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How To Increase Your Relationship With Work From Home Employees

trusting wfh workers

The pandemic saw many changes to everyday life. One of the most notable changes was the shift from traditional work routines to a majority of people performing remote work. Before the pandemic, only about 4% of employees worked from home. In 2020 there was an increase to about 42%, and reached a peak of 69% of employees that work from home.

remote workers

The WFH Shift Was Sudden

This shift was a shock to not only the workers, but also employers who had to shift their entire model of assigning work. With the decreased interaction between employees, there has been a shift in the amount of trust between employers and their workers. 85% of employers have doubts regarding the leadership pipeline, and this distrust is amplified by the fact that 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with their employees. 

 

remote workers 2

Trust Issues and Micromanaging

This lack of communication leads to problems among workers as well as employers. 48% of employees have noticed a change of trust in their businesses. Much of this stems from a lack of communication. With employers less involved personally with workers, there has been an increase in the amount of micromanaging that happens. When managers don’t communicate their needs and expectations, workers are left to try and understand assignments on their own, which doesn’t always work out. This can lead to managers being too involved in their work and leads to even more problems.

 

Employees have noted many problems that can arise from micromanaging. The most worrying being 68% of workers reporting a significant decrease in morale. With morale already low in the uncertain times in the pandemic, keeping employees happy should be a priority for companies.  69% of employees have even thought of switching their jobs when they experience the pressure of micromanagement from their employers. 

 

This decrease in morale can lead to problems within the actual work that is being produced by workers. During the shift to working from home there was a reported 50% drop in productivity. This can be attributed to the difficulties of transitioning to a new way of working with the stress of micromanagement.

 

Conclusion

Employers must address trust issues as working from home continues to be a popular option for many employees. The simplest solution would be to simply increase communication. Actively explaining expectations and trusting employees to carry out those expectations takes the stress off of employers and allows for them to focus on other work. Just because there is less face to face interactions doesn’t mean that there needs to be less trust.

Employers should be available to help their workers when they need it. They should have enough trust to not micromanage all of their tasks. Uncertain times require changes in the workforce in order to make the transition smoother. This is true for both management as well as employees as they navigate the transition to working from home.

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading content marketing agency that makes the world's ideas simple, visual, and influential. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019-present.

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