Disadvantages and Challenges of Remote Work

Remote work has been a topic of conversation in boardrooms for some time now, but that conversation accelerated in the past year. Businesses of all sizes were forced to go fully remote or adopt a hybrid workforce strategy to keep employees safe amid the pandemic, and while this was a necessary move, it may not be the best fit for all businesses. In fact, recent polling and research show that remote working could actually hold back both your business and your employees.

The Hours Are Longer

Many proponents of remote work point to the countless studies that show employees who work remotely are more productive and get more done. While that’s mathematically true, those same studies also reveal that remote workers are working longer hours than their in-office counterparts: They’re nearly 43% more likely to log more than 40 hours during their workweek. 

There Are More Meetings

Did you know that it takes an average of 8 emails to schedule one meeting? Or that before the pandemic hit, employees were attending about 62 meetings a month? If that seems like a good chunk of time that’s because it is, and it’s been revealed that working remotely during the pandemic increased the time we spend in meetings by 5% — that’s a big jump.

Mental Health Is Impacted

While the pandemic was stressful in and of itself, the very nature of remote working can compound that stress. Working at home alone can increase feelings of isolation, anxiety, loneliness, and even boredom, all of which impact mental health. About a month into the pandemic, 67% of remote employees reported higher levels of stress, depression, and even a rise in domestic abuse. 

Collaboration Is Harder

Some of the best ideas happen during both impromptu and planned collaboration in the office, where the team can come together in person and in real-time. Full-time remote workers have a harder time problem-solving and thinking creatively than employees who are in the office. The issue here? Poorly optimized communication problems can cost organizations an estimated $37 billion every year. 

Building Trust Is Harder

Research shows that it is much easier to build trust and convince someone to do something in person than via email. Video Conferencing tools make it hard to understand if someone is telling the truth, and it creates a challenge for remote workers who only have screens to connect with other team members. Reduced employee trust translates directly to a drop in engagement and productivity.

Gender and Pay Gaps Widen

There’s quantifiable evidence that the pandemic affected women at a disproportionate rate, with many opting to work remotely while taking on the monumental task of caring for family members. To compensate, these members of the workforce could be pressed for time and resources, and find that remote working is affecting productivity. Another alternative: quit working altogether, tipping the diversity scales within companies.

Mitigating Remote Risk

While remote work strategies offer a level of security and in some cases, safety, it’s not a model that’s right for every business. It helps to get an unbiased perspective from entrepreneurs who can look at your business with fresh eyes and assess the efficacy of your current work model. The Alexander Group offers private coaching to help business owners devise step-by-step strategic action plans to take on specific issues. Coaching sessions are led by certified business coaches with proven experience coaching high-level executives.

Private coaching sessions also help peer board members reinforce the commitments made at board meetings. During a coaching session, business owners will be asked about the progress they have made on their commitment to their peer board along with being prepared to present any challenge or opportunity to the board that has arisen.

Our executive business coaching services can guide you through the process to bring your visions to life when it comes to fine-tuning your organization’s remote or hybrid work model. In everything we do, we believe change can be accomplished. We believe that all of our business owners can start by committing to improvement. This process is accomplished by identifying what they can control and their goals in life.

Are you ready to dissolve your barriers, commit to executing, and achieve your vision? Request to qualify for a one-on-one business diagnostic!