Remote Work: The Dangers
This year was the year of remote working and work-from-home strategies. Largely due to the restriction on movement needed as the Coronavirus spread but the massive adoption is also attributed to the economic losses that several people and companies suffered.
Several benefits await those who take the virtual workspace as the new normal but this bed is not all rosy. Therefore in the paragraphs below, we would be addressing the dangers that can affect an unsuspecting remote team.
At this point, a disclaimer comes up; this article is not to discourage any company, team, or employee from taking this as their new mode of employment, neither is it another "technology is ruining the world" argument. Rather, it is important to understand that they exist so as not to be caught unawares.
Working from home negates the lack of human interactions between colleagues. As social animals, humans mostly do not do well with isolation. Office friendships and relationships may seem frivolous but they contribute a lot to making work-life enjoyable for employees. Moreover, this distance can weaken trust between colleagues and so make collaboration more difficult.
Close on the heels of the first is that the absence of physical workspaces brings in Distraction. The presence of a constant, unchanging environment actually motivates employees and this is sorely lacking in most remote setups. When one considers the absence of social pressure in form of physical supervision, it is pretty obvious why most remote workers are unable to focus on their duties and become less productive with their time.
3. Outdated personal equipment
For those who can become motivated, another issue becomes that they may be using obsolete equipment. Companies invest a lot of resources into the devices present in the office and most employees are unable to do the same at a personal level. Of course, remote working actually requires a set of tools that an employee may not have beforehand. This limits the capabilities they have to do their jobs correctly and can inhibit necessary communication between co-workers and superiors.
Lastly and this is quite a dangerous one, remote work can present its own set of security challenges. Secure internet is not readily available to everyone and most remote workers usually transfer sensitive information over public networks like those found in cafes. Those who work from home are more likely to use computers and devices that are shared with others.
Regardless of the approaches we take, the above could still apply as the world undoubtedly becomes more digital. A wise approach would be to critically study these dangers and then plan on how their presence can be reduced or altogether avoided.