WFH and Its Effects on Colleague Communication
Working from home has been great for many people, businesses, and corporations because of its tremendous benefits. From workspace flexibility to reduced expenses on the infrastructure, many people are benefiting from this new lifestyle and way of work.
However, one thing has undergone significant transformations during this change in norms and that is the quality of communication between colleagues and employees in a workplace. Whether good or bad, work-from-home has had an impact on communication between colleagues in many ways. Also, if you have a slow internet connection then it is only going to add to the problem. Luckily, my Spectrum internet offer has been quite steady and reliable.
To prove how working from home has affected colleague communication, let’s have a look at both the both good and bad ways.
The Good Ways
Working remotely has had its pros in terms of communication, and there’s no denying that. Here are three major reasons why a lot of people have loved his new work style:
1) Communication Became Faster
WhatsApp, email, SMS, and Zoom communication is much faster than sending memos and visiting each other in their office rooms and cabins. People get replies and responses much faster. And thanks to the internet, they feel more connected than ever.
2) Use Of Manual Energy Reduced
In a typical office environment, having meetings and communicating with fellow employees requires manual effort. People need to get up, and visit each other repeatedly. Online communication has reduced manual effort by several folds since everyone can communicate while sitting where they are.
3) Paper And Materials Were Used Less; Infrastructure Expenses Were Reduced
Paper memos, files, folders, reminders, phone calls from one corner of the building to the other, all this wastage and materialistic expense has reduced ever since people started communicating online sitting in their homes. Files are now being sent, saved, and processed digitally without wasting any papers or other stationery items. As a result, businesses are going green, and it is all for the best, according to environmentalists.
The Bad Ways
Unfortunately, online communication and work-from-home have had more drawbacks and negative impacts on employee communication than its advantages. Here are five of the most important ones:
1) Screen Time Increases Massively
Indeed, people sitting in offices were already exposed to computers and screens. However, work-from-home has only turned the bad into worse. The few off-screen breaks that involved coffee breaks and employee communication in a typical corporate environment now also involve phone and laptop screens. For many hours in a day, employees have no off-screen breaks.
2) Setting Boundaries Can Be Hard
In a typical office environment, when employees leave the office, they are not expected to be available for communication until the next day. Instead, they are advised to spend their time away from work to recharge and come back fresh-minded and productive.
In many business settings and offices, this has changed since people started working from home. They are now expected to be available for online communication 24/7, and it has been hard for many employees to set personal boundaries.
3) Feeling Of Isolation Grows Over Time
The most significant advantage of working in an office setting is moral support, social interaction, and the feeling of being surrounded by fellows. Ever since people have started working from home, they have been isolated, spending hours in front of a screen without any social interaction whatsoever.
While they try to stay in touch using online communication like WhatsApp, Zoom, and other platforms, it is still not nearly the same experience. Social interaction is essential for humans, especially those who like to work in teams.
4) Online Communication Has Its Pros & Cons
One of the biggest drawbacks of online communication is the possibility of miscommunication and misunderstanding. Since one cannot interpret body language and tone of voice through online messages and emails, employees’ relationships have been severely impacted.
The chances of miscommunication and misinterpretation are very high. People have to be extra cautious about what they say and how they say it, but the risk of sounding harsh, offensive, or misunderstood remains constant.
5) Network Issues Can Be a Hassle
It is not hot news that online communication requires consistent, high-quality network connections. Unfortunately, however, it is not always possible for employees to control their network. Due to this, not attending meetings, replying late to urgent messages and emails, and misunderstanding what is being communicated are only some of the many problems that arise from a problematic network.
Working from home and communicating online has impacted the relationships and communication quality between colleagues and employees everywhere. However, it is safe to say that many of these issues are arising because people are not used to this lifestyle. Since speculations and research indicate that the future will probably involve online businesses and remote jobs, it is safe to say that humans will get over these problems and create ideal solutions for them in the years to come.