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The pandemic forced businesses and employees to adopt the virtual workplace overnight. Remote work quickly became the standard, leaving little time to prepare employees for this new way of working. Many employees realized the benefits of remote work like a better work-life balance and the flexibility to work their own hours. Others, especially those newer to the workforce, struggled with the lack of social interaction and burnout. As the world continues to reopen and remote options become a permanent fixture of the modern office, it is important that businesses are aware of the downsides of remote work when deciding how to enable workplace flexibility.

Socially Remote

With the move to remote work, the social aspects of office culture have become harder to replicate. Those working from home often experience feelings of isolation and loneliness which can take a toll on their productivity as well as their mental and physical well-being. In a poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, nearly two-thirds of remote workers experienced these feelings some of the time and 17% felt them all the time. Creating an inclusive hybrid culture can help address these problems.

Professional Growth

Workplace social opportunities are pivotal in relationship building and career growth. However, the networking and mentorship opportunities vital to professional development aren’t easy to access when working remotely. Remote employees miss out on the countless daily interactions that occur in office settings. These seemingly small social interactions play a significant role in building rapport with coworkers. This can also make it difficult for new hires and younger employees to form bonds with a company and its culture.

No generation has been more impacted by this than Gen Z. A growing number of young employees have never worked in an office. They graduated during the pandemic or started jobs as business closed and transitioned to remote work. While many argue that remote work can harm their professional and personal lives in the future by missing office work, research suggests it may also lead to retention issues for employers. In a recent Bankrate survey, 77% of Gen Z workers plan to look for a new job in the next year.

Burnout

Blurred lines between home and office, longer working hours, less time off, and feeling cut off from peers and management can lead to burnout for remote workers. A survey by Indeed found that 52% of respondents experienced burnout in 2021, up from 43% in 2020. Younger employees who struggle to adhere to work-life boundaries are particularly susceptible to this with 58% of Gen Z respondents reporting burnout.

Hybrid Solutions Address Remote Concerns

Despite these negatives, 87% of employees want to retain workplace flexibility post-pandemic. A popular solution to this problem is the hybrid work model, which allows for in-person meetings or in-office days while still offering the flexibility of remote work. Learn how Kollective solves for hybrid work.

Kollective Empowers Hybrid Strategies

While a hybrid workplace can be a buffer against many of the downsides of fully remote work, it can also put a strain on systems not prepared for this scenario. Live video plays an integral role in synchronous communications for the hybrid workplace, and corporate networks are often overtaxed when delivering bandwidth-intensive video. Even a small number of employees streaming a live event or on-demand video can overload a network. The recent comments by Google’s CEO highlight this concern, predicting that employees will come in less than before but en masse when they do, thus creating peak demand problems for networks. Networks need to be optimized with an enterprise content delivery network (ECDN), to ensure every employee receives the same high-quality video.

Employees expect a seamless video communications experience – their engagement and retention depend on it. Poor content delivery interrupts communications, inhibits collaboration, and stalls innovation. Kollective’s Edge Accelerator offers complete coverage to reliably deliver video to your entire workforce without investing in additional infrastructure. Our multiple delivery methods can be configured or combined to meet the needs of even the most complex networks. With Kollective’s ECDN in place, flawless communications reach every employee.