Working from home can be a tempting offer for a lot of employees, however, the reality is that it is not the best of situations to be productive and efficient. Once employees begin to get comfortable with the WFH idea, it eliminates the essential aspects of coming into the office – dressing up, commuting, and most importantly social interactions. At first, working from home feels great. It feels comforting to know that you can manage your personal errands along with your profession. Even better, you are able to save a bit more money without commuting! As time goes on, the comfort starts to get the better of you, and rather than working, you end up succumbing to all the distractions around – family, electronics, laundry…etc.
According to Indeed, “working from home or telecommuting gives employees the flexibility and freedom to perform their work tasks from their home offices.” Some even choose to travel while working, so long as their destination has a reliable internet connection. While this may be an enticing offer for employees, there are several drawbacks associated with it. This blog will discuss how working from home may be harmful to productivity for employees.
Lack of Social Interactions
According to Mint, “communicating with managers and coworkers isn’t the same when conducted through a screen.” Video calls do reduce the isolation gap when working from home, but not by that much. One of the great perks of coming into the office space to work is interacting with different people from different departments, not just teammates. The learning experience is even better in-person rather than from the remote work setting of home. Spending extensive hours on conference calls with the added layer of remote teammates and colleagues can be nothing short of a challenge. Digitally seeing each other’s faces is a start, but it’s not the most efficient experience to effectively brainstorm ideas for projects and initiatives and to generally work together.
Motivation is the driving force for employees to strive toward achieving their goals. Unfortunately, this is a factor that is really easy for employees to lose within themselves. Working in the office gives employees a sense of purpose and drive. Having conversations with teammates and colleagues or just simply being there can be a perfect external source of motivation. Working from home lacks that environment. At home, employees have nothing but the four walls around them and any fellow residents. Even if some live with roommates, they have their own issues at work to overcome and deal with. Lack of motivation can have a negative impact on an employee’s productivity. The consequences can range from laziness and boredom to feeling depressed and hating their job altogether. Self-motivation will only keep employees motivated to a certain extent. However, it’s not enough to keep them going for a long period of time.
Working from home equals a series of frequent distractions – kids, family members, entertainment…etc. Doing your best to find a clear space to focus and work alone is not easy. According to Indeed, “too many distractions can lead to a decrease in productivity and motivation.” Self-discipline is a start, however, it doesn’t always last. At home, employees tend to laze around and procrastinate on their deadlines. However, in the office, they are constantly reminded to stay on track and ensure they meet their given deadlines. Apart from the office reminders, employees can also use noise-cancellation headphones to steer clear of the noise around them and really focus on their workload.
One of the wonderful benefits of a remote job is flexible working hours. Flexible working hours allow employees to structure and plan their day to their convenience. But along with it comes stress, overworking, and burnout. Eventually, as employees get used to this remote work routine, they forget to separate their work life from their home life. This leads to working longer hours than they should be and progressing towards burnout. Indeed suggests that employees should “avoid this by clearly defining their schedule and allocating specific times for your job tasks and personal tasks.” Working in an office environment is a good initial step. Employees will make it a point to create a sense of work-life balance by leaving work inside the office as soon as they head home for the day.
Although there are claims that working from home can increase productivity, it can also go the opposite direction. Working from home means the freedom to add your personal errands to your work schedule. This, as a result, can lead to lower productivity. When employees end up working in an office environment, they feel compelled and motivated to stay productive. They know all eyes are on them. They are aware that they are being observed all the time. Hence, a corresponding increase in productivity. Employees can also use online trackers and time management tools for them to keep track of how efficient they are when they complete their daily workload.
Tackling the WFH Dilemma with PxidaEX
There is no doubt that working from home is both a blessing and a curse. However, workplaces are shifting employees back into the office, it’s becoming more of a curse than a blessing to navigate the transition. Luckily, PxidaEX is here to save the day. With our employee experience and workplace satisfaction surveys, you can figure out how to ensure employee satisfaction during difficult transitions so that employees can happily come back into the office space to work, knowing their needs are supported. Sign up for a free trial today!