Tobey is a writer and content creator with a penchant for art, nature, and the invisible.
"People are more productive working at home than anyone would have expected. Some people thought that everything was just going to fall apart, and it hasn't." -Mark Zuckerberg
Advances in information and communications technology have led to the steady development of high-speed internet and a medley of collaborative tools, increasingly attaining higher degrees of efficiency. And outmoding on-site job functions, particularly roles that rely on computer systems to get work done. Before the breakout of the concept of remote work into public consciousness‒with its popularity fueled by the rise of a deadly contagion (Covid-19) in the year 2020‒tech-savvy folks already practiced a lite version of working remotely. An employee would casually work with a PC in their living room while simultaneously binge-watching The Simpsons or out on a picnic and intermittently slipping out a laptop to draft a technical report. Remote work is inexorably making inroads into the corporate world and rapidly spreading its tentacles across variegated industries. Its impact on employee productivity comes peppered with merits and demerits‒likewise on-site work; With both means of work tending to remediate the lapses of the other almost in alternate fashion. The practice of remote work has physical, social, and psychological impacts, and we will explore how these may touch on employees’ productivity:
Psychological Impact of Remote Work
Remote work eases mental tension and anxiety‒that may emanate from interfacing with an unpleasant boss or wading through grueling and soul-crushing road traffic. The notion of these grim possibilities could elicit psychological unease‒constituting mental baggage that can stifle and choke the capacity for analytical thinking and problem-solving. Remote work sidesteps these drawbacks and allows employees to leverage the preserved mental clarity for surmounting hairy challenges. Workers can function by their terms in their preferred environment for optimal performance, thereby boosting productivity.
Health Impact of Remote Work
Employees living in densely populated cities will benefit physically and mentally from avoiding long hours in debilitating traffic, particularly in countries with inefficient transit systems. In addition, is the time, energy, and other resources conserved from shunning traveling to-and-from the workplace. As a result, employees are more energized, inspired, and clear-headed at the start of a workday and prepared on all dimensions to squarely face the day’s objectives. Furthermore, the avoidance of commute creates extra time for employees to plan their day, do more meaningful work, kick back and perform some stocktaking at the end of a workday. This string of activities could constitute a productivity hack when performed diligently.
Impact of Remote Work on Interpersonal Relations
Introverted and antisocial employees would find remote work a huge reprieve from the on-site work imperative of liaising with colleagues to achieve goals. In addition, employees would love to circumvent coworkers that are combative, non-compliant, and whose characters are objectionable or folks that are generally unsavory to work with in person. Lastly, introverted employees may do their best work in solitude from their fancied location or environment that inspires them.
Downsides of Remote Work
Despite the many upsides of remote work, however, there are a few downsides: When working at home, employees are exposed to more distractions than is obtainable at the workplace. Employees have the latitude to forgo work at will to satiate the impulses of whimsical interests and pleasures like napping during what is supposed to be work hours, aliment indulgencies, and distractions from family members. Although one may work in secluded/off-limits areas at home, however, as a guardian, it is hard to sidestep your custodial responsibilities towards your kids. In addition, the air of collegial support and rapport may not be available to employees when working remotely, especially tasks that require concerted input to complete‒these could adversely impact productivity and the pace of executing projects.
In conclusion, employers would have to trial and decide which is the most beneficial to all parties and has the best impact on employee productivity. Remote work may have the upper hand because it panders to the changing times and affords employees the margin to be the best version of themselves. And on an individual basis, contribute their best work.