UNITED STATES—We are living in highly unprecedented times with businesses operating remotely and students attending lectures virtually. The COVID19 pandemic and its subsequent waves have necessitated that we not step out of our homes and maintain social distance until absolutely necessary.
Although this shift to remote work is something most office-going employees have secretly enjoyed, it has eventually led to a decline in their engagement levels. Employees are now feeling lonely and depressed because of working in isolation.
Let’s look at the major reasons for virtual employees becoming disengaged.
- Poor management:
The biggest reason for virtual employee disengagement is poor work organization. When managers fail to clearly define goals and set expectations, employees are left confused about their role within the project. This leads to them eventually losing interest in their work and not delivering it on time.
- Lack of clear communication:
Managers failing to communicate important project details can cause conflicts among employees. It also reduces their ability to collaborate as they are not aware of crucial project details. This makes them feel they are not trusted to do their job well and causes them to withdraw from their work.
One of the top causes of employee disengagement in both remote as well as office work cultures is micromanaging managers. It is obvious for managers to feel concerned about a virtual employee’s work progress when they are out of sight. But seeking constant updates only makes them feel frustrated and shows a lack of freedom.
- Lack of social engagement:
Working alone away from the workplace and coworkers makes employees feel lonely. The isolation makes them disinterested in their work and reduces their will to perform. Virtual employees are also known to procrastinate work because no manager is around them waiting for them to finish their tasks.
- No growth opportunities:
Employees today want to stay updated with the latest industry trends and keep expanding their skill sets. When a company fails to give them opportunities to grow, they feel stagnated and disengage from their work. This can be easily changed with the help of tools like Skilljar that enable businesses to offer an immersive online learning experience to their employees.
- Not receiving feedback:
Employees value manager feedback to understand how to optimize their performance and deliver better results. It helps them understand what they are doing wrong and how they can work on themselves or learn certain skills to change that. But if the manager fails to share feedback, employees feel undervalued and ignored.
- Constant work stress:
Probably the most common reason for employee disengagement is a stressful work environment. Every job comes with a certain degree of stress, but constant work stress can lead to health issues and make it difficult for employees to even get a good night’s sleep. This can reduce their focus and make it difficult for them to perform well at work.
- Poor work-life balance:
With employees working from home, the boundaries between personal and professional life start blurring. Employees start reading emails late at night in bed and start answering calls during post-work hours, causing them to be bound by work all the time. When virtual employees fail to set boundaries, it can lead to poor work-life balance which affects their engagement levels.
It is quite natural to feel a lack of motivation when you are away from the office space. There is no one watching employees and monitoring their work output. Add to that the fact that there are lesser chances of work recognition. All of these combined can cause an employee to disengage from their work.