There is a lot of debate surrounding the topic of remote working and its effects on company culture. Some people believe that it harms the culture, while others feel it enhances it.
According to a survey conducted by HR systems provider Cezanne HR, 44% of UK and Ireland employees stated that remote working is detrimental to an organisation’s company culture. Furthermore, 31% felt that hybrid or remote work was harmful to them being able to develop great relationships with their colleagues.
While there are certainly benefits to remote working, it seems that this way of working is not without its drawbacks.
What are the Benefits of Remote Working?
Increased Flexibility, Productivity and Freedom
One of the main benefits of remote working is the increased flexibility and freedom it affords employees. With no need to commute to an office every day, workers can design their schedules and work from wherever they please.
This can lead to a more productive and positive work-life balance and improved mental health and well-being. As mentioned in an article by patient.info, a Microsoft survey published in February 2021 revealed 56% of homeowners felt much happier working remotely. People stated that they felt their stress levels would be reduced and would be much more motivated to work under less pressure.
Furthermore, remote working can help reduce transport costs as employees would no longer need to commute to the office daily, which can be beneficial to those who suffer from chronic illnesses.
The Ability to Attract a Global Talent Pool
With no need for employees to be based in one location, companies can hire the best workers anywhere.
The requirement for in-person interviews is arguably no longer essential, at least during the COVID-19 pandemic era anyway, since, with access to online communication tools such as Zoom, organisations will be able to conduct online interviews at any time with prospective candidates from across the globe.
What are the Drawbacks of Remote Working?
A Decline in Company Structure
Remote working can make it difficult for companies to maintain a clear hierarchical structure. This is because employees cannot interact with each other daily and may feel less connected to the company.
This can lead to confusion and frustration amongst employees and a general feeling of being disconnected from the company. As reiterated in Cezanne’s survey, 63% of employees believe that the physical workspace is essential for positive company culture.
This is especially true for older employees, with 85% of those aged 54 or over feeling that the physical place of work is vital, and you can visit here for details of the report.
Isolation and Lack of Supervision
Working remotely can sometimes make employees feel isolated from their colleagues. This can damage morale and lead to a feeling of disconnection from the company. Another drawback of remote working is that managers can make it difficult to supervise their employees. This is because they cannot see what their employees are doing daily.
This can lead to a decline in productivity for some people and may even result in employees taking advantage of the situation.
Overall, there are both benefits and drawbacks to remote working. While it can be a great way to increase flexibility and freedom, it can also lead to isolation and a decline in company culture.
It is essential to weigh the pros and cons of remote working before deciding if it is suitable for your company and whether it plays a huge part in the company’s long-lasting culture.