It is very difficult for people working remotely to maintain a work-life balance. As many as 39% of employees admitted that their mental health has suffered as a result of the pandemic (research conducted by Devire).
The biggest problems for employees are the feeling of isolation, monotony, uncertainty, stress. A big shock was the complete change in the mode of work – suddenly we stopped going to offices and were locked in houses (often in a small space that had to become our workplace).
Problems related to remote work
What bothered us most often? Definitely, the lack of work-life balance. It was difficult for the employees to organize their day in an effective way. The responsibilities related to the house took up our time and as a result there were tasks that we had to catch up after “leaving work” (in this case, leaving the room where we put the desk).
Communication between employees was also difficult. As many as 35% did not have the opportunity to exchange knowledge with a colleague. There is also disinformation (35%), and 20% of respondents point to the lack of efficient flow of information with the boss.
Isolation and loneliness
A sense of seclusion is another important aspect. Locked in the house, we were not able to change the environment. The only way was to go for a walk with the dog (which at one point was the ONLY LEGAL possibility to leave the apartment).
Nor can we forget that workers have been isolated from the rest of society together with their families, and this has also been tiring in the long run. Constant attempts to adapt their schedules (meetings) to children’s online classes gave rise to conflicts – especially during the first weeks of lockdown.
All this caused a lot of emotions that were difficult to cope with. Each of us faced uncertainty. Every day we asked ourselves questions:
- What’s next?
- How long will it take?
- Will my position not be abolished?
2 out of 5 employees admitted that their mental health had been significantly affected – 49% of women and 32% of men. They were mainly young people (18-25 years old). Employees over 55 years of age, thanks to their many years of experience, have coped much better with the effects of the pandemic.
How to take care of employees’ motivation?
The most important thing is to pay attention to the differences between employees. Each of us has different needs, and this is often due to our age range. Generational difference is an important aspect that managers need to pay attention to.
For example, younger people pay attention to the company’s profile. For baby boomers and X generation stability is the most important.
Employees’ mental health
The productivity of each employee is largely due to mental balance, which as a result of the pandemic has unfortunately been severely disturbed. The task of the team leader is to detect the problem, build a strategy and try to eliminate it.
For each of us, discipline and clearly set goals are important at work. On the other hand, it is important to have freedom in action and the trust of our boss. In a tricky situation, the employee should know who to go to for help and advice.
The organization should also create a culture that emphasizes the preservation of the already mentioned work-life balance. It is important that employees are taught to organize their work well – as a result, they will not have to spend the night to finish an important project. Each stage of the task will have its own deadline.
Motivation means also benefits – not only financial ones. The attractiveness of a given position and company itself is influenced by the possibility of development (interesting offers of trainings and workshops). Employees are always looking for a way to gain knowledge, and a good leader should provide them with the best possible access to acquire new skills.
Another important aspect is building an integrated community and this is possible – even when working remotely. “Virtual coffees” are a good way to get to know your team members better and a nice way to spend time while working.
What is going to happen next?
The restrictions have long been lifted – even though the virus is still in the air. Many companies have not returned to the traditional mode of work and there are many indications that remote work will stay with us for good.
Saving on renting office space is one thing. The second reason is the lack of enthusiasm of employees at the news of the return to stationary mode of work. As many as 61% of respondents want to work from home! We got used to not rushing in the morning to make it to the bus. We do not have to deal with the traffic.
Consea and its Consulting Department aim to lead companies and help them implement a culture of attention to issues such as work-life balance or promoting DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) policies. We strongly believe that this goal has such a positive impact on the high level of motivation and productivity of employees working for organizations that have trusted us.
Iga Paszkiewicz – Recruitment Consultant w Consea Executive Search