Why Employees and Employers Are Pushing Back Against Remote Work

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to accept remote work, but it’s not without its challenges. This article will give companies and employees the disadvantages of remote work if you’re thinking of making the switch.

Communication Challenges

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One of the biggest challenges that companies and employees face when conducting remote work is communication. Just like any text or social media message, the context can be misunderstood and the emotion misjudged when it has been sent as a written piece.

Collaboration Difficulties

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Collaboration can also be more difficult in a remote setting, with a heavy reliance on technology to communicate. Brainstorming sessions and team meetings are not the same when conducted on apps such as Zoom and Teams, and require a lot of patience.

Oversight and Accountability

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Remote work can make it harder for companies to oversee their employees’ work. Without personal supervision, it’s harder for new employees to get to grips with the work. It can also be harder to monitor the work of a struggling employee.

Technical Issues

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Companies have to deal with technical issues potentially every day when their employees are working from home. Buffering during meetings is a regular annoyance, especially for those who live in isolated areas with poor Wi-Fi. This results in reduced productivity compared to working face-to-face.

Employee Isolation

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Employees can feel isolated from social events that the office puts on, especially if they live far away from where the company is located. The best working environment happens when everyone can meet up at least three times a week, whether this be in the office or other venues.

Work-Life Balance

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Remote work may offer flexibility, but it can also make it difficult for employees to concentrate on their work, especially if they’re going through personal issues at home. Employees can also find it difficult to switch off from work, leading to longer hours and potential burnout.

Distractions at Home

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This leads nicely to the distractions that can come with working from home. From household chores that are a constant necessity to family responsibilities, these distractions can impact productivity.

Lack of Office Amenities

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Employees working remotely may miss out on the free amenities that an office provides. Offices tend to have higher-speed Wi-Fi connection and a range of different items that are designed for employee comfort, such as ergonomic keyboards and chairs.

Career Progression Concerns

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There are growing concerns from researchers that remote work could harm employees looking to enhance their careers. For an employee who rarely has face-to-face interactions, it can make it harder to build relationships with bosses and move up the ladder.

Learning Opportunities

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In an office setting, new employees learn from their more experienced colleagues by shadowing, conversing, and observing. This type of learning is a natural progression that could be lost without face-to-face interaction.

Technical Support

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If there’s an issue with a company device, such as a laptop, remote employees can’t just call their IT department for immediate assistance. Issues like this dramatically decrease productivity and give employees excuses not to meet targets.

Health Issues

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Sitting at home all day without taking part in workouts or daily walks takes its toll on the body and can lead to a less active lifestyle. Not getting enough exercise can lead to obesity and problems with mental health. Employees may also experience eye strain from looking at a screen for extended periods without taking a break.

Cost of Home Office

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Setting up a home office can be expensive. Employees may need to invest in furniture, equipment, and increased utility bills. In an office, this type of ergonomic equipment is usually accessible free of charge, they may even throw in a free lunch now and then.

Internet Reliability

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Not everyone has access to reliable, high-speed internet, especially if an employee lives in the remote countryside. This can make remote work frustrating and limit the types of tasks that can be performed, ultimately leading to a lack of productivity.

Time Zone Differences

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For companies and employees working across different time zones, it can be difficult to set up meetings at a time that suits everyone. If one employee has to have a meeting outside traditional working hours, it can lead to decreased job satisfaction.

Building a Company Culture

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Building a company culture is essential for employee satisfaction, ultimately reducing employee turnover. This can be more challenging when employees are working remotely and are more reluctant to come into the office for events and meetings. Companies need to find new ways to create a sense of community and shared purpose.

Difficulty in Hiring

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Hiring new employees can be more challenging when the candidate works from home. Without meeting the employee face-to-face it can be hard to determine the drive that an individual posses, as well as their skills and friendliness as a whole.

Maintaining Work Discipline

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Maintaining discipline can be difficult when working from home, given the distractions that come with being in your personal space. Employees can get distracted by anything from a Nintendo to a dart board, ultimately reducing their productivity. There’s also no way for the company to track this.

Limited Networking Opportunities

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In the office, there are lots of opportunities to get to know colleagues and socialize. These include coffee breaks and even normal conversations that often lead to a social event after work or at lunch. Networking with colleagues is great for building morale in the company.

Moving Forward

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Working from home can benefit both companies and employees, but it’s important to consider these very real disadvantages when making your decision. Ultimately, a balanced approach is usually the best way.

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