In the last 24 months we’ve seen enormous changes to our lives. Our work, our healthcare, and just about everything that we do and all the ways in which we interact changed. Now that we’re closing out 2021, we’re seeing many things returning to some form of the old normals. Some of the changes we’ve made, for better or worse, don’t seem to be going anywhere at all. Let’s learn more about WFH workers and their impact below.
One of those lasting and impacting changes is the switch from working in the office to working from home. Working from home was already on the rise and many employees were wanting to go this route long before the COVID pandemic forced it upon us. However, we never saw the events of 2020 coming and the challenges we are now facing from remote work are something that we must address in order to ensure that remote work remains the positive change that we need it to be.
The WFH Trend
Since 2019, we’ve gone from 4.1% of US employees working from home to 42% in 2021. The number has dropped back down from it’s 69% at the height of the pandemic, but it looks as though working remotely is a permanent addition to the new normal. As such, businesses and their employees are learning to navigate new ways to communicate and new territories of trust and work ethic.
For the most part, working from home is seen as a positive for employees. The majority are satisfied with their workspace and available technologies. They’re able to meet project deadlines with fewer interruptions, and they feel motivated to work. Fifty-seven percent of these employees are also more satisfied with their jobs, which means a lower turnover rate, not to mention the 18% decrease in road traffic as a result of working from home. The benefits are well worth the necessary adjustments.
Employers are benefitting as well, with thousands of dollars saved on overhead costs and more productivity from happier employees.
Trust is a Challenge
However, one of the challenges with remote work is that the level of trust from employer to employee has decreased with remote work. In fact, 41% of employers are uncertain about their employees’ work ethic, which results in the issue of micromanagement.
Employees are feeling this lack of trust and report that micromanagement is the number one cause of stress in their jobs. It is such an obstacle that 69% would consider changing jobs just because of this one issue. Micromanagement is not doing employers any favors either as they see higher turnover rates and less productivity from those who are feeling this stress. They also then must cover the costs of replacing dissatisfied employees who turn elsewhere for work.
AI can help businesses and their employees to mitigate some of the trust issues by automating processes that can be automated, such as payroll apps, scheduling, timesheets, online leave management, and on-the-go workforce management. Four out of five employees believe that using AI technology would help improve their job performance, and employers could use these tools to rebuild the environment of trust between them and their employees.
Learn more about trusting WFH workers in the infographic below: