NEW YORK – More than a year after switching to telecommuting, seven in ten employees feel more isolated than in the office. This is what emerges from a recent survey of 2,000 Americans working from home, which explored the social impact of being absent from the workplace for more than a year.
Many reported missing out on simple things like face-to-face meetings (39%), office celebrations (35%), and happy hours after work (34%). It hasn’t been easier for people who have recently started a remote post. Only four percent of new hires find the virtual onboarding process easy, compared to in-person training. Others attributed this to not knowing how to communicate with their colleagues.
The eventual return to the office can be embarrassing, uncomfortable
Only 14% of respondents say they are more confident when it comes to socializing with their colleagues. About the same number (16%) thought that sudden meetings in the office wouldn’t be awkward, as 82% of those surveyed who would find it uncomfortable avoided attending them just for this reason.
In addition, two-thirds work directly with someone they would not be able to choose in a schedule and recognize only by name.
So how can teams solve this problem? Three in five find something missing in the quality of communication with their colleagues and 77 percent agree that better communication leads to a better work culture.
âThe two main challenges with remote work are the lack of communication and solitude“Josh Little, Founder and CEO of Volley, said in a statement.” We hear these concerns every day. That’s why people are looking for a solution like Volley – to improve communication and increase connection.
Work from home difficulties
While the average employee switches between three communication tools at work during their day, only 13% don’t feel overwhelmed by the number of messages in their inbox. More than three in five (64%) find chat and email harder than face-to-face meetings because 72 percent think it’s not just what you say, but how you say it that matters.
Although almost all workers (91%) retype messages and emails for clarity at least once a day, 87% experience communication problems every week and almost half (47%) say it does occurs four or more times a week. While facing the challenges of chat and email, only 15% saw their meeting time decrease during the pandemic.
In fact, more than seven in ten (73%) default to video calls when trying to communicate something important.
âThe data shows that existing communication tools are not enough,â adds Little. âThey were built for an old world with different needs. Today’s teams need a new way of communicating that gives them the richness of face-to-face interaction in an asynchronous format.