Opinion: Remote work actually isn’t a great option for employees

By Farah Bassyouni Apr 28, 2023

It may be a cliche, but the pandemic still has a profound effect on our daily lives today, especially work lives. A few years ago, COVID took a stranglehold on the world economy, and daily life was forced to be as safely distanced as possible. Every attempt to complete work was made from our homes, out of necessity.

Throughout the pandemic, advantages of working from home emerged. People could take care of their children from home, avoid the morning commute, catch fewer colds and have a more comfortable workspace. Businesses also realized they no longer needed expensive office spaces, costly conventions could be held virtually, and meetings could happen instantly with one click. Today, 26 percent of all U.S. employees still work remotely and it is expected that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely in two years.

While there are some obvious benefits, remote work has some serious drawbacks toward productivity and job satisfaction. A key element toward feeling content with your job is being able to have strong social connections and attachment to the work that is being completed. When meeting remotely, there is a level of communication richness that is lost. A lot of people are visual learners. Body language and eye contact are very important toward communication and establishing bonds with coworkers. We’ve all had situations with misinterpreted emails or texts. Remote work increases communication errors and makes working together less efficient.

Working from home leads to missed bonding moments and coffee chats with coworkers. These bonds go beyond simply making work more fun and connected. Studies show that when looking for help, workers will go to those that they feel the closest to personally. What’s more, many job opportunities are created from these bonds. It’s an important form of networking that is lost when working from home.

Another pressing issue of working remotely is struggles with work-life balance. According to Forbes, studies show that remote workers are more stressed than those that go in person and have a harder time falling asleep. This is because working out of your home can create mental struggles to set boundaries. It becomes far too easy to take care of other things during the day and have to catch up on work late at night. In-person offices create subconscious distinctions in your brain that once you leave your office you are done working for the day. The line can get very blurred when working from home, which leads to unhealthy habits.

Now, remote work certainly has its benefits, but we can’t forget its drawbacks either. Not everything can be completed remotely. In-person work is important for our productivity and our psyches in equal measure.

 

https://www.zippia.com/advice/remote-work-statistics/#:~:text=26%25%20of%20U.S.%20employees%20work,U.S.%20companies%20are%20fully%20remote

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/08/31/dont-forget-the-downsides-of-remote-work/?sh=74eceaa36c28 

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