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The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the global workforce in ways that will likely never reverse course. Although there was remote work before the pandemic, there are many more remote jobs now. They are also more in demand than ever.
Workers realized that they value the freedom that working from home gives them, and many employers realized that letting their workers work from home was cheaper and more beneficial than having them come to the office.
However, as with anything, there are a few downsides to be aware of with this new work environment. There are some very real dangers that anyone working from home or supervising workers who work from home must be aware of.
Related: What Nobody Tells You About Remote Work
1. The lack of human interaction in real life can be psychologically dangerous
Although Zoom and other video conferencing software can make working from home more engaging than simple phone calls or emails, the emotional and mental stability of employees working remotely is something every leader needs to be aware of.
The American Psychiatric Association conducted a survey last year that found that remote workers often suffer from isolation and loneliness. Worse, the same study found that the number of employers offering remote workers access to mental health services has actually declined since the pandemic began. The study found that only 20% of employers offered this service a year after the pandemic began. This contrasted with 35% of employers providing mental health services at the start of the pandemic.
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2. Teleworkers find it difficult to unplug and get away from work
Although today’s workers often complain that they can’t get away from work these days due to the proliferation of smartphones and employers using email outside of work hours, this problem is worse for remote workers who are literally always just a few steps from their Office are removed, even more serious moment.
“Off the clock” limits should always be observed and respected by employers and employees working from home need to be aware of this fact. Management must respect employees’ time and help them get much-needed downtime when they are away from home.
It’s important to take breaks and keep the work office just that – just a workspace if possible. Don’t get into the routine of doing your work in the living room or at the dining table; This will serve to create an association in your mind that you should work when you are in these places. This association should be avoided at all costs.
Related: Remote work is here to stay: Are you ready for the new way of life?
3. Remote work can cause anxiety
Although social interactions and commuting to work can create anxiety for many workers, the reverse is true for many American workers as well. Remote work can often be a cause for anxiety. A survey last fall found that 47% of telecommuters suffer from anxiety. This fear can lead to depression, irritability, sadness, and panic attacks.
As mentioned in the previous point, one of the biggest risk factors for anxiety is the fact that one’s home is the office and workers often feel like they cannot withdraw from work. The prevailing feeling among teleworkers is that they always have to be working on something instead of taking a break. Just passing by the home office can become a source of anxiety for some.
4. There are heightened security risks for remote workers
Remote workers need to be aware of cybersecurity risks by keeping their computer networks safe and secure, not only for their data but that of their employer as well. Because of this, employers should ensure that the right infrastructure is in place for an employee’s home office, and if not, compensate the employee for installing what needs to be installed to protect their information.
Hackers realize that remote workers are a gold mine and will target this sector accordingly. Executives can help their employees stay protected while working remotely by providing them with guidance to stay current on cybersecurity and best practices for navigating the remote work environment. A good IT staff isn’t just there to support people in the office; IT staff must also be accessible to your remote workers.
There is no question that remote work will forever be a part of our lives. The pandemic has changed the way many companies monitor their workforce and the resources required to keep their employees onsite. That being said, every major shift in the workforce throughout history has come with some dangers. Keep these pitfalls in mind as our new normal becomes permanent.
Related: Why a secure remote environment is more important now than ever