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Negative Side Effects of Employees Working from Home

Discover the negative impacts of working from home and how to address these challenges while keeping employees satisfied with work-from-home policies.


As of June 2020, it’s estimated that almost 66,000,000 people — or 42% of the American workforce — are now working from home. (Stanford’s Institute of Economic Policy Research).

Many companies and businesses have been able to reduce expenses associated with employees having to physically come to the workplace, and have now adopted permanent work-from-home policies as a result. But oftentimes, businesses have failed to ask one very important question before committing to a "work from home" culture:

“How does working from home impact employee morale?”

According to a recent study by Slack, there are 3 major negative impacts employees deal with while working from home:

  • A reduced sense of belonging;
  • Lower productivity;
  • A lower overall work satisfaction;

Additionally, the negative impact of working from home is twice as likely to affect newer employees with less work experience.

So, how can businesses adopt work-from-home policies? And, at the same time, how can companies make sure employees are satisfied with their work-from-home situation?


1. Communication is Key

As companies utilize tools such as Zoom, Slack, and Skype so that department employees can keep in touch with each other, they may fail to recognize that more communication from management and senior leadership roles is actually critical in keeping everyone on the same page — and happy.

While employees may chat with their direct reports and coworkers on a more regular basis, access to leadership and other departments within the company may naturally feel more restrictive. Unfortunately, that quarterly newsletter from the CEO (which very few employees may actually read), is just not going to cut it these days.


2. Increased Transparency

It’s no secret — in 2021 and beyond, employee happiness is going to directly correlate with how transparent businesses are internally. It almost feels redundant at this point, but it’s important to reiterate that workplace transparency attracts talent, builds trust, and leads to increased efficiency and performance (especially with Millennials and Gen Z).


3. The Right Channel

The average office worker receives 121 emails each day. And because employees are working from home, work emails — and company newsletters — now compete for attention with the “latest deals from Costco” and all the other personal email solicitations employee inboxes receive on a daily basis.

Simply put, that newsletter from HR or the CEO might get lost in a sea of emails, and may not even be noticed anymore.

Explore options like an internal corporate podcast (What are Internal Podcasts?), video messages from the CEO, or any other rich media to keep employees both engaged and informed.

2020 has altered the way we communicate with one another. Millennials are the majority of the workforce, and their values and ways of communicating are not necessarily the same as previous generations, especially when you take the pandemic into consideration. Make sure your business maintains efficiency and profitability by communicating more effectively. If you do, you'll almost always achieve BETTER results.

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