Remote work is a popular and buzzing corporate trend nowadays. Most companies plan to do remote work in the future, and it's because of the success of the work-from-home model during the COVID19 period. A survey from PWC said that more than half of employers opted for remote work after COVID-19 so this remote work trend will continue.
Since this trend started, many employees have been raving about how it's great to work remotely. However, let's look at it in many ways. Working from home or remotely still has drawbacks for both workers and companies.
Now, let's dissect the dark side of remote work for companies or employees.
The disadvantages for employees
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1. Lack of Community and Teamwork
An engineer at Linaro, Carlos Eduardo Seo, said, “the main reason I would object against a 100% WFH model is that isolation kills collaboration.” He added that ideas will flow faster when people are banging their heads together in the office.
So it is clear that humans cannot work alone efficiently and effectively. Humans need collaboration to work and brainstorm ideas. Spending hours without interaction and staring at the screen is a challenge.
Various platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, now help teams stay connected through video conferencing. However, it is not as efficient as sitting together and brainstorming ideas.
2. Isolated and lack of interaction
A long time ago, Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, said that man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes individuals.
As Aristotle said, people are social creatures. A survey from Gallup found that 21% of remote workers feel isolated working independently. The reason is simple, namely reduced interaction with coworkers.
A little tip:
- Try to have conversations with your coworkers
- Work while video calling so you feel like you have friends who are also working
3. A lot of distractions
Remote workers often tell us how fun it is to balance work and personal life. They feel that working from home provides more time for personal activities. But the opposite happened.
Glassdoor released a survey which surveyed nearly 1000 American employees about working from home. They reported that about 32% of employees said watching TV was a top distraction, while 27% said childcare was another distraction.
When working from home, you must be aware that family and voices are sometimes unavoidable. And we know that not all homes can provide good working conditions like in the office.
A few tips:
- Go to a co-working space to get a work atmosphere like an office space.
- You can also use the library to gain focus and concentration at work.
4. Decreased motivation
Motivation is a person's main drive to achieve their goals. Employees who work remotely will lose their interlocutor or senior who is a source of external motivation.
Loss of motivation affects productivity. Although every individual must have reason within himself, that motivation has its limits. Sometimes self-motivation is not enough to keep them going toward the goal.
Share with your seniors or friends when motivation begins to wane and disappear. They can be an external motivation even through the internet or video calls.
5. High level of stress
COVID-19 is the primary cause of stress for many workers, and many studies have shown that remote work is also a cause of stress. Employees cannot manage time, blurring the line between work and life.
The study, conducted by HBR, said 67% of workers reported higher stress. Anxiety rose to 57%, and another 53% felt emotionally exhausted.
A tip that you can adopt is to learn time management. When someone can manage time well, they know when to stop and when to run.
The disadvantages for employers
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1. Security risk
Remote work also brings challenges to employers. Employees have the freedom to work from anywhere they want. It includes working in public places with public connections. Due to this issue, corporate data security is compromised.
Well, to reduce the risks that arise, companies need to establish clear policies about bringing their own devices and working in public places. Companies can also create conditional access policies, password policies, remote device policies and multi-factor authentication.
2. Lack of supervision
When all employees are in the office, it is easy to keep an eye on what they are doing. So how do companies know what remote workers are doing? Most companies suffer from this issue. They can’t track their remote workers which causes work productivity to slow down.
But companies also need to trust their remote workers because if not, the remote workers will feel micromanaged. This will also lead to decreased trust and productivity from the workers.
Using tools to provide insight and collaboration can be a great option for companies to keep monitoring but also give the workers space to work. There are many project management tools online such as VirtualSpace and Slack that can help remote workers stay on track.
3. Hard to maintain the company culture
Every company has a particular culture, and this culture is the first to be affected when switching to remote work. As we know, it isn't easy to maintain and enhance the company culture when employees are not actually in the office.
HR cannot carry out team-building activities offline when no employees are in the office. But actually, several joint activities can improve the chemistry between teams virtually, such as virtual exercise challenges or ice-breaking games.
4. Underperformance of employees
Not all employees work significantly when away from the office. Distractions may come from children, pets, Netflix, and gadgets. This may lead to lower productivity which might cause underperformance.
Employees who continue to underperform after several conversations with the manager may need to return to the office. This type of employee may have a bad impact on the office.
5. Hard to find the right workers
While providing remote work allows companies access to a broader and more diverse range of great talent, it also adds a new issue, namely finding the right workers.
One of the most effective ways to deal with this is to have a strict hiring process for new workers. There must be clear requirements to screen the workers that apply. So that in the end, only workers who really pass the requirements can work. Or at least, they're the best that we can get.
So, is remote working a boon or a bane?
Remember that the grass is always greener on the other side. There is no perfect work system in this world. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages, and our job is to make the most of them.
Some employees feel comfortable working remotely, and some like the office atmosphere when they work in. Every loss that is shown, there is always a way to overcome it. The critical point is a strong collaboration between companies and remote workers to overcome this loss.