Many of us had to quickly mold our homes into semi-permanent offices with no clear idea of when physical offices would reopen. In a recent global survey conducted by Harris Interactive and Sodexo* the majority of US employees feel that the work from home experience during lockdown has been overwhelmingly positive-so much so that 80% want the option to continue working remotely.
Why do so many enjoy working from home? Home workers report a higher engagement level compared to those who are back to their usual workplace. They are also seeing several benefits from not having a commute. In addition to saving time and money, employees know that fewer cars on the road decrease pollution and the negative impact on the environment.
Because of this positive experience, employers should be prepared to continue supporting remote employees and ensure benefits that are included in an office environment, like ergonomic workstations and office supplies delivery, are available to employees working remotely.
While working from home has its perks, there are also significant drawbacks that should not be ignored. In our research, the top drawback cited was lack of social interaction with colleagues. The second-most cited drawback was difficulty collaborating as a team. These concerns can cause employees to feel isolated and less connected to their workplace community, which can lead to eroding company culture and success.
As leaders, we’re faced with the challenge of finding innovative ways to foster community and combating the schism caused by remote work. Encouraging virtual gatherings, team rituals, friendly competitions and service projects can reinforce a sense of employee belonging and community. Benefits can also be provided on an individual level to increase employee self-value.
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* Data shown on this page is inclusive of US respondents only (608 online interviews representative of US employees collected from June 11th to June 16th 2020)