Working remotely is not a new practice according to the Global Workplace Analytics ("GWA") group, as 31% of office-based employees were already working remotely at least 1 day/week before the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last few months though, in order to keep their employees safe, and to respect social distancing and lockdowns, companies have been forced to send millions of traditionally fully office-based employees to work from home. As GWA's Global Work-From-Home Experience Survey reveals, up to 88% of surveyed employees reported working remotely on a regular basis during the pandemic.
Homployees have now become a norm and remote work is here to stay.
Although working remotely is still widely seen as a temporary measure, experts say it’s more likely to become the norm, and for good reasons. According to the same survey, 68% of Homployees say they are very successful at working from home, and 81% of them are satisfied with technology suitability and readiness.
On the managers’ side, 70% of the leaders also agree that work from home is the same or better for their team’s work performance, assessing key performance indicators such as on-time delivery, overall accomplishment of goals and commitments, or quality of work.
There are strong benefits in the work from home model, for people, profit and even the planet: increased productivity, cost savings for both the company and the employees, and a positive impact on carbon footprint with commute avoidance and less business travel.
But there are also numerous challenges that employers and companies need consider. Many of these challenges can directly impact their employees’ performance, engagement and morale, and ultimately, if not tackled, they could lead to poor results and attrition.
Technology and Equipment Although 81% of Homployees are satisfied and believe the technology they have available at home allows them to be successful, a relatively low portion have access to work equipment optimizing their efficiency and wellness.
Surveys show that there is a significant gap in the perception of Homployees related to their key performance and engagement factors such as their ability to cooperate and work with others, or even coach, mentor and manage people.
Keeping aware of what is going on in the organization, or managing career progression and opportunities can also be a significant challenge when there is not the physical opportunity to meet with people or go to an office.
These factors are critical to employees’ engagement as employees might suffer from restrictions that prevent them from completing their tasks accurately or in a timely manner.
More generally these issues, if not addressed, can affect the results and success of a corporation, as they could lead to a reduction of overall efficiency, and reduce customer satisfaction or slow down innovation and competitiveness.
According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 44% of remote workers feel used-up at the end of the workday. The flexibility of working from home can easily be undermined by having to manage more tasks at home including house holding and family.
In parallel, loneliness and isolation can also be a negative factor. In fact, 42% of the employees working from home say they are more likely to feel lonely while working.
Finally, “Zoom fatigue” is real, with the pressure to always be “on”. According to the same survey, 41% of employees feel burned out from their work. When working from home, feelings of burnout might be slightly different to what is experienced while commuting and traveling for work, but physical symptoms can manifest as mental fuzziness, on-going frustration, anger and sadness.
Wellness includes a good management of stress, sleep and exercise and is one of the top drivers of working from home success. Employers and corporations should recognize that and embrace the fact that supporting wellness to their Homployees will determine the success of their remote working policy and models in the long-term.
Changes that will have the greatest positive impact on effectiveness of working from home
In order to master the transition from in-office to remote work for their employees, and optimize their employees’ performance and engagement, companies need to invest in elements that they would normally invest in for offices and office-employees.
In order to do that they also need to find the best ways to connect with employees directly at and inside their homes.
Companies need to re-invent how they engage with the remote workforce and enhance productivity through thoughtful communications and tools delivered right to their Homployees.
How HomployeeHub can help
HomployeeHub is helping companies re-engage their remote workforce with impactful products and resources shipped directly to their home office, showing them they care and overall optimizing their results by focusing on the biggest gaps affecting Homployees’ performance:
We put together bundles containing the most innovative, pertinent and highly rated products that effectively support these essential themes, bringing a simple solution to companies to solve the frictions faced by their remote workforce, and avoid costs or long-term reduction of their results.
For example, the "Be Seen" and "No Mess" Desk bundles includes products and technologies to help Homployees optimizing their work activities, performance and efficiency, with items such as a laptop stand as well as a laptop light and touch table lamp which improves considerably the quality of video meetings. There are several other product bundles available around the themes of wellness, kids, etc.
The boxes are shipped right to the Homployees’ door, creating an immediate surprise, delight and gratification from your workforce as well as a long term and sustainable impact on performance, engagement and retention. All the bundles are customizable with specific company messages and branding, which also makes them a simple way and effective way to support corporations’ most strategic initiatives such as product launches or other critical moments in the life of a company.
We also offer a suite of virtual services including team lunches and meeting comedy hosts aimed at team building and engagement which are the perfect complement to our bundles.