Remote work is here to stay.
According to Gartner’s recent research, 82 percent of company leaders are planning to let employees work remotely, at least some of the time, even when workforces will be allowed to return to office workspaces.
But though remote work is the new norm, it is not without its costs.
Global surveys assessing the impact of remote work experience reveal widespread trends of remote workers experiencing adverse effects on productivity, lower overall job satisfaction, decreased work-life-balance levels, and more stress with less motivation on-the-job.
Data from a Pew Research survey of 5,900 workers indicate that:
- Younger remote workers say it has been difficult for them to feel motivated to do their work. 42% of workers ages 18 to 49 report a lack of motivation has impeded their work. An even higher percentage of 53% of those aged 18 to 29 say it has been difficult for them to feel motivated to do their job.
- Parents who are working remotely are having a more challenging time getting their work done without interruptions. 50% of parents of children younger than 18 who are working at home all or most of the time say it has been difficult for them to get their work done. Mothers and fathers are about equally likely to say this has been difficult for them.
- Among those who use video conferencing services often, 37% say they are worn out by it, and 35% say they are not a good substitute for in-person contact. Again, younger teleworkers (ages 18 to 49) who use these platforms often are more likely than their older counterparts to say they feel worn out by the amount of time they spend on video calls (40% vs. 31%). Feeling worn-out is also more prevalent among supervisors who often use these platforms versus those who don’t supervise others (but also use video platforms often, 47% vs. 33%).
- Of workers who are in the same job (pre-and post-pandemic), about a quarter (23%) say they are less satisfied with their job compared with before the coronavirus outbreak. A third say they feel less connected to their co-workers, 26% say it is harder for them to balance their work and family responsibilities. About one-in-five say they feel they have less job security and fewer opportunities for advancement.
Human connection is the biggest challenge to remote work. That includes both logistical connections, such as reliable Wi-Fi, and the relationships that keep us engaged and productive at work.
While existing employees moving to remote work arrangements may be able to withstand feelings of isolation from the rest of the team and company by leveraging existing relationships, new or non-permanent contingent employees without pre-built relationships are more likely than tenured employees to report feelings of loneliness or isolation. It is also more difficult for them to keep up with what others are working on and stay motivated.
The absence of commutes and increased collaboration across time zones also mean that some people work much longer hours than they would ordinarily. Many people also find it hard to switch off and leave work for the day – especially when “the office” is the kitchen table.
Cumulatively, what this means for organizations is that if a significant percentage of your workforce is
- a working parent
- using video-conferencing and other collaboration technology to do their work
- supervising others via collaboration technology
- made up of non-permanent contract or contingent gig workers
- working longer hours as a result of ‘saved commute time’ or collaboration across time zones
then you will need an enhanced approach to optimize your workforce productivity and sustain their wellbeing long-term.
It takes time for knowledge workers experiencing app fatigue, managers and leaders experiencing supervision fatigue, and operational workers experiencing fatigue with instant messaging apps and manual paper forms to adapt to new ways of maintaining relationships and managing their physical environments.
To continue working efficiently and creating value under these new circumstances, organizations need enhanced collaboration technology to understand and support their employees through these and other performance-impeding situations.
Microsoft Teams recently integrated with the SelfDrvn employee experience platform that uses gamification, social collaboration, and data-driven positive psychology to Simplify, Motivate, and Nudge talent towards optimized outcomes, i.e.:
- connecting people and skills with company culture and systems
- empowering people managers to move away from being merely task and time supervisors to be true enablers of people’s potential
- engaging team members operating remotely and at the often neglected ‘fringes’ of the enterprise more productively via technology, so they can feel included in a work culture of motivation, recognition, and teamwork
all with SelfDrvn’s user-centric design mirroring the high-quality consumer apps used by employees outside of work and blended seamlessly with Microsoft Teams into employees’ existing workflow.
