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Your Modern Work Environment: The Good and the Bad

The modern workplace looks different than anyone could ever have imagined just a few short years ago. What should business owners know about their remote teams? Here’s a look at both the good and the bad of some current modern work environment trends.

The Good: Remote Work is Here to Stay

What initially started as a wild scramble to keep workers connected and working while separated has turned into a far more permanent solution.  This is great news for businesses who are looking to save money, increase productivity, and retain employees.

No surprise that most modern workers expect remote options now. In fact, if given a choice between an employer that offers a telecommuting option and one that doesn’t, 71% of workers said they would take the job that offers remote work.

Happy, productive employees? More money back into your budget? This is a win for both employers and their employees.

The Bad: The Modern Work Environment Has Changed Employee Health and Safety Concerns

Stress and isolation are leading to depression among remote employees

Health and safety used to be an OSHA concern and if organizations wanted to stay compliant, they only needed to be up to speed on safety measures throughout the office. Most modern workers are working from home now, and employers are facing an entirely new health concern.

A recent study found that 46% of employees are experiencing some form of mental health issues; stress and isolation are leading to depression among remote employees.

Businesses are addressing their employees’ emotional status by including questions in evaluation, providing free video therapy, and free telehealth resources for employees.

Returning to work is just as frightening for employees, though, with  39% of employees still expressing fear  over returning to the office.

The Good: Globally Dispersed Work Forces

The modern work environment has allowed employers to widen their job searches in ways that were unthinkable in a traditional workplace. This allows organizations to hire employees from outside a fixed geolocation, meaning the odds of finding “the right fit” for job openings just got a lot better.

For the employees, this new workplace gives them the freedom to relocate. In 2019, over 14 million employees were considering a move with remote work enabling lifestyle changes in ways never before possible.

The Bad: A Modern Work Environment Can Cause a Widening Gap Between Management and Workers

Most modern workers are as productive in a work-from-anywhere environment as they are working from the office, and in face, according to an Iconic IT survey, 54% of employees are just as, if not more, productive when working remotely.

Managers and co-workers may continue to look at each other with suspicion, though: out of sight means not working, right? Not at all, but you need to establish a good two-way line of communication. Justin Hale, training designer and researcher for VitalSmarts, explains, “The most successful managers are good listeners, communicate trust and respect, inquire about workload and progress without micromanaging, and err on the side of over-communicating,” said Justin Hale.

The Good: Most Modern Workers Work Longer Hours

The remote modern work environment means that your employees will work longer hours. EBN reports that employees work up to 26 extra hours a month. These extra hours are due to a lack of commuting, lowered call-out days, and even less vacation days. New technologies also help streamline and automate work so employees get more done.

Most modern workers aren’t paying attention to the clock anymore; remote work gives the flexibility to daily schedules that allow them to log in earlier, work through lunch, and work later.

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