstacles, you will build relations based on trust with your employees which will do wonders for your business in the long run.
The remote work model became increasingly popular because it fosters flexibility and encourages employees’ autonomy when making work-related decisions. However, you need to be aware of numerous downsides that can affect your remote employees’ health and performance.
We showed you significant shortcomings of remote working, giving you tips on how to recognize and fix them so you can be sure your employees are happy, healthy, and productive.