The unexpected arrival of COVID-19 has seen many people from various parts of the world working from home. Remote working in the modern work environment is useful, however, it can be something that can harm your mental health. A phenomenon that is getting popular every day in the developed world. Similarly, it is also very popular in the developing world as well due to the benefits. An interesting study conducted by the Swiss Office provider IWG found that 70% of the professionals work remotely at least one day in a week. Furthermore, while 53% work remotely at least half of the week.
The empowerment in the latest technology and the power of digital media has made this possible. Looking from a different perspective it is rather useful especially in times of COVID-19, and similar times. Hence, while there are certainly benefits associated with remote working, there are many pitfalls. While it is getting a common trend in companies to work remotely especially in MNCs and other corporate groups. What’s important is that companies make their policies flexible enough. A reason for that is so that employees feel part of the team instead of feeling burnout.
FLEXIBILITY GIVEN BY EMPLOYERS:
A flexible environment is a necessity of the modern work environment. As reports have shown that it is better suited for bigger and better career options. The benefits are more important and lucrative than the drawbacks, essentially due to the magnitude of betterment associated. Employees value the flexibility given by the employers in the work environment. This is especially evident in times similar to COVID-19, the pandemic that has caused many financial and life losses. Employees value benefits also because of their childcare commitments.
While some people also appreciate escaping long commutes and also avoiding office distractions. However, the latest concerns are regards to mental health issues arising in employees due to disturbances in schedule and lack of teamwork. A study has shown that in the UK businesses lose 100 million pounds yearly due to workplace stress, depression & anxiety. Another research has also shown that being ‘always on’ and having accessibility by technology while doing the remote work. Hence, this can automatically lead to blurring of work as well as non-work boundaries. This is true particularly if you are remote working.
According to a UN report, 41% of workers from remote environments reported high-stress levels. This is as compared with a lesser 25% of office workers having mental health & stress levels. This is a matter of great concern and the cause of stress is mainly lacking in schedules, & lacking team-work. Along with these lesser attitudes while remote working and lagging behind in passion and deadlines. While on the other hand 25% of people who are having stress at work mainly have these issues due to work-related stress problems.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND:
Out of sight, out of mind a saying that reminds particularly of the fact that once you are out of sight of your employer, your potential can get weak in their eyes. Associated with a lack of trust levels on workers while doing remote work. Particularly, even key and potential employees can be seen with raised eyebrows. There can also be feelings of insecurity. Ironically, something that means that people are against you or talking negatively behind you.
Mental feelings of being left out, isolated and mistreated can arise for 52% of those who worked remotely. This study is for a sample of 1,100 workers. This feeling is part of the stress levels as isolation can make you think negatively while remote working at home. A feeling that is mostly associated with psychology at work. Most people are of the opinion that psychology at work must remain positive even in hard times.
Managing conflicts, in remote working, can also lack a great deal as anxiety levels are increased. This is a common thing while working from home and having problems in troubleshooting. Most people believe that e-mails are a huge source of communication in the modern world. However, can have a huge impact from a remote environment or home. Either being too rude or too direct that’s how the misinterpretations can hold. Staying away from the office can bring a communication gap which is a cause of confusion. Lacking a visible body language can also make things tricky to convey the true meanings of your communication.
The focus is little in relationships & teamwork. This is particularly true in a virtual environment having tendencies that are more focused on tasks. This is a different leadership approach. Hence, it can easily worsen the sense of isolation that is naturally associated with remote working.