The exponential increase of remote work over the last couple of years has ignited a controversial debate over its impact on the physical and psychological well-being of employees. Opinions seem to widely differ in this regard where at times they would represent a 180-degree diversion. Can remote teams make both ends meet; keeping performance at its highest while maintaining work-life balance at its best levels? In this blog, we are going to answer this question by debunking five misconceptions about remote work being detrimental to our health, body, and creativity alike.
1/ Workplace’s subconscious effects on employees: To start with, many claim that the formal setting of a workplace has a subconscious impact on people’s behavior and attitude. At work, we abide by certain norms, rules, and subtly determined culture codes that when combined give a unified identity to a business no matter its size. Despite these being minor, almost unnoticeable traits put together, over time and exposure, they end up shaping our behavior and interactions and ultimately affecting our commitment, discipline, engagement, and our productivity. In a nutshell, working from an office induces us to generate the best productivity. I, however, would argue that the influence of the workplace on staff comes across as a compulsory attuning to a formal frame. If this is ever to match anything in the human appendix of feelings, it certainly would match that of uneasiness. Just think of the many times when dressing formally at work was nor fun, neither healthy. Recollect all those times when you could barely breathe under that tight shirt you had no choice but wear for the meet; or those high heels that were literally torturing your skin, muscle, and bone. Can any of you relate to this? I bet many do! So far that’s just the dress code. What would be all those smiles and fake facial expressions one had to put on for this or that occasion? We have to face it! Being at a workplace obliges us to wear few masks for quite a while. It can get tedious and at times even badly damage the comfort we are supposed to enjoy at work. I would opt for a working space with less formal contact and interactions, my bedroom is a perfect alternative.
2/ Loneliness: With the successive pandemics hitting hard, millions of people have reported feeling lonely, and cut from their social circles for unusually long periods. A significant percentage of these were diagnosed with psychological and mental issues for which treatments and medication were prescribed. Some extreme cases reached the point of attempting suicide. But, let’s face it, the issue of loneliness hasn’t been the outcome of remote work. National lockdowns taking place in almost every country on the world map, for all the good reasons of keeping everyone safe, have been the originator of this massively unprecedented social seclusion worldwide. This being said, even schooled kids, unemployed individuals, retired people, and senior citizens have gone through it too. Everyone got their fair share of the bitter feeling of social deprivation. Remote teams cannot be considered the only category that was exposed to experiencing loneliness. On the contrary and to many ‘s surprise, remote working teams kept very strong social bonds with one another. Meeting daily at the digital workspace, giving every member the opportunity not only to produce and share work with others but also to socialize and keep in regular touch with fellow colleagues and friends. No better way to give support and foster positive energy while engaging productively in staying ahead of the pack. If there was a working section that was least affected by the sea change brought in by Covid19, that should undoubtedly be teams who started working remotely prior to it. Well, hundreds of thousands followed in the steps of these pioneers since then. Communication technologies are nailing it when it comes to providing the most adequate solutions to making work happen from anywhere. Every day, we are waking at some news of more progress being done in the field. The digital world has not stopped pleasing and amazing us.
3/ Shut Down Late. The third claim about telework endangering people‘s health both mentally and physically is about employees being late to shut down. Many support the idea that working from home makes teams work overtime without even noticing it. No one pays attention to the time indicated on their watches, they work till tasks are finished and not till reaching a certain time in the evening. Consequently, they end up driving themselves towards burnout on a regular basis. That sounds like a weak argument against telework! Employees would work extra hours without feeling they did so because they are focused and energetic. Simple math to explain it all; the time and body energy wasted daily when commuting to and from work, when engaging in unnecessary interactions and when worrying about those left behind at home, is eliminated, and the human body is left with enough will and energy to go for an extra mile whenever necessary. When saving time and energy is put to the right use, it would translate into an amazing curve for productivity. Teleworkers have a life too! As anyone working, they have their weekends, their days off, and some very flexible free time to enjoy on a daily basis. That alone is an advantage to turn the rest of us green with envy. The flexibility remote teams do enjoy is an inherent and unique trait of this mode of work. Next time someone complains to you of being drained, overstressed, and not spending quality time with family and friends, please, make sure to introduce them to remote work 😉
4/ Very Frequent Interruptions: Now, having around some people who can interrupt your work is as common at workplaces as it is at home. We simply cannot pretend that every interaction at your office with people being with you in person, on the phone, or over a conference call,..etc is happening because it’s related to the tasks you have at work. We cannot pretend that none of it is distracting our focus and shifting our attention away from what we are supposed to be DOING. Let’s list some very frequent occasions illustrating this. People can mistake your office for someone else’s, get in and start a conversation to find out minutes later that you are not the right dude they need to talk to. The same happens over the phone and over emails. The second scenario: let’s consider the chatty colleagues who would drop every now and then to cut the thread of your thoughts when you need most to remain alone and focused. Little control is left for us over all these interruptions which generally coincide with even lesser control over our cortisol levels soaring up. Needless to state here how bad it is to have high cortisol levels in our biological systems. The flip side of this is however different. At home we have more control over interruptions, for one, we have fewer people around. What’s the average number of household members nowadays? A great portion of young people either live alone or with a partner. Couples having kids, do have on average one child. Families have shrunk in size since decades ago. Plus, it’s way easier to command a family member to certain behavior while you are working than colleagues, customers and a bunch of strangers showing up at your office for God knows what reasons. Family members are by far more considerate of your privacy while working remotely, they need you to finish on time so that they can enjoy your presence and mood afterward 😉
5/ Parenting & Caring for the Elderly. Having your kid or an elderly relative to care for at home constructs the major impediment to work-life balance. These two categories stand out as the neediest for time, attention, and effort, making it a 100% certitude that no task of yours is going to be properly and timely done while being in the same space with them. We can’t help to worry about them and prioritize their well-being over the rest, even if that’s work commitments. Well again, this cannot be specifically related to remote work. These people are very important in our lives regardless of the work mode we adopt. Being miles away from them during working time or during long commuting journeys doesn’t change how we feel and worry about them. It certainly won’t add to our productivity levels having them out of sight while knowing that somehow they are in a danger or need. If anything, it adds to our state of stress, lack of focus, and disconnection from work. So, is having them home with us while working a safe thing? Yes, very! It boils down to self-organization, time management, commitment, and dedication. Setting everything in an orderly manner will help us enjoy the best of both worlds. Less worry and less stress are the equivalent of balanced hormones, healthier bodies, and more peaceful minds. Remote working is taking momentum, it is definitely a mode that represents the future of business workforces It is here to stay, just look around, we have already been introduced to the Metaverse. So, what’s next? Ride the wave and make sure that you are belonging to tomorrow starting today. Want to know about the tools? Visit our website, https://yobi.app/
You’ll have the answer to your questions on how to be successfully managing a business that hires teleworkers. You’ll be inspired even to embark on your own startup today. In case, you are just an employee who is thinking to try out this mode, just visit our website. It won’t take you much time to figure out that our features provide solutions to wasted time on commuting, organizational communication issues, customer relationships management &more.