Remote work appears to be taking a tool on many individuals, with the loss of face-to-face interactions resulting in reduced emotional engagement.
That’s according to a Jones Lang LaSalle study of 3,300 former office workers from around the world. It found that 66% of respondents cited “human interactions” as the element they miss the most since they began working by remote. Collective face-to-face work was cited by another 46% of respondents, while 46% also miss having clear personal and professional boundaries, the survey found.
Dan Adamski, senior managing director at JLL, said the research shows that office employees are consistently experiencing feelings of “disengagement and virtual fatigue”.
“Long-term remote work leads to disconnection from colleagues, and employees lacking a sense of purpose in their organization, all of which contribute to higher turnover,” he insisted.
The survey found that just36% of office workers believe they have managed to maintain strong working and personal relationships while working remotely. According to JLL’s researchers, this could lead to higher turnover and burnout, the result of which could lead to reduced productivity.
Other negatives of remote work include a declining number of employees who feel more productive at home versus working in the office. Just 37% of respondents said they feel more productive at home, compared to 48% from JLL’s previous survey in April 2020.
Adamski said the loss of face-to-face interactions and the resulting fatigue and disengagement is expected to be a driver for many workers to want to return to the office.
JLL said it’s confident the office will remain a key element of any healthy business. However, offices will become more of a hub than a permanent workspace, and employers will need to focus on health, well-being and flexible work arrangements to keep their employees happy after they’ve spent so much time working from home.