Despite the resistance from business leaders to enable a mass rollout of remote working for employees who can work from home, the pandemic has forced the hand of many, and while some organisations were not initially equipped, the majority have now got to grips with it.
However, now that two-thirds of the UK workforce has shown a preference to continue working remotely post-pandemic, there are still some issues that need to be addressed.
The remote workforce works isolated from their colleagues, meaning that building relationships between employees is much more difficult than working together non an office.
While the lack of commute is viewed as a positive, it also takes away the social element of going to work, and the ‘watercooler’ moments and conversations and downtime between meetings mean that we have all become all work and no play.
It has mitigated the concerns that employees working from home are slacking off all day, as people are tending to work for longer, but this can present its own issues in the way of employee burnout if staff are not taking adequate breaks, and the isolation becomes detrimental to their mental health.
While productivity may be increased, in the long term, team performance may decline, and staff will become unhappy in their roles, and new and younger team members will quickly become disenfranchised.
What can be done to remedy this? Here are some options:
Prioritise shadowing and development time – make sure new staff have the opportunity to be involved in important conversations from all team members. Even if they do not yet have anything to add, exposure to these conversations will help them acclimate.
Schedule team downtime – set aside time each week for your team to have an unstructured catch-up, talk about the latest TV, sports, or hobbies. Organise quizzes, and get to know each other better.
Liven up meetings – many in-person meetings are notorious for ‘this could have been an email’, so consider pre-recording presentations or briefs for employees to listen to in their own time instead of endless Zoom meetings with just one person talking.
If you need IT support services in Bath to help enable better remote working, talk to us today.