The Adverse Effect of Remote Work in a Company Culture
By Madz D.
Over the past 15 years, remote working has increased threefold. It was not a common setup in early 2020, accounting for 4% of all workers, as per the Chicago Tribune. In 2015, nearly 3.9 million Americans were engaged in remote work. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the said number reached 4.7 million, and the coronavirus changed everything.
According to INC, companies and employees are suddenly scrambling to figure out how to make work from home "work." At first, people are enjoying the "freedom" that remote work offers. But as the reality sets in, remote work isn't that easy as everyone assumes. Many experienced Zoom fatigue, and working from home is an undesirable set up for extroverts or parents with young children, especially women.
One in four women are leaving the workforce because of job loss and caregiving needs from the COVID-19 pandemic, LeanIn.Org, and McKinsey reported. Meanwhile, for the ones that stay, 70% fear their career growth might be limited.
Remote work also poses several unique challenges that most women are not expecting, such as managing distractions and being more disciplined to get the job done. Given that remote working is on the upswing, particularly due to the recent trends of companies like Twitter, Facebook, and SalesForce announcing new work-from-home policies, it is crucial to stop and check how these changes in the dynamics could impact the company culture. Here is what the research suggests, as per INC:
Remote work can affect engagement to overtime and loyalty
New York Times best-selling author of Vital Friends, Tom Rath, revealed that people who have a best friend at work are seven times more engaged in their job. In anchoring people to accompany, the feeling of being a part of a family is the key and would have something to do with meaningful personal connections.
How does remote work affect the abilities of employees to connect and build meaningful relationships with their colleagues?
One of the major complaints and dilemmas of people who work from home is loneliness, which is not isolated to just one person, but those with families. Employees can feel a sense of connection that bonds them with their coworkers over time, particularly in an in-person environment that will change when employees have to work from home.
However, business owners and leaders could deepen work relationships within a team and company by design. Having a personal group development is the best thing to do as well as a leadership development workshop.
Deepen work relationships is the key
Socially, people slipped into lazy habits as technology got better, and communication was made easier, which led to putting much less effort into relationships. Nowadays, the preferred medium of communication among younger generations is technologies like email, instant messaging, texting, or voice notes. But this hindrance much of the human interaction we all yearn for.
The INC says the remote work may have changed dynamics in the workplace, but it doesn't necessarily mean to have a negative impact on the company culture. It advises you to get ahead of those struggles and invest in building opportunities for people in your company and team to deepen relationships.