This trendy remote work practice is killing productivity

A new survey conducted by Gartner HR Research suggests that many firms are having trouble applying traditional work models to a remote work setup. The net effect of this problem sees employees feeling undervalued by their employers which can, in turn, encourage them to phone in their performances.

Tracking may be a productivity killer

More specifically, the new report revealed that companies that use tracking systems to gauge how long their staff is working per day actually make employees nearly two times more likely to pretend to be working.

Moreover, employees who spend more time in virtual meetings were determined to be 1.24 times more likely to feel emotionally drained from their daily tasks.

“To succeed in a hybrid future, organizations must stop duplicating office-centric practices and shift to a human-centric model,” the authors wrote.

“Organizations largely recreated features of the office – virtualizing on-site practices, adding monitoring systems, and increasing meetings – in response to the large-scale shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These methods have exacerbated existing fatigue among employees.”

How employees really feel about remote work

The authors polled 2,400 workers back in January. Although 4% of the workers queried said that they never want to return to full-time in-office work, a much larger majority have concerns with the way their respective firms handle telework. Most seemed to champion a hybrid work model.

 Although 68% of the HR leaders surveyed said that many managers are overwhelmed by their weekly responsibilities in today’s hybrid work model, only 14% of organizations have made changes to managerial roles to address this concern.

A hybrid WFH model describes a system that permits some employees to work remotely while others work on-site. How often remote work is allowed and who is allowed to partake in it is typically at the discretion of the employer.

It’s not enough to implement a hybrid WFH model, it’s also important that managers adopt the following techniques:

Providing employee-driven flexibility

“Employee-driven flexibility enables individuals to integrate personal and professional obligations to achieve work-life harmonization. In fact, organizations with high levels of flexibility are almost three times more likely to see high employee performance,” the authors continued.

Driving empathy-based management

In general, US workers appear to be mixed about what kind of impact remote operations has on their productivity and the quality of their output.

Even the most optimistic projections more often than not concede that there are still some kinks to iron out for companies looking to commit to hybrid WFH models indefinitely.

The vast majority of these kinks pertain to altering or outright eliminating in-office specific protocols.

“Force-fitting a design created for a different environment exacerbates fatigue, and fatigue impacts many talent outcomes. When employees experience high levels of fatigue, employee performance decreases by up to 33%, feelings of inclusion decrease by up to 44%, and employees are up to 54% less likely to remain with their employer,” the authors of the new report concluded.

Many employees have said they would rather quit their jobs than return to an office. In a poll commissioned by Wisetail with OnePoll in March, if workers were asked to return to the office today, more than a third of Americans said they would quit immediately. Many would also take a pay cut as remote work has brought a sense of freedom and more work-life balance for many people.

However. the remote office setup or even a hybrid model has its own set of problems