The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will always be remembered as one of the crucial turning points in human history. Like who thought that a microscopic virus could bring the whole world to a standstill just as we were marking the beginning of a new decade. It caused many businesses to either shut down or search for new ways to carry out their operations. And for those who choose the latter option took the online way facilitated by various cloud services.
The work culture as we knew before the pandemic is no longer valid at least till the time there’s a proper cure or maybe even after that as well. Work from home is the new normal and employees around the world are now trying to cope up with this disruptive shift.
As an employer who has taken the entire business online, you may feel that your employees are safe and enjoying a healthy work-life balance. It is true and there’s no doubt about it to a certain point but this is just one side of the coin. The other side counts in the various challenges that your employees have to deal with while they are in their virtual workspace which is hampering their overall work experience.
Hence, in this article, I’ll bring forward a few of these issues which require your immediate attention in order to hold your workforce together in this time of uncertainty.
5 Challenges Faced by Employees While Working Virtually
1. Feeling of Isolation
Even if your employees are connected virtually with their peers they are missing out on the human connection. We all have a certain limit to which we can keep up a rapport with our friends and colleagues using online platforms. Also, since everyone now has to deal with multiple things at the same time it’s really difficult to catch up with the team for spending some time around with casual chit chats.
As such they end up developing a feeling of isolation which negatively affects their morale at work. The same poses a threat to their mental wellbeing too as they don’t have their peers or friends to share thoughts with. Hence being a responsible employer you cannot afford to overlook this issue at all. For keeping this feeling of isolation away you can take several measures to either check on your employees individually from time to time or organize some virtual team building activities to cheer them up collectively.
2. Improper Communication
One of the hard-hitting points that often make working virtually quite impossible and frustrating is improper communication. Obviously, anyone would get fed up if they aren’t passed the correct information on time or if they’re constantly facing connectivity issues hindering their communication. As such, you must reassess the methods of communication with your remote employees to keep them connected during the work hours.
There are various cloud-based project management tools available now which allows you to maximize the level collaboration between your teams irrespective of their location. These tools help in keeping track of the progress made by individual employees or teams and it also allows them to communicate within the platform only so that they could function more efficiently.
Further, to ramp up the communication regime amongst your employees working from home you can create online groups where everyone can shoot their doubts or even indulge in casual conversations that would keep everyone in a good mood.
3. Disengagement at Work
Another issue associated with working virtually is you don’t know how your employees are feeling. When they’re near you can actually make out looking at them if they’re facing any issues. However, with everyone now behind the screens, it is almost impossible to know if they’re fine or they need any help from their superiors or peers.
The only way to check this issue is to hold employee engagement surveys frequently. By organizing such surveys you’ll be able to know what’s going on in your employees’ mind and the things they want you to address so that they are satisfied with their jobs and have confidence upon their employers.
4. Delayed Appreciation and Recognition
Recognition delayed is recognition denied.
It applies a lot to the virtual workspace where everyone is busy submitting their work on time without being acknowledged for their efforts. Within an office, you could go up to your employees and appreciate them for their work but in the virtual workspace this thing often goes missed out. Also, the actual impact of recognizing your employees is only visible when it is instant i.e. right after they have done something good. Hence, you must have proper employee rewards and recognition system where you can acknowledge their efforts instantly and at the same time motivate them with meaningful rewards.
The virtual work culture has totally disrupted the normal work schedule and no one can deny it. This issue existed earlier too but under the current circumstances, it has worsened with employees getting overwhelmed with more and more work. The employees working virtually now have no proper work schedule and for this, they are also not able to maintain their work-life balance. Therefore, you must encourage and also assist your employees to maintain a fixed schedule for getting their work done effectively or you can facilitate them with a flexible schedule which will help your employees cope up with the issue of overwork easily.