Before we experienced a worldwide pandemic and the Great Resignation, employers knew how to keep and retain talent. The focus was on providing work-life balance, exciting roles, improved technology, and better onboarding and training. In this new age, people are requesting flexible work schedules and locations. A report by the Future Forum, a group within Slack Technologies Inc, found that “95% of employees want flexible schedules and 78% want flexible locations.”
While not having to stick to a fixed 9-5 schedule and the ability to work from anywhere can be helpful to workers, employers need to dig deeper to understand how this will play out. These new ways of working come with drawbacks that can sneak up and drag down employee satisfaction and morale.
Our Employee Experience Insights Revealed 3 Major Challenges for Remote Workforces:
1. Work Time is Seeping into Personal Time
Because the boundaries aren’t as firm as they once were. We used to have a built-in transition with the commute to and from work. Many of us no longer have that physical and mental transition that ends work time and starts home time.
2. Virtual Fatigue
comes from being online all day, in virtual meetings, without truly interacting or collaborating with people face-to-face. Gone are the spontaneous “water cooler chats” and the conference room banter that happens before and after meetings.
3. Isolation / Loneliness
If you find yourself talking to your dog or cat throughout the day, you are not alone. Working from home can create feelings of loneliness and isolation, as people find themselves rarely needing to leave their home/work office. This can be especially true if you started a job during the pandemic and you have never met your co-workers or manager in-person.
How can employers help their workforce strike the balance?
Many companies are incorporating new approaches to support employees in adjusting to flexible schedules and locations, such as:
- Incorporating consistent one-on-one meetings for personal connection
- Creating virtual team-building activities, such as cooking classes or happy hours
- Offering online mental health services
- Moving to a 4-day work week
If you haven’t listened to your employees recently, now is the time. We can help you and your organization understand what employees REALLY want, and how to help them achieve the balance they crave in this new world we are navigating.
Let’s Find Balance Together
With SIVO’s Organizational Intelligence Solution, we dig deep via employee interviews and group discussions to understand the challenges and engagement of the workforce. We facilitate leaders in the development of strategies and solutions to help employees cope with the “side effects” that come with flexible work schedules and remote work environments.