Millions of workers have proven that they can work from home comfortably, and while this arrangement has its own benefits, business leaders may not be doing enough to offset the negative impact of remote working.
The first step would be to actually identify the downsides of remote working. Are employees fully equipped with the tools they need to operate at home? Do they have access to reliable connectivity? There are several aspects of remote working that can go wrong, and employers need to ensure that workers are thoroughly supported.
The reality is many businesses were forced to transition to remote working with little to no preparation in terms of technology implementation, data security and IT, which can contribute to added stressors for employees. This transition compared to the ability to choose when to work from home has undoubtedly added a sense of urgency and pressure to the work day.
A study from Prof. Stephen Böhm and colleagues at the University of St. Gallen, digitalization increases emotional exhaustion by nearly 15%.
So what can business leaders do to create a flexible work environment that makes this transition more seamless? It starts with leadership that communicates clearly and trusts workers, supports employees’ remote office environments and continues to engage with workers on both a professional and a personal level.