As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact all of us, many experts believe remote work will be a permanent feature in some segments of the business landscape. Is this a good thing? Are blanket “everyone-work-remotely” policies sustainable, or even desirable?
Here are some of the common downsides of remote work – and some suggested ways to overcome each.
- Is your team culture fading? The lack of in-person – or even virtual – socializing weakens the connections between workers. Make time to move video conference calls beyond meetings with agendas by using the technology to bring everyone together in fun ways, for example, virtual coffee breaks, happy hours, meals or games like trivia contests at the end of the workday.
- Miss the casual connection? Also missing are the casual connections that happen naturally in a physical workspace. Colleagues pass each other in the hallway or chat over a cup of coffee. These chance encounters often spark creativity and innovation. So, encourage remote workers to create “think time” with each other by picking up the phone or setting up a chat to work through ideas.
- Feeling exhausted, lonely and stressed? Working remotely impacts employees differently, depending on their individual personalities and home environment. Many managers schedule check-in calls with employees just to see how things are going, not to discuss work tasks. To mirror “over the cubicle wall” conversations, some colleagues may keep a video channel open or use chat to check in with one another. After social-distancing mandates end, consider organizing local meet-ups for those working remotely.
- Blurred boundary between work and home? Many remote workers may feel pulled in too many directions, with not enough time or capacity to properly manage both work and family demands. Just as employers set expectations for the in-office workday, they should lay out parameters for a ‘normal’ work-at-home day. Some managers email their teams only during business hours. For employees who are juggling competing priorities, consider mapping out a more flexible schedule.
COVID-19 looks like it will have a lasting influence on how work is accomplished. Experts predict that the future workplace will be a hybrid arrangement, with some work done in the office and some from a remote location. Each company will need to find the right balance of policies and technologies for their business and culture.
CTS arranges solutions that will allow your hybrid workers to communicate easily using any device or mode, whether it’s joining a conference call, using the phone, emailing or instant messaging. We also implement virtual workspaces that enable teams to share information, assign tasks, schedule meetings and manage projects.
Contact us today for more details about how our remote work solutions can benefit your business: 800.787.4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.