Remote working has become popular in recent years as organizations look to hire the best professionals regardless of where they live or work. At the same time, employees try to balance their work and personal lives more effectively than in traditional offices. However, remote working isn’t for everyone, and it certainly requires some specific considerations before you implement it within your organization.
If you’re looking into remote working, it’s important to consider the challenges of this shift in work culture while planning to implement such changes with the least impact on both your employees and business. Here are some pros and cons of remote work that you need to consider before deciding whether or not to go remote.
Remote Work Defined
For many organizations, remote work can mean a few employees working from home one day per week or a few who telecommute every day. For others, it means that almost everyone works from home and only occasionally gathers in one central office, if at all. Remote working in IT or any other industry also gives employees the freedom to work in coffee shops, libraries, or co-working spaces.
Remote working can also be the solution to unique staffing problems. For instance, an employee has to move to a different city due to personal reasons but would love to keep on working with your organization. Offering a remote work structure solves that dilemma. Another example is allowing an employee with mobility issues to work and be productive from the comforts of their home.
Remote and virtual offices are popping up everywhere these days, but how does remote work impact organizational culture? How does it affect productivity? Does it make for a stronger work culture?
Does Remote Work Affect Work Culture?
Ask any remote worker, and they’ll tell you that it does affect work culture – for better or worse. Often, remote work culture hinges on key factors like internal motivation and management style, organizational structure, and how employees are expected to reach goals without being micromanaged by their bosses.
Simply put, work culture is the collective behaviors and norms found and shared within an organization. Though there are many ways to define culture, it all boils down to what you do, why you do it, and how each employee’s individual contribution affects your organization’s bottom line and overall success.
When remote work is introduced into the picture, creating a solid, well-defined, and understood organizational culture becomes more challenging. A fully remote team lacks the visual cues an in-person team has. When you miss the important signs that your employees are not as engaged as they could be, you can take no action to address these invisible issues. That can result in a lonely workforce.
Without collaboration and communication, productivity can be affected drastically. This cultural shift has many pros but also cons that organizations must overcome to maintain a strong remote working environment.
The Cons of Having a Remote Workforce
Most employees are excited to work remotely. However, it can be difficult to transition from a traditional office environment to one that is more flexible and accommodating to remote work culture. Remote work offers many benefits, but employers may face pushbacks when integrating remote working into the work culture.
There are many misconceptions about remote work as well. So, we have curated a list of the cons reported by remote workers. Based on numerous studies and reports, here are some of the drawbacks of having a remote workforce:
Employees’ Mental Health May Decline
A study cited by Forbes found that over 40 percent of the 2,000 surveyed employees worldwide said that their mental health declined since the COVID-19 outbreak. These workers also report aggravated anxiety and stress.
Employee Fears May Go Unaddressed
Udemy surveyed over 1,000 full-time workers in the US who work in office settings, as opposed to “essential workers,” and found that 69 percent are fearful about another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same report, 54 percent reported worries about pay, hours, and job stability.
Employees Are Concerned About Cybersecurity
- 45 percent reported having attended more meetings remotely than when working in the office.
- 40 percent suffered from mental exhaustion from video calls while remote working.
- 59 percent felt more cyber secure working in-office than remote.
- 58 percent reported having discussed sensitive information on work video calls.
- More than one in 10 employees have had their video calls hacked while working remotely.
Employees May Show Symptoms of Burnout
Remote work has somehow normalized the collective idea of burnout. According to Asana’s 2022 Anatomy of Work Global Index, 40 percent of employees think that burnout is an inevitable part of success. Forty-two percent of the surveyed employees reported experiencing burnout and imposter syndrome simultaneously.
According to Doodle’s survey of 1,000 US remote workers, a full week of virtual meetings leaves 38 percent of employees feeling exhausted while 30 percent feel stressed.
The Pros of Having a Remote Workforce
Having a remote workforce allows you to be more flexible and selective with whom you hire. If you’re looking for an employee, it doesn’t have to be someone physically located near your office. It could be anyone in almost any corner of the globe who fits your skill needs and doesn’t mind doing some virtual work.
Aside from the obvious reasons why you should consider implementing a remote work structure, here are some positive findings from various studies, surveys, and reports.
Employees Think That the Change to the Way We Work Is for the Better
According to a WalletHub Coronavirus and Working from Home Survey, almost 60 percent of Americans think that the pandemic has changed the way we work for the better. Nearly a third of the employees surveyed believe that a physical office is a thing of the past.
Employees Feel Safer and More Productive When Working Remotely
A Glassdoor study found that more than 70 percent of surveyed employees felt that their employers responded to employee concerns about health and safety matters. Additionally, three in five employees said they are confident that they can perform effectively no matter how long they have to work remotely. Fifty percent said they are just as productive remote working, if not more.
Remote Work Opens Avenues for Empathy and Transparency
Forbes also reports that 96 percent of employees believe showing empathy is essential to improving employee retention. In a Korn-Ferry poll, 99 percent of respondents said their employers show empathy toward employees. In addition, 85 percent feel that their employers are doing a good job of communicating and informing them about the organization’s situation and ongoing response to the pandemic.
Employees Feel Supported When Given the Option to Work Remotely
Harvard Business Review reports that 91 percent of surveyed employees believed that an organization’s culture should support mental health. That includes initiatives to address concerns about safety, health, security, and flexibility.
Remote Work Opens Opportunities to Support Wellness and Work-Life Balance
In today’s employee-centric market, our conception of wellness has to go beyond traditional health measures. According to Glassdoor, 87 percent of employees expect their employers to support them in balancing work and personal commitments. You can do this by being willing to offer flexible work schedules and remote work.
Remote Work Can Help Your Hiring Initiatives
Aside from the fact that remote work is attractive to candidates looking to get jobs unbound by location and physical and social barriers, your organization can also tap into the pipeline of your current workforce. Harvard Business Review found that 89 percent of employees at organizations that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their employers as a good place to work.
Even though there are complexities to remote working, the key is in the delivery and execution. When done right, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Even tech conglomerates such as Facebook and Twitter now allow their employees to work remotely forever. These are solid proof that with the right processes and technological tools on your side, you can also thrive in today’s market – from anywhere in the world.
LET ACS PROFESSIONAL STAFFING HELP YOU BUILD AND MAINTAIN A POSITIVE REMOTE WORKING CULTURE
If you need help adapting to today’s shifting business landscape and seeing a successful remote workforce, ACS Professional Staffing is here to help! We understand the importance of having the right people on your team as you journey into the new era of work.
ACS Professional Staffing offers a variety of solutions to meet your short-term and long-term staffing needs. We can connect you with the best people in IT, engineering, finance, and support spaces. Connect with us today to learn more about the customized workforce solutions that ACS Professional Staffing can create for you!