NEW YORK – More than a year after moving to remote working, seven in ten employees feel more isolated than in the office. This is the result of a recent survey of 2,000 Americans working from home that looked at the social impact of being absent from work for more than a year.
Many reported missing simple things like face-to-face meetings (39%), office parties (35%), and happy hours after work (34%). It hasn’t been easier for people who recently took up remote positions. Only four percent of new hires find the virtual onboarding process easy compared to personal training. Others attributed this to not knowing how to get in touch with their colleagues.
The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Volley, also found that 63 percent felt less engaged with their team, as the average employee no longer felt connected by August 2020.
Returning to the office can be cumbersome and inconvenient
Only 14 percent of respondents say they are more confident when it comes to getting in touch with their colleagues. About as many (16%) believe that sudden office get-togethers would not be uncomfortable, as 82 percent of those who would find it uncomfortable avoided attending them for that reason alone.
In addition, two-thirds work directly with someone they cannot pick from a list and only recognize by name.
How can teams approach this? Three out of five find that the quality of communication with their colleagues is lacking and 77 percent agree that better communication leads to a better work culture.
“The two biggest challenges when working remotely are lack of communication and loneliness,” said Josh Little, founder and CEO of Volley, 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 the connection. “
Working from home difficulties
With the average employee switching between three work communication tools during the day, only 13 percent don’t feel overwhelmed by the number of messages in their inbox. More than three in five (64%) find chat and email communication more difficult than face-to-face meetings, as 72 percent believe that it’s not just what you say that matters, but how you say it.
Although almost all employees (91%) repeat messages and emails at least once a day for clarity, 87% experience misunderstandings on a weekly basis and nearly half (47%) say this happens four or more times a week. When tackling the challenges of chatting and emailing, only 15 percent found their time spent on meetings decreasing during the pandemic.
In fact, more than seven in ten (73%) use video calling by default when they want to communicate something important.
“The data shows that the existing communication tools are insufficient,” adds Little. “They 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. “
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