The majority of employees love the idea of working from home due to a number of reasons. Its benefits are well-known; freeing up of office space, saving on travelling expenses, improving employee satisfaction, the list goes on. Yet, many organizations are hesitant to allow their employees to work from home. Why is it that an employer that has drawn a line in the sand and said “no” to remote work? Organizations have their reasons for sticking to such a policy. Thus, in this article we are going to talk about the reasons why remote work doesn’t work.
Reasons why Remote Work Doesn’t Work
There are several reasons why remote work doesn’t work.
Here are six reasons why organizations may be suspect of remote employees –
- Lack of Trust – Many organizations view working from home as a privilege that must be earned through hard work and good performance. If their employee staff consists mostly of new people who have yet to prove themselves, then, before granting their employees this privilege, an employer may first want to monitor their new recruitments in an office environment in order to determine their contribution and effectiveness. For example, if an employer notices that a new employee takes extended breaks, is distracted, is consistently late and leaves early, then all signs point to the employee being unable to work remotely.
- It Would Be Unfair to Allow Some Employees to Work Remotely – Let’s say that some employees can be trusted to work remotely while some can’t. Does an organization then let some of its employees work from home while not allowing others to leave the office? The problem with a move like this is that it will cause conflicts and distance amongst the employees. Those stuck in the office will become resentful of others because they get to work from the comfort of their homes. Then the organization might have a mutiny on its hands, which wouldn’t be good for the organization’s productivity.
- Implementing a Remote Workforce Is Too Big of a Change and Challenge – If an organization already has a functioning office in place, complete with desks, workstations, break rooms, etc., then making changes to the office to allow employees to work from home would be a major undertaking, and a challenge. Perhaps too big of a change for an organization to be comfortable with, especially if it has spent years developing the office and setting up everything exactly how the organization likes it.
- Lack of Control – Quite similar to the issue of trust is control. An employee who’s not in the office is much more difficult to manage. For many office managers, a favorite way to keep their team motivated and energized is to make sure that everyone is at the office, together. By having everyone work in the same building, a manager can better control their staff by looking over shoulders, walking from desk-to-desk and making sure that everyone is staying focused on the task at hand. With this hands-on approach, employees will think twice about wasting time on YouTube if they believe that their boss may walk in on them at any moment.
- Missed Opportunities for Collaboration – Even though there are great technologies like video conferencing, face time and instant messaging that allow remote employees to stay connected to the office space and each other, it’s still not similar to having a team work together in the same room. When employees are forced to spend time around each other, they learn to communicate in deeper ways than remote technology allows, and are able to build healthy, trustworthy work relationships. When working together in the same room, people learn each other’s quirks and gestures, making it easier to share ideas and visions.
- Repetitive Tasks are not for Remote Working – It’s proven that working from home improves the productivity for jobs that require creativity, but at the same time, it actually hinders jobs that are repetitive in nature, like data entry. Home is well known for harboring many distractions, like video games, pets, television, snacks, etc. Employees who have to do repetitive jobs are more prone to being distracted by the comforts of home due to difficulty in maintaining work-life boundaries.
As an organization, it’s your call on whether or not to allow your employees to work remotely. Allowing your team to work from home will score you some points with employee morale and loyalty, while denying employees this privilege may frustrate them. Therefore, having well thought out reasons why remote work doesn’t work, ready to tell your employees on why working remotely isn’t right for your company, will go a long way in helping them be satisfied with what they have and do their work productively.