The Problems Faced By Those Working at Home

Working from home has become part of the new normal as people work remotely to avoid crowded offices. While the idea of working from home was once a blissful thought for many, the reality has us feeling different. A Deloitte report of 2020 shows the problems faced by those working at home – problems that need to be overcome if companies plan on letting people stay at home after the pandemic dies down.

1. Untimely Working Hours

Our current world is a highly challenging and unpredictable one, leading many to work outside the normal working hours. With breakfasts and lunch breaks happening at any time of the day, no coffee breaks or water cooler breaks, and no traffic jam to give you time to get over the morning blues, you’d think we’d have more time to take care of ourselves. However, working from home often leads to a warped work/life balance and some people have trouble disengaging at the end of the day and “going home” mentally if not physically.

Of those surveyed, 89% said the pandemic changed demands on their personal time and 40% said the changes have had major consequences for their mental and physical health.

2. Screen/Zoom Fatigue

There are four key consequences of spending so long in Zoom calls that contribute to what Stanford University calls “Zoom Fatigue:”
Spending too long looking at computer screens leads to eye and mental fatigue
Seeing yourself in video chats is distracting and fatiguing
Video chats make people feel more lethargic because they limit mobility
Video chats have a greater cognitive load than in-person meetings

It’s recommended you take five minutes away from the computer every hour to stretch. Wash your face and have something to drink to stay hydrated. Organizations should create activities to help employees stay stress-free and enjoy their time at work. Even a weekly casual get-together can help boost team morale.

3. Technical Glitches

Technical glitches are the icing on the cake that is Zoom Fatigue. Most people feel bad enough when working remotely because it feels less connected, less productive, and less creative. Technical glitches only make things worse. Problems with internet servers, computer software, system crashes, specific technology failing, and the like are frustrated and can leave people feeling helpless.

Some companies, including Google, have made things easier by helping employees create workstations at home. These are small steps that can make things much easier on at-home employees. As an employer, you should consider what support you can offer to those working at home.

4. Unclear Performance Metrics

Do you know your performance metrics? What standards do you use to measure employee performance? What parameters do you use to measure your own performance? One of the easiest ways to measure performance at the office is seeing how long an employee spends at their workstation. It’s not so easy to see that when people are working from home. Managers and workers should be clear on at least one key performance indicator that shows how well they are doing their jobs.

Final Thoughts

With so many people expressing an interest in continuing to work at home, business owners and managers should be aware of the problems those people face. Take steps to improve employee mood, morale, and mental wellbeing.

Jason Acker

Project manager for a multinational in the energy sector. Being a remote worker fits in perfectly with my home and family life. I still pay PAYE so I have all the same rights as the office based staff

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