Examples of SelfDrvn customer business outcomes include:
- 400% increase in monthly sales per sales rep
- 100% increase in employee wellbeing program participation
- 80% employee completion of microlearning
- 5.5 days lower annual sick days per employee
At the start of the pandemic, many companies didn’t have a choice about how their workers got online — they just needed them to get there. Yet as companies continue to accelerate how fast they adopt technology to drive business growth and help their team navigate new realities, they also realize a widening ‘Digital Dexterity Gap’ between the speed of technology adoption and how fast employees can exploit these technologies to their full potential.
So companies are now also realizing that for the sake of security, spend and to mitigate employee “app-fatigue,” there needs to be an increased focus on reducing redundancies, cutting costs, and consolidating tools for remote work at the enterprise level.
SelfDrvn connects people as well as connects isolated applications via automated workflows with flexible connectivity to other systems.
With the integration of SelfDrvn into the platform, users will use Microsoft Teams as the central hub for employees. In addition to Microsoft Teams’ productivity and engagement tools such as video conferencing, audio calls, file sharing, and collaboration, users can now leverage SelfDrvn’s innovative features, that provides users with data-driven and actionable insights to encourage talent recognition, rewards positive behavior, and achievement with appreciation badges, rewards points, and various levels.
Seamless employee experience with Microsoft Teams as the Productivity hub – zero training required
With an interactive chatbot to onboard new users, zero training is required to get started with SelfDrvn in Microsoft Teams.
Build Community of Practice with Teams Messaging and File Sharing – Powerful Engagement, Increased Productivity
Improve 2-way communication on Teams with SelfDrvn’s pulse surveys, polls, and peer feedback. Combine Teams’ group conversations with SelfDrvn goal setting to optimize planning for the day – because while only 35% of knowledge workers report planning their workday before they start working, those who do see a significant improvement to their productivity. Given challenges with avoiding distractions and staying motivated, setting a plan or goal for what you would like to accomplish in the day can help focus attention.
Your Personal SelfDrvn Assistant – Intelligent chatbots to improve team collaboration and productivity
Our Teams integration comes with a digital assistant that prompts you when a goal is due soon. Send out Quests, track performance, and give immediate feedback without leaving Teams. Our interactive chatbots not only eases employee onboarding but also improves employee productivity and learning.
Gamified challenges to help teams think big and grow together. Points, badges, and leaderboards to make work a team-sport.
Our innovative Quests transform strategy, KPI, and data analytics into employee action, making work a team sport, right where they communicate on Microsoft Teams. Don’t underestimate team building – workers who participate in dedicated monthly team-building activities like brainstorms and team games feel their sense of belonging improve significantly. In remote work environments, these activities take on an added importance. They allow newer employees to build relationships and trust with colleagues while strengthening existing team connections.
Real-time achievement dashboards for individuals and teams
In the remote work world, the manager’s role has shifted from gatekeeper to coach and social connector. Social ties are more difficult to build and maintain in a digital-first workplace. Add to this the fact that middle managers are already challenged by the upskilling needed to move from an individual contributor to a manager position. Organizations need to devote time and resources to providing people managers with new tools to help them coach and connect with their teams. SelfDrvn’s talent analytic dashboards can help managers make informed decisions on improving leadership, engagement, learning, wellbeing, and productivity for their teams.
Real-time recognition, personalized with digital gift cards
Surveys have found that feeling valued and dedicating time to recognizing the contributions of others at least once every two weeks can significantly increase workers’ sense of belonging. However, only one out of three employees report having these types of avenues at work. Teams should place more emphasis on ensuring that others know their contributions are valued, whether that’s acknowledging their efforts in a team meeting or sharing accomplishments via a company communication platform. SelfDrvn allows managers and peers to give employee recognition in real-time, personalizing messages to go with digital gift cards/lifestyle rewards.
Remote working requires learning new skills – adapting to new environments, battling new distractions, and navigating an unprecedented fusion of work and private life.
SelfDrvn helps companies build an employee experience that will attract, retain, and develop the best talent, and promote the culture of agility, innovation, collaboration, and customer-centricity to fuel their future growth.
Book a demo on https://selfdrvn.com/request-for-demo/ to explore how your company can benefit most from SelfDrvn.