Loneliness leads to isolation, which then leads to burnout and disengagement on the job.
Feeling isolated at work can be the difference between loving your job and dreading the thought of Monday morning. According to new data from global staffing firm Randstad USA and Apartment Guide, a majority of workers want flexibility, but many admitted to distractions and difficulty disconnecting at the end of the day when working from home:
- 57 % admit to doing household chores like laundry, cleaning, or cooking while working from home.
- 32 % admit to getting distracted by the TV.
- 29 % have had a pet or child disrupt a work call.
- 44 % prefer working in the office because it's easier to disconnect from their jobs.
Disengagement and burnout
While working from home can counteract some transportation expenses, it can also lead to detachment, especially among younger workers: 43 % of Gen-Z workers admit they get lonely working from home, compared with 26 % of all workers. This leads to an increased risk of disengagement and even burnout— a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.
"Managers with remote workers can take steps to promote as much collaboration and face time as possible with teammates to combat isolation," said Jim Link, chief human resources officer at Randstad North America. Here are five strategies that may help managers retain and engage their virtual workers:
Regularly recognizing your remote employees' contributions can prevent them from feeling invisible, isolated, or underappreciated -- feelings that may impact remote employee retention.
- Continuous recognition
Whether for an employee retreat, town hall, or holiday party, getting everyone together under one roof at least once per quarter will create a sense of community, promote team bonding, and boost employee morale. These in-person meetings are also an excellent place to showcase those employee accomplishments.
- In-person meetings once a quarter
Too often, remote workers are left out of the loop because they're not physically present. But just like traditional, in-office employees, remote workers want clear expectations for the job and access to information. When they have questions or concerns, they want to know exactly where to go, whom to talk to, and how to initiate conversations or requests.
- Open channels of communication
Prioritizing daily check-ins lets remote employees know they're a critical part of the team -- and ensures that they stay aligned and accountable as things change. Since remote teams may be geographically dispersed and in different time zones, it's helpful to assign a group of people at corporate to be "on-call" during regular business hours.
- Frequently scheduled check-ins
Remote workers can often feel disconnected from their peers at the office. Even worse is the feeling that they're merely cogs in the machine, called on to do specific tasks without being given any attention in the process. The key is to make them feel valued, not forgotten, by assigning more responsibility that gives them purpose and adds meaning to their work and career development. Managing Generation Z in the workplace can seem like quite the monumental task, and older managers may not know how to deal with this incoming group. However, as with the groups that preceded them, the traits of Generation Z can be harnessed for the benefit of their future employers. By transforming the opportunities you present to them into viable career paths, and helping this group nurture and develop its talents and motivations, the transformation that your organization will witness will far surpass the monetary benefit from these future work arrangements.
- Challenging work assignments
https://www.facebook.com/cakehr. (2018, April). Essential Tips to Engage Generation Z in the Workplace - CakeHR Blog. Retrieved November 22, 2019, from CakeHR Blog | Easy to implement HR tips! website: https://blog.cake.hr/essential-tips-to-engage-manage-generation-z-workplace/
Lareche, W. (2019). Randstad US and apartment guide survey reveals how rising living expenses impact americans’ work and housing decisions. Retrieved November 22, 2019, from Randstadusa.com website: https://rlc.randstadusa.com/press-room/press-releases/randstad-us-and-apartment-guide-survey-reveals-how-rising-living-expenses-impact-americans-work-and-housing-decisions-1
Schwantes, M. (2019, July). Study Says 43 Percent of Gen-Z Workers Admit They Get Lonely While Working From Home. Here’s What Great Managers Are Doing About It. Retrieved November 22, 2019, from Inc.com website: https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/study-43-percent-of-gen-z-workers-admit-they-get-lonely-while-working-from-home-and-what-great-managers-are-doing-about-it.html