It's been three months since the U.S. slowly shut down businesses, offices, and workplaces to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. During this time, many workers were forced to adjust to remote working situations in a matter of days. At first, the benefits of cutting down on commuting time and increasing family time seemed obvious; however, reports show that an inevitable slump is right around the corner.
Despite its upsides, working from home has its downfalls. According to the New York Times, RLM Public Relations experienced negative results when it allowed its employees to work remotely on Fridays. "Every weekend became a three-day holiday," Founder and CEO Richard Laermer revealed. "I found that people work so much better when they're all in the same physical space."
Research from Gartner suggests that 41% of employees will continue to work from home, up from 30% before the pandemic. However, new research from Palo Alto-based company Names & Faces reveals that remote work has increased employee dissatisfaction.
In a survey of 2,400 workers across the U.S. and U.K. conducted by the firm, employees reported a reliance on pre-existing relationships to get work done, with 75% of people saying they are more productive in the office because they know at least half of the people in the company. In the U.S., this is as high as 84%, with 54% saying they recognize most or even all of the people in their company.
Founded in 2016, Names & Faces hopes to use their suite of tools to help companies build directories of teams to help people find one another and feel more welcomed while encouraging genuine interactions. The company's survey coincides with the launch its latest offering, which allows organizations to turn HR data into an accessible visual index of everyone in their organization, what their role is, and how they can help.
Visibility is essential in organizations that have pivoted to remote working situations, as 64% of those surveyed suggested that feeling invisible directly resulted in a drop in productivity.
"Knowing colleagues, feeling seen, and being able to find and identify people in an organization is critical," said Gabrielle Adams, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Psychology and Director of Executive Education at the University of Virginia. "It contributes to a greater sense of belonging and elevates a team from simply completing set tasks to being motivated to support their whole organization in achieving its goals. If the future of work is indeed remote working, then companies must create an organizational climate and culture that facilitates this sense of belonging and bolsters employee visibility."