While many employees praise the flexibility and increased production resulting from a remote work environment, which in some cases only became an option due to the pandemic, a return to the office for others is a welcome change after 15 months of working from home.
According to a recent article in Entrepreneur, “While many employees have noted the positives of remote work during the pandemic, it also took a toll. Case in point: 27% of people said they felt they were unable to unplug from work at home, while 16% said they felt lonely and disconnected.”
As the pandemic forced a lot of companies to transition quickly to remote work, there was little time to prepare and employees ultimately felt overwhelmed by the process. In many cases, the burden and stress from remote work grew throughout the pandemic as companies worked to keep businesses afloat.
According to Gallup, “The emotional trauma from stress and worry has been even higher among remote workers than in-house workers throughout the pandemic due to the challenges of balancing home life and work in the same setting.”
Remote work during the pandemic has led to an increase in burnout among employees.
A Gallup study found, “Employees who experience high levels of burnout are 63% more likely to take a sick day, 13% less confident in their performance and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room.”
Personal and professional time often blur together at home, whereas the office adds a defined, physical barrier that provides separation of work and home life.
Additionally, for certain roles and projects, there are some things that shared work platforms and virtual chat rooms simply can’t replace. As businesses consider how the company will operate post-pandemic, a reorganization of office space is at the top of the list. In an effort to meet the changing needs of employees and the hybrid environment that is sure to continue beyond the end of the pandemic, the traditional conference room is being replaced by a common workspace to facilitate effective execution of team working agreements that support those in the office and those working remotely.
Finally, the camaraderie and culture of the office that motivates and inspires some people are difficult to recreate in a virtual world.
- Increased employee engagement
- Decreased turnover
- Strong brand identity
- Elevated productivity
- Transformational power
- Top performers
- Effective onboarding
- Healthy team environment
The war on talent has changed drastically as businesses beyond tech companies have discovered the ease and benefits of remote work, expanding the pool of talent without the burden of relocation and increase in salary demands. However, companies shouldn’t overlook the competitive advantage they have beyond remote work options – culture is still a top priority for employees and while flexibility is key, being part of an engaging work environment is just as important.
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