As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and we start to return to some semblance of normality in our professional lives, the traditional workplace is coming back into view for many employers.
The issue? Not all employees wish to return to the office. Or not as frequently as they did prior to the pandemic. This can be difficult for leaders to accommodate moving forward.
If you’re tasked with leading a team that prefers remote work or a blend of traditional office work and remote employment, discover how you need to be thinking differently about productivity in our post-pandemic world. And the tools you can use to make work easier for everyone, like an employee productivity tracker.
Why Many Employees Prefer Remote Work Over Office Work
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in companies breaking away from the traditional office model and going fully remote. However, not everyone is comfortable with this shift.
Many leaders may have been afraid to make such a change. There's an inherent lack of supervision away from the workplace that could result in far less work getting done, even with the helping hand of an employee productivity monitoring software.
However, many employees tend to prefer remote work over office work. They view remote work as far more rewarding than having to come into the office. This is due to the fact that:
Employees Have Greater Freedom
The average 9-to-5 is very constraining on an employee’s schedule, making it hard for them to find room for important personal tasks that they can’t squeeze in before or after work, especially if they’re dealing with a long commute.
Working from home eliminates the commute entirely and gives employees full control over their schedule, which results in a better work/life balance.
They Spend Less Time On Unfulfilling Tasks
When in the office, many employees often spend the majority of their time on busy work like emails and meetings rather than actual work that requests their full attention.
Without the office, employees are able to better focus on the work that truly matters and cut out the rest.
They Can Work When It’s Best For Them
Humans are hardwired to take breaks (research into ultradian rhythms and our natural energy dips and spikes make for excellent further reading). However, the traditional office space typically requires employees to work or stay busy for hours on end.
This can take a toll on their mental health and contribute to burnout, which inevitably results in the drop in productivity that most organizations are looking to avoid by using more stringent workplace rules and longer work hours. Remote work gives employees the freedom to work and take breaks when they feel it’s appropriate.
Is This The End For Offices?
Does a preference for remote work mean that the traditional work model holds no value? Absolutely not!
Going to the office can allow for seamless communication between teammates, help teams build a better connection and boost team morale, and give employees the opportunity for much-needed face-to-face interaction.
For most employees, a mix of both office work and remote work gives them the opportunity to experience the benefits of both! This fact has given rise to the popularity of hybrid work models.
Accommodating all employee needs with an employee productivity tracker and supporting systems will improve your company’s work culture and employee satisfaction, thereby boosting your company’s productivity at home and in the workplace.
Does Being Away From The Office Impact Productivity?
The shift from office work to remote work was, in many cases, jarring for both leaders and employees. One of the biggest concerns was that employees would not get their work done when working virtually rather than in a physical workspace.
Why? This fear is based on the anticipation that workers will enjoy their freedom too much. Without a supervisor there to monitor their work or keep them on a tight schedule, there can be a belief among some managers that far less work will get done.
So, does workplace productivity decrease when work is conducted at home?
With the exception of employees who may not have had a solid performance record prior to moving to a remote work model, the answer is no.
Working from home increases productivity in many ways, in fact. That’s because employees are far more satisfied with their professional lives.
Additionally, leaders don’t have to worry about employee productivity, as you can find a productivity tracker for employees that helps you stay on top of their work and hold them accountable.
Do employee tracking devices improve employee work productivity? A team productivity tracker can be highly effective, especially if your employee productivity tracker offers features that keep employees engaged.
That being said, employee productivity monitoring software or a work productivity tracker are only effective with the right workplace culture.
So, how best to build workplace culture in a workforce built around remote work?
Thinking About Productivity In Our Post-COVID Future
By now it’s clear: remote work is here to stay, in one form or another.
So, it’s important to create an environment for remote work that fosters employee performance and wellbeing. Because, without this, the productivity of remote workers can be greatly diminished. This means:
- Eliminating non-essential, time-consuming tasks like meetings, which can cause interruption, limit deep work and force longer working hours.
- Allowing employees to work when they are most productive, rather than “time at desk” between set hours, which can result in burnout.
- Communicating with your team to balance their wants with your company needs (Remember, there’s no one size fits all model when it comes to getting work done. Be flexible to provide the best work environment for everyone!)
- Learning how to track productivity of an employee in a way that is encouraging and motivational, not intimidating
There were many great lessons from shifting to a remote work environment due to COVID that companies can use to their advantage.
Some of the most impactful include creating an effective remote infrastructure, streamlining operations, cultivating employee autonomy, better leveraging tools like employee productivity monitoring software, and improving workflow efficiency.
Remote Work Can Be Productive And Fulfilling For Everyone
COVID-19 showed us that remote work is more than possible, and even preferred by most employees.
By focusing on incorporating the lessons other businesses learned throughout the pandemic, you can develop a strong hybrid office/remote work strategy for your organization.
As long as you give employees the freedom to work when they feel most productive and reach your business goals with the assistance of the right productivity tracker for employees, you can easily maintain a workspace that accommodates in-person and remote needs!