Remote Work Best Practices Part 2 – Advantages and Drawbacks

Discover whether remote work is actually good for businesses.

We look at the impact on engagement, stress levels, productivity, and organisational citizenship – their willingness to do good things.

We also examine some of the potential downsides of remote work, and especially its impact on work relationships.

Watch the next video in the series here:

Part 3 – Two Key Measures of Remote Work Success

and the previous video here:

Part 1 – Remote Work Trends & The Great Resignation

And if you know of anyone who would benefit from this video, please share it with them.

Video Transcript

Benefits & Problems of Remote Work

Welcome to video number two in our eight video series on remote work, where we’ll be looking at what the world of research says about how to optimise remote work.

The topic of this one is, is remote work a good thing? You can see, we’ve dealt already you with a question in a previous video on trends in remote work, and we’ll be dealing with these in future videos.

So this video is specifically about is remote work a good thing? And the answer, like many things in the world of psychology is, of course, yes and no.

Advantages of remote work

And the yes bit is that people who work remotely find it easier to concentrate slightly higher engagement, less stress and exhaustion. Productivity is good or better and higher organisational citizenship behaviour than people working in offices.

So just to define organisational citizenship behaviour, organisational citizenship behaviour is where people spontaneously do good things. So they volunteer, they help their colleagues more, that kind of stuff. People tend to do that a little more when they’re working remotely than when they’re in the office.

And the idea is that maybe people feel that working from home is a particular benefit. So it kind of engenders a greater sense of generosity.

So in summary, if you take 1000 people who work in an office and send them to work remotely, they are, on average, a little better from a wellbeing point of view and a little better from a productivity point of view.

Now the point is and in the next video, I’ll talk a little bit more about this. There are some people who absolutely love and benefit enormously from working from home and others who hate it.

And we’ll explain why that is.

Downsides of remote work

But it’s not all good working from home because there’s lots of research evidence to suggest that you can end up with blurred boundaries between work and family. In other words, people’s family life kind of gets influenced by their work or perhaps even their work intrudes on their family life.

Too much teleworking can lead to worse relationships with colleagues. The idea here is that if you eyeball people, if you’re in the same room as them, if you have interactions with them, when you see their nonverbals in detail, you’re going to have a deeper relationship that just makes sense from a social psychology point of view.

So clearly, if you don’t interact with people at the human level, it makes it harder to have a really strong relationship with them.

And finally, some people are not suited to an environment of less interaction. And so that’s the Clarke et al article from 2012.

The next video is to talk a little bit more about success in remote work, what it is that causes people to have success in remote work.

And we’ll talk about wellbeing and productivity.

And then the next video after that is the one about what makes someone suited to remote work.

Watch the next video in the series to learn more:

Part 3 – Two Key Measures of Remote Work Success

Or watch the previous video about remote working:

Part 1 – Remote Work Trends & The Great Resignation

And if you’d like some help assessing whether your current employees or your future hires are suited to remote work, contact us for a free trial of our Remote Worker Test.