Prevent the disintegration caused by working from home

Mark Gray5 March 2021

Working from home. We have a tendency to just look at the physical impact: what does it mean in terms of our office if people work more from home. And what we need to make possible to give people a good home office. Of course, these sorts of question are important since, as everyone expects, we will work more from outside of the office after Corona.

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Work is more business-like

Twelve months of enforced home-working have had a huge impact on our work – on matters that are important for efficiency and effectiveness in work. Behaviour has changed. We are involved in new activities. And we see that work has become far more business-like: we struggle online to retain personal contact, and so to really connect with our colleagues and managers.

No social cohesion? No organisation

In recent months, three issues that are essential for a well-functioning organisation have been receiving an increasing focus: social cohesion, involvement and our wellbeing. Social cohesion of a team’s or organisation’s cement and is essential if we are to work together effectively. Involvement relates to whether employees are genuinely connected to the objectives of the team or organisation. This should not be confused with engagement, which relates to whether you are connected to the content of your daily work, like the doctor focusing on his patient. Wellbeing is a combination of feeling good physically, satisfaction and the experience of job happiness.

You will find a summary of recent research into homeworking during the lockdown and prior scientific research into new ways of working in our whitepaper Work and organisation post Corona. >>>

The real costs of working from home

It seems we are more negative about all three than we were a years ago. Research shows that we are less involved in our team and organisation, that social cohesion has fallen and that our wellbeing has dropped. This is all caused by the fact that we see one another less physically. It’s also referred to as the cost of working from home.

Invest in connection

It’s certainly fair to say that collaborating online, certainly on a scale as during Corona, has led to different behaviour. And because behaviour is the most practical expression of an organisation’s culture, our culture’s have changed slowly too. If the future of work and organisations is to be hybrid, investing in culture is going to be essential. In other words – different behaviour: connecting with colleagues, connecting to teams’ and organisational objectives, and last but certainly not least – connecting with yourself.

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