Remote working; the downside to working from home

Remote working; the downside to working from home


Prior to the pandemic working from home was rare and not the standard, when lockdown hit in March 2020 working from home dramatically increased overnight with 30% of UK Workers working from home.

The graph below shows the percentage of the population who were working from home.

With remote working still happening now for a large percentage of workers, there is likely to be some downsides. Here we look at some of the cons of working from home:

Research has shown that the overuse of collaboration tools like Teams and Zoom has led UK remote workers to make more errors. Loneliness and isolation are the largest reported concern amongst remote workers, symptoms of isolation include increased stress levels and bad decision making.

In the survey conducted by Kantar Research and commissioned by Sapphire Systems, 1323 adults who use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex during the COVID pandemic were questioned.

  • 32% of UK workers found collaboration tools enabled them to complete their day jobs more effectively
  • 81% stated that the constant interference such as chat distracted them from work they needed to get done.
  • 71% of workers feel distractions caused them to make mistakes in day-to-day tasks.
  • 78% stated that they spent too much time in meetings and whilst tools enabled multitasking; these also added to stress levels.
  • 56% of workers said they found the tools excluded them from contributing their individual points during meetings, with 69% of 16–24-year-olds finding it most difficult to find their voice compared with only 48% of 49–54-year-olds.
  • 42% of respondents said they wanted employers to make routine tasks easier and faster to deliver, improving their personal productivity and reducing stress.
  • 39% of workers wanted their employers to improve work systems.
  • 20% of workers would like their company to provide a ‘digital robot assistant’ to complete their repetitive tasks for them automatically.

Chris Gabriel, Chief Strategy Officer at Sapphire, said: “With British companies already facing a perfect storm of the Great Resignation, a skills shortage, and an inflation crisis, this survey shows that workers want their company to help them reduce the confusion, exclusion, and mistakes all of which is diluting productivity and causing frustration.

“They want to work faster and smarter, with one-in-five already asking to be given personal digital robotic assistants to automate repetitive day-to-day tasks. It is clear, workers want more investment in the tools that take them forward faster into a new era of digital productivity.”

In conclusion employers should be more diligent in making sure their work from home employees are happy and not stressed, as this will lead to mistakes and feeling of isolation among them.

Some things employers could do to improve their employees work from home life are:

  • Create a work from home strategy – clarify working hours, communications between teams and managers, available equipment, and software, how to navigate meetings.
  • Virtual meetings – there are many tools available for face-to-face meetings, allowing your employees to be able to virtually video chat will enable them to feel more connected.
  • Encourage screen breaks – advise your workers to take short breaks away from their screen at least once an hour to rest their eyes.
  • Stick to structure with some flexibility – check in with employees individually to work out their needs, for instance if some have children in school allowing them to work around the school hours will make them feel valued and earn their respect.

Date: May 16, 2022

Author: Morris

Inspired to improve your IT? Get in Touch!

Contact Us

Check out our social media: