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Is it time to get employees back into the office after remote working?

Remote work does not tick the box for all businesses, especially if you are in, for example, manufacturing or the front-line customer service industries.  When you decide whether remote working will work for you, ask yourself, what are the pitfalls?

Here are some of the major pitfalls that employers face.

5 Pitfalls of prolonged remote working

Whether your company was open to the idea before or a world pandemic introduced you to remote working it certainly is more common than it was a couple of years ago.  Here are 5 things to consider in long term remote working arrangement.

1. Team communication may suffer

Remote work lacks communication in person and communicating updates and instructions over an email may lead to misunderstanding information and misinterpreting the tone in which information is conveyed and requested.  It is not so easy to correct any minor confusion, that it might be for staff who are working work right next to you.

2.  Technology hurdles

A home set up may not live up to the challenge of ensuring the same level of customer service and productivity is upheld.  While home office spaces might be set up with the best technology and fastest internet connections to offer the best solutions for their employees and clients; this does not always happen.

3.  Team members may feel excluded

When team members are not in the office and on their team leaders visual radar, they might get overlooked on important communication and projects.  This can cause, concern for the employee as to why they are not being included and unintentionally make them feel unappreciated.  That could ultimately affect their productivity and quality of work.

4. Challenges with discipline and prioritising work

Some employees can not manage their time well and not being in an office environment can actually be demotivating.  Not having people around that they can see working or having their team leader remind them of work that needs to get done can lower the productivity of a team.

5. Managing distractions and productivity can be a challenge

Collaborating on work and projects may take longer when employees are scheduling different projects at different times.  It can prolong feedback and completion of simple tasks while waiting for confirmation and approval.  An employee working remotely also needs to be very strict with their schedule and motivated to ignore distractions that could have them spending more time on specific tasks than they would have.

If your employee wants to work remotely and you wonder if it might not will work, consider these factors:

  • Whether there is a risk of a negative impact on quality as well as performance
  • Whether there is enough work during the hours and days the employee proposes to work
  • Whether the request might be affected because of possible organisational structural change
  • Whether the company can take on the extra burden of additional costs
  • Whether the company has any significant risks in its ability to meet customer demand
  • Whether the company has to reorganise work among existing staff if what the remote worker does is dependent upon others
  • Whether the company is in a position to recruit additional staff if the remote worker requires ongoing support

If you would like to talk, please contact Steve Newby on 0212621035; steve@newbyhr.com

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