Six Biggest Downsides To Remote Work will be described in this article. Recently, we discussed the advantages of remote and distributed work, such as improved work-life balance, greater diversity and inclusion results, and higher productivity. Despite this, not everything is as it seems. Six major downsides to completely remote work have been identified in recent surveys and research.
1. More Meetings
Before the epidemic, an employee would typically attend 62 meetings each month. To set up a single appointment, it usually takes an employee eight emails. Many workers had to attend more meetings after going remote, according to our study. According to the 2019 Owl Labs State of Remote Work Report, remote workers attended more meetings than on-site employees even before the epidemic. While only 3% of office employees had more than 10 meetings per week, 14% of remote workers had more than 10 meetings.
Scheduling appointments is not only time-consuming busywork, but it can also result in decision fatigue. Your ability to think critically diminishes as your brain dwindles. You start to consider less long-term and discount the future.
Then, when calculating costs, you must account for perspective switching. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, managers at a major software company lost more than 450 hours a year due to context switching. The authors stated that “making any real progress on thoughtful work requires more than a 30-minute increment of time.” “After an interruption, it takes 15 minutes to get back to work.”
2. Longer Hours
We discovered evidence that remote workers are more productive than their office counterparts in our previous post on remote work. But numerous studies have found that remote workers put in longer hours, so that’s presumably related. Owl Labs’ 2019 State of Remote Work Report Compared to on-site employees, remote laborers were 43% more likely to work over 40 hours per week. By the fifth week of March, we observed that the typical employee was putting in an hour more per week of work than they had been prior to the epidemic.
3. Worsening mental health
Sixty-seven percent of workers in a survey conducted in April said they were experiencing more stress at work. For 57% of employees, anxiety increased. And 53% reported feeling more mentally spent. According to other research, there are more cases of substance misuse, domestic violence, PTSD, and depression. According to one study, this is the most stressful time of their career for 69% of workers, and over the previous four to six weeks, 88% of respondents reported experiencing moderate to severe stress.
While COVID-19 itself is undoubtedly a significant stressor, there is some proof that working remotely can also make employees feel more alone and bored. Additionally, remote employment may cause a blending of work and personal life. This is another six biggest downsides to remote work.
4. Larger gender pay and promotions gap
According to our qualitative and quantitative research, the COVID-19 shelter-in-place policy harmed women workers more than men and exacerbated already-existing gender disparities. Women are doing the majority of homeschooling, childcare, and household chores in two-parent families with children who live at home and where both parents work full-time so that their husbands can concentrate on their employment during working hours. Also check Fintech Content Ideas
Many women scramble to make up lost time late at night and early in the morning when their peers might not be accessible because they have less time to finish assignments. Others take a step back or leave the workforce altogether. Since businesses with greater gender diversity are more productive and teams with greater gender parity generate more sales and profits than teams with less gender parity, this is likely to have an influence on businesses.
5. Less trust between workers
According to recent studies, building confidence via video is more challenging than through in-person interactions. This adds to the body of study demonstrating that it is much simpler to persuade someone in person than it is via email. A more recent research revealed that, compared to audio or text, most people had a harder time determining whether someone was lying on video.
Sebastian Boell, Dubravka Cecez-Kecmanovic, and John Campbell examined 239 papers on the effects of remote work and identified a number of possible drawbacks, including diminished trust. It’s possible that performance will decline as current social capital erodes because organizations with high confidence are more likely to achieve better business outcomes. This is another six biggest downsides to remote work.
6. More difficult collaboration
According to some researchers, full-time remote employees might struggle more than their coworkers in offices to solve problems and be innovative. Many claim that it’s simple to ignore the importance of the impromptu ideas and networking that in-person sharing fosters.
Boell, Cecez-Kecmanovic, and Campbell also note out that teams may find it more difficult to collaborate, ask and answer questions, and be creative when working remotely. This is a fairly major potential drawback to fully remote work, as poor communication practices are estimated to cost businesses $37 billion annually.
How to reduce some of the risks of remote work
Despite these difficulties, businesses can succeed with a completely remote workforce. By scheduling your meetings for the time that gives you and your team the most Focus Time, Clockwise lessens context switching, decision weariness, and time fragmentation. You might be able to work fewer hours without sacrificing quality because Focus Time is linked to higher amounts of productivity.
Offer some of the following perks for free or at a significant discount to address employee mental health:
- Online courses in meditation
- Apps for meditation
- Apps for mental health
- Remote yoga and fitness lessons
- Classes online for coping and stress control
- Coaching lessons for wellbeing
- A monthly allowance for physical or mental wellbeing
Work to fill senior leadership positions at your business with women to close the gender pay gap. This provides role models for younger women and increases the likelihood that you’ll have laws supportive of working mothers. To learn how frequently women encounter job sexism, think about conducting a survey.
Try some of the suggestions in How we established a remote work team culture to help employees connect and build trust. These consist of creating unique welcome packages for brand-new hires, rewarding accomplishments with presents, and creating unique Zoom backgrounds to commemorate birthdays and anniversaries.
The benefits of working remotely are numerous. It also carries some significant risks for both businesses and workers. Keep the aforementioned advice in mind to help lessen some of the downsides if you decide to continue working remotely after COVID-19.
Check out articles on a good remote work schedule and some of the advantages and disadvantages of remote work.