Covid19 has changed the landscape of human interactions over the past 9 months at a global level. We have all been forced into changing the way we work, travel and socialise. This has caused us to adapt faster than we ever thought acceptable with our work being digital, our travel being minimal and are socialising being confined to the reaches of our social media reach. The most difficult of these transitions started with restructuring the way we work and how we manage teams from remote locations. Working from home through luxury has become a burden for both employees and employers considering the different conditions people live in like their varied infrastructure, personal space, and homebound responsibilities.

 

A recent study of more than 1200 people from over 24 different countries working in a range of different industries from manufacturing, science to real estate, education and other financial services throws some light on the issues with working from home and the struggles of manager who are responsible for ensuring the work gets done and the ball keeps rolling.

We will be referring to this study published in the Harvard Business review to gain more insight onto the trials and tribulations of the Work from Home boom created by the current pandemic. 

  • 40% of Managers have shown low self-confidence in managing workers remotely.
  • 38% of Managers have expressed a negative view about the performance of their remote workers saying that their performance is noticeably worse compared to when they worked out of an office.

We see the majority of the sample size have expressed negative feedback about work from home practices.

Over and above this we have seen the pandemic has also affected the world psychologically. We are seeing this manifest in many different ways across different sectors and countries. The major concern from this from Employers are if their workforce can remain motivated working from home.

Over 41% of Manager and Supervisors are unsure if remote workers can remain motivated, considering the performances viewed in the past few months.

 

 

Apart from the point of view of the Managers, it is also especially important for us to understand what the remote workers themselves felt about this entire process and what struggles they are seeing currently.

We have all seen the growing trend of unending hours of work and a slower pace of competition due to the complexities of coordination between teams or the varying timings not synchronizing with colleagues in todays work from home scenario.

There have been issues of supervisors monitoring too closely causing an uncomfortable working environment with 24% remote workers pointing out to this.

Over and above 34% of workers have expressed that their supervisor “expressed a lack of confidence in their work skills.”

Another major concern for remote workers is the there need to be available and respond instantly to any electronic communication which blurs the lines between work and home in today’s remote working.

 

 

Apart from these issues when we look at the lives of remote workers we see these aspects is now affecting them negatively both in their personal time management as well as with anxiety.

49% of remote workers who report higher levels of monitoring have expressed they are always anxious while working which is a major issue considering how the pandemic is already causing mental health challenges.

Similarly, 56% of remote workers who report higher monitoring have expressed how this work format is causing a significant interference between work and home/family demands. 

Considering the above trends, we have seen that the near future trends will be of a combination of both working from home and going back to offices but in rotational shifts.