- Despite the belief that employees in the office are more engaged at work, a study shows that 56% of office professionals looked for ways to avoid work when being tracked by employee monitoring software — much higher than the 39% of remote workers.
- It’s time to rethink practically everything about the workplace, according to Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, CEO of future-of-work consultancy firm Disaster Avoidance Experts.
- “Status quo bias is where we have a predisposition toward what we see as the status quo, regardless of whether it’s good for us, or our company, or our team,” said Tsipursky.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is a blanket statement, sure, but one with foundation.
But what happens when the whole system falls apart? It’s time to rethink practically everything, according to Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, CEO of future-of-work consultancy firm Disaster Avoidance Experts.
Tsipursky believes that, while it’s not always the fault of leaders for processes falling apart, they hold an acute responsibility to ensure operations get back on track.
However, humans have an innate need to object to new changes, particularly in the workplace. But with the right planning, Tsipursky believes that companies can emerge from times of disaster even stronger than they entered.
In discussion with Allwork.Space’s Future of Work Podcast, Tsipursky explores the psyche of why leaders struggle with change, why this resistance can hinder business growth, and the importance of giving employees choosing power.
Why Bad Business Decision Are Being Made
As is with many societal shifts, the pandemic was the initial driver of major workplace changes. Despite many leaders’ hopes that flexible working was just a fad, the trend has stuck around in a way that is unshakeable.
But why wouldn’t leaders want to implement flexible work?
Time and time again, research has supported the direct correlation between flexibility, employee choice, satisfaction, and as a result, productivity.
For instance, a study from Airtasker showed that remote workers spent an average of 27 minutes of unproductive time at work compared to 37 minutes for in-office employees.
Despite the belief that employees in the office are more likely to be engaged at work, the report also showed 56% of office professionals looked for ways to avoid work when being tracked by employee monitoring software — much higher than the 39% of remote workers.
“Why do people make bad decisions in new situations especially?” Tsipursky asks.
“[What] we have as people is, unfortunately, a set of dangerous judgment errors in our mind called cognitive biases… Remote work is called status quo bias. So, status quo bias is where we have a predisposition toward what we see as the status quo, regardless of whether it’s good for us, or our company, or our team.”
In short, humans prefer normalcy and comfort.
Although in our nature, leaning on ease can complicate operations in the future.
The Problem With Future Of Work Resistance
So what happens when the usual is no longer effective? According to Tsipursky, proximity bias becomes a major issue.
Proximity bias refers to the prejudice a remote or hybrid work may face due to leaders valuing the contributions of in-office employees more.
“People who are remote face discrimination.”
While some leaders understand that they have proximity bias and are making the moves to address it, admission is just the beginning.
Remote or hybrid workers who face issues of proximity bias experience the brunt of workplace discrimination, even if they are working from the comfort of their homes.
Discrimination in the workplace leads to:
- Poor performance
- Lower productivity
- Disengagement and dissatisfaction
Why Choosing Power Matters To Employees
Employees value trust in their relationships with employers.
But by eliminating their ability to choose their work preference, professionals often feel that their achievements when operating remotely go completely unnoticed, despite them often being more productive in this arrangement.
Without trusting employees to be active while working in their preferred setting, they inevitably become less engaged and have lower performance levels. In fact, research from the Harvard Business Review found that companies with high levels of trust saw 74% less stress and 50% more productivity.
In short, leaders have to be open to change, or risk an unstable position in the modern work era. Employee needs have never been more important, and without addressing them, leaders will face even bigger challenges in the future.
“[In] the modern environment, things change quickly, whether it’s the pandemic coming out or the fight with fiscal crisis, inflation, supply chain issues, or hybrid, remote work,” says Tsipursky. “The situation changes. We need to change with it.”