We all know the benefits of remote work: no more commute, better work-life balance, and a comfy work-from-home wardrobe.
But let's face it – remote work isn't all rainbows and unicorns.
As managers and employees navigate how to track work from home and the challenges of remote work, they're discovering some not-so-fun side effects. Here's a list of ways remote work can negatively affect employee wellbeing:
- Zoom Fatigue
- Employee Burnout
- Lack of Boundaries
How do companies monitor remote employees and mitigate these challenges? Read on to find out!
The Dark Side of Remote Work: When Productivity Takes a Toll
1. Zoom Fatigue: The Struggle is Real
A survey by Harvard Business Review found that 61% of participants reported feeling fatigued after video conferencing, and 50% reported feeling drained after back-to-back virtual meetings.
Zoom Fatigue is a phenomenon that leaves us feeling drained after spending hours on video calls. The problem? Our brains work overtime trying to interpret the nuances of digital communication. So, what can you do to fight Zoom Fatigue?
Strategy: Mix It Up!
Consider incorporating other communication channels like email, instant messaging, or good old-fashioned phone calls. It's also a great idea to encourage "no-meeting days" to give everyone a break.
Supporting Tool: Insightful
Insightful is a remote employee monitoring software that helps you track your team's progress without relying solely on video calls.
What is employee monitoring, you may ask? Employee monitoring tools like Insightful allow you to track remote employees' productivity and get a clear picture of how everyone is doing – no Zoom meetings required!
2. Employee Burnout: Don't Let the Fire Die Out
Burnout is the feeling of exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced productivity that stems from chronic workplace stress. In a study by Deloitte, 77% of respondents said they had experienced burnout at their current job, and 84% said they expected to experience burnout in the future.
The cost of burnout can be astronomical; a study by Harvard Business School estimated that burnout costs the US economy $125 billion to $190 billion each year in healthcare spending, lost productivity, and other related expenses.
In a remote world, burnout can sneak up on you faster than you think. So how do you keep burnout at bay?
Strategy: Encourage Work-Life Balance
Encourage employees to set boundaries and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This might mean setting specific work hours, taking regular breaks, or even having a designated workspace at home.
Supporting Tool: Time Management Apps
Time management apps can help solve the problem of how to track remote employees by helping you keep your team organized and prioritizing a healthy work-life balance. Some popular options include Trello, Asana, and Todoist.
3. Isolation: When Loneliness Creeps In
Remote work can leave us feeling lonely and disconnected from our colleagues. A study by Cigna found that 61% of employed Americans feel lonely, with remote workers reporting higher levels of loneliness than on-site workers.
So how can you make sure your team still feels connected, even when they're miles apart?
Strategy: Foster a Sense of Community
Regular team-building activities and virtual events can help your employees bond and stay connected. Consider hosting a virtual game night, a themed happy hour, or even a remote book club.
Supporting Tool: Slack or Microsoft Teams
These communication platforms can help your team stay in touch throughout the day. They're perfect for quick questions, sharing updates, or even just a casual chat to check in with your team.
4. Lack of Boundaries: When Work and Life Collide
Working from home can blur the lines between our personal and professional lives. A study by Buffer found that 22% of remote workers struggle with work-life balance, and 19% said they worked too many hours. The American Psychological Association has found that work-life conflict costs US employers up to $300 billion per year in lost productivity, absenteeism, and employee turnover.
So how can you make sure your employees don't feel overwhelmed?
Strategy: Respect Your Employees' Time Off
As a manager, it's crucial to respect your employees' time off. Avoid sending emails or assigning tasks outside of work hours. This will help your team create a healthy separation between their work and personal lives.
Supporting Tool: Calendar Apps
Using calendar apps like Google Calendar or Outlook can help you keep track of everyone's schedules and avoid overloading them. By scheduling tasks and meetings within work hours, you can help your team maintain a healthy balance between work and life.
5. Distractions: The Battle of Staying Focused
When working from home, distractions can be a major productivity killer. From noisy neighbors to household chores, it can be challenging to stay focused. In fact, a survey by Owl Labs found that 58% of remote workers say they struggle with distractions when working from home.
Distractions can be costly to businesses, too; a study by Udemy found that distractions in the workplace cost US companies $1.8 trillion per year in lost productivity.
So how do you help your team overcome these distractions?
Strategy: Offer Flexibility
Understand that everyone's home environment is different. Offer flexible work hours, so employees can work when they're most productive and least distracted.
Supporting Tool: Focus@Will or Noisli
These tools offer background sounds designed to help people concentrate and stay focused. By using these apps, your team can drown out distractions and increase their productivity.
Remote Work Doesn't Have to Be a Pain
Remote work can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. By addressing the issues like Zoom Fatigue and employee burnout, and providing support through tools like Insightful, Slack, and Trello, you can create a healthy and productive remote work environment for your entire team.
Insightful can help managers address it. By tracking employee work hours and providing insights into employee time management, managers can encourage healthy work-life balance and ensure that employees are taking breaks and disengaging from work outside of regular business hours.
So, the next time you're wondering how to track productivity of an employee working from home, remember that it's not just about monitoring their work. It's also about taking care of their wellbeing and making sure they feel supported in this remote world. Happy employees are productive employees, after all!