The COVID pandemic has changed much about how we get work done. For one thing, the huge shift from working in the office to working from home has brought many benefits as well as many challenges to the table.
In less than 24 months, the US workforce went from 4.1% working from home to 69% at the peak of the pandemic, and finally settling at 42% in 2021. Employees and their employers have each seen many benefits from this shift, and it seems as though we may never return to the old ways of doing business.
The majority of employees say that working from home has improved their job performance as they say they have the right tech at home, as well as adequate workspace. Employees also report being able to meet project deadlines and to work with fewer interruptions, as well as being motivated to get their work done. Not only this, but working from home has also increased job satisfaction, which in turn reduces turnover rates.
Of course, employers are also seeing benefits by saving thousands of dollars on overhead expenses. Employers can save 22 thousand dollars per full time employee and 11 thousand per part time employee for a national savings of $700 billion per year. This reduction in overhead costs also flows over to employees who are no longer spending money on things like gas for commuting. Remote employees can save anywhere between 2k and 7k per year.
Although the benefits are currently outweighing the issues that have risen in the transition to remote work, there are certainly some things to overcome. In 2021, 41% of employers have doubts about the work ethic of their employees and their employees are feeling the strain. Forty-eight percent of employees believe that trust between them and their employers has been negatively affected by the pandemic and 69% of managers are now uncomfortable with communications between them and their employees.
Sadly, the new lack of trust has given rise to micromanagement at greater levels since employees began working from home. Managers are exerting too much control and giving too much attention to detail which is causing a loss of morale and subsequently higher turnover rates.
Many of the issues that cause mistrust can be resolved with the use of AI. AI technologies can take the human factor out of some tasks that require no human intuition, such as creating timesheets, exporting to payroll apps, planning work schedules, among other things. AI can help remove the issues that cause lack of trust and micromanagement, to help create a more balanced work environment.