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The Drawbacks of Remote Work: 8 Issues Your Employees Must Be Facing

The Drawbacks of Remote Work
Drawbacks & Issues Employees Face While Working Remotely
While remote working is the norm, employees face certain drawbacks. This article focuses on those issues with the desired solution.
Posted in: Remote Work
The Drawbacks of Remote Work
Drawbacks & Issues Employees Face While Working Remotely

When you work for too long, you resemble it everywhere. It is the current situation of remote employees today. What looks like a dream job can soon turn into a disaster with remote work. A recent survey found that 34% of workers would quit their role before returning to an office, and just under half (49%) said they prefer a hybrid working environment over the traditional in-house model.

This article focuses on the issues of remote work and the number of issues your employees must face. 

What is the current situation with remote workers?

What the current situation is, and what employees want

The current situation with remote working varies significantly depending on the location and industry. Some employees have been able to work remotely full-time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, while others have had to return to working in an office or other physical location.

In general, it seems that many employees have appreciated the flexibility and autonomy that comes with remote work, and many have expressed a desire to continue working remotely even after the pandemic subsides. A survey conducted by the International Labor Organization in 2021 found that about half of all workers globally would prefer to continue working from home at least part of the time, even after the pandemic is over.

However, it's important to note that remote work is not for everyone, and some employees may prefer to return to a more traditional work setting. It's also important to consider the specific needs and preferences of employees and to offer a range of options that support their well-being and productivity. 

While there are many benefits for organizations and their employees, a few things need to be considered regarding remote working.

Remote workers are less likely to take leave

Research by Coso Cloud shows that 53% of employees operating remotely are less likely to take time off for holidays, even if they are genuinely sick. It shows that remote workers are more content with their role as remote workers. 

It is in addition to the fact that companies that allow for remote working have staff retention rates that are 25% higher than those that don't.  

Remote workers are more productive

Figures show that remote workers are more likely to be productive team members, with 77% of employees reporting higher productivity than working in an office environment. The most decisive research would be from Stanford University, where employee performance increased by 13% as they took fewer breaks and were less distracted. It is strengthened by a more relevant report which shows that remote employees work more than 40 hours a week, cementing a solid link between remote working and increased productivity.

After careful consideration, employees eventually may want to return to the office, and now is a good time. That is why we see employees opting for a hybrid approach and even thinking about returning to the office again. Likewise, businesses should hear employees on what would help ease the transition back to the office. 

Below are some of the issues your employees must be facing

1. Managing your Projects

Did you know that only 2.5% of companies can finish 100% of their projects in time while working remotely? The truth here is that managing a remote team can be challenging, so how to make things right for everyone. Here is the solution

Project management and communication are crucial to success when working in remote teams. It is important to gather input from all members and know what each person is doing. When teams work remotely, creating a dedicated place for communication is the preferred option. An internal team collaboration tool like ProofHub will allow project managers to foster two-way communication through group chats and discussions with team members.

No-follow 

2. Working from different locations/time zones 

 Managing a remote team with members in different locations can become challenging. Team members can become resentful when they are expected to work outside business hours to attend meetings. The situation can turn sour if the time difference reaches eight hours or more than that. Here are some of the steps you can consider:

●Set a time that falls into the work zone of each employee.

●Use digital tools to point out local time differences.

●Request feedback in identifying critical areas of improvement.

●Use project management tools to assign work and track progress.

3. Maintaining trust 

About 40% of the supervisors and managers expressed low self-confidence in managing workers remotely. Similar numbers were reported, that about 16% lacked the confidence to influence remote workers to do their job well. These findings suggest a lack of self-belief in the ability of the employees who are working remotely.

In another similar study, 38% of managers had negative views about remote workers' performance. 

4. Overcoming distractions 

 There are many distractions like kids screaming, noise from traffic, doorbells, and pets. And other household chores that can distract employees from their work. These are the distractions that no remote worker wants. That being said, these are preventable, and here is the solution for that.

●Create a defined workspace

●Don't turn on social media

●Take breaks 

5. Staying motivated 

With a structured workday, you would find it easier to stay motivated while working remotely. One of the best things is to use the "10-minute rule." You can tell yourself that you only have to work for 10 minutes, then after 10 minutes, you can take a break if you want. You might also reward yourself once you get your work done, or you can have a cup of your favorite tea as soon as you finish the report. You might also make discoveries about yourself; a little incentive can go a long way.

6. Communication barrier  

The most common cause of remote work is the feeling of being undervalued, which makes employees feel undervalued. 16% of work-from-home employees say they find it hard to collaborate and communicate with other team members. Team participation, face-to-face access to peers, or brainstorming sessions over coffee should be needed. 

You can no longer walk to a colleague's desk to chat, schedule a meeting in person, or call someone for an update. All these communication barriers are taking a significant toll on employee engagement and morale.

7. Burnout  

Burnout is accurate; you work 12 to 14 hours a day and work on weekends too. Rather than being less productive, researchers have found that most remote employees work more than their office counterparts. Remote employees deal with fewer distractions, have flexible working schedules, and save time commuting and getting ready for work; however, they are still prone to burnout.

Things that you miss out on are our office gossip, coffee/lunch breaks, no commute, team outings, and next to no human interaction. You end up pushing yourself harder than you should, and hence you could soon be more prone to burnout. 

8. Poor work-life balance

Work-life balance includes time spent thinking about work because if you constantly think about work, you're not giving yourself a chance to live your personal life. 

Working from home presents unique challenges, like losing separation between your professional responsibilities and personal life and struggling to unplug. 

In some ways, people are reaping the benefits of increased flexibility with remote work. Still, many people struggle to maintain balance when working from home.

How to make things right

How to make things right

Many businesses may want employees to return to the office. It could be a full-time or a hybrid approach. Some may welcome this, and others may not like the idea; it is up to the employer to make things right and make things as easy and painless for employees as possible. Businesses should give employees time to adjust to working in the office again. It can be done by asking for employee feedback and easing any anxieties during the transition.

Below are some of the strategies for better work:

1.Start the day right 

​ How you begin your day determines how you end it. If you check your phones immediately after you wake up, there's a good chance that this behavior will carry on for the rest of the day. You may consider beginning your day with exercise, diet, and meditation.

2. Start work as early  

It was rising before the sun, a habit most successful people shared. It makes complete sense from a productive point of view. You'll avoid the last-minute rush to get things done by tackling your to-do list.

3. Keep your work and personal space different.  

When you're at home, pretending you're working is easy. It doesn't happen when you are working from the office. You can't expect to take a nap or watch TV. Whether it is a desk behind a house door or a dedicated coworking space near home, having a physical location helps you focus more easily.

4. Understand your willpower  

Research shows that willpower, like energy, is a finite resource. As you move through the day, you're depleted and prone to temptations and distractions. The key to productivity is to manage these "willpower points," so you have to make hard decisions.

5. Design your environment to prevent failure  

When you walk to your desk, you should have these three things always ready:

●Laptop

●To-do list

●Primary tools - Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Photoshop - always open. 

Conclusion

Whether you work fully remote or hybrid, everything has its benefits and drawbacks, and we have to make the best out of every situation. Some employees are comfortable working from home, while others want to return to their workplace. Practical remote work requires knowledge, predispositions, expectations, and abilities. Both remote and onsite work have their merits and demerits; ultimately, it all depends on our approach toward such issues.

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Sunday, 14 April 2024
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