The last four months brought significant changes to telecommuting arrangements. Will these trends continue into the future? Much depends on the global epidemic situation, but also on the way work arrangements adapt to the expectations of both employees and employers.
The nuisance of working from home
There is the stereotype that telecommuting is less exhausting than working at the office. As shown by the research done by Microsoft using EEG devices monitoring changes in brainwaves, remote collaboration is more challenging than in-person collaboration. More stress- and overworking-related brainwave patters were observed in persons working from home.
The study also showed that videoconferencing is more distressing than performing other tasks. This results mostly from the necessity to focus on the screen, on the participants, while following the course of the meeting.
See more: Coming back to work from home office
Did you know…
Microsoft Teams has introduced the AI-based “together mode”, which digitally places the participants in a shared background, making them feel like they’re sitting in the same room with everyone else, and the conversation more natural.
According to the Work Trend Index report, employees are now more empathetic toward their colleagues. No surprise there. They’re all in the same boat right now. Everyone realizes it is unusual, difficult and most people find it difficult to navigate.
Interestingly, it turns out remote work brings the employees closer together. Among the respondents, 52% felt better at work because they participate in online meetings, which makes them feel part of the community. This is true especially for the people who worked remotely even before the pandemic.
Departure from the standards
The Work Trend Index report also shows that the standard 9 to 5 workday is disappearing. It turns out people are working more frequently in the morning and evening hours, but also at the weekends. All that follows from observations of activity in teams chats from 8-9 a.m. and after 6 p.m Importantly, weekend employee chats have increased over 200%.
Did you know…
Research shows a growing number of people who use mobile devices for videoconferencing. Interestingly, the highest growth was observed among clients from industries most impacted after the outbreak of the pandemic (e.g. education) and in regions most affected by the crisis – Italy, Spain and France.
Will physical offices disappear?
The pandemic has accelerated the blending of work and life. According to the study, 82% of managers surveyed expect to have more flexible work from home policies post-pandemic. Among employees, 71% reported a desire to continue working from home, even part-time. Experts, however, do not expect physical offices to disappear.
Surveys among remote workers show that with even four people living in the same flat or house, the job becomes significantly more difficult. This, however, is not the only downside. Lack of ergonomic work environments at home and weakened team bonds were also problematic.
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