Why remote employees waste more than an hour a day showing productivity

81% of workers believe they are more productive and create higher quality results when they have more flexibility (Getty)

The pandemic forever revolutionized the way of working around the world, extending digital and remote links to their maximum expression. However, it seems that old habits still persist and the pressure to fake productivity behind the screen is exhausting many workers.

54% of workers feel pressured to show that they are online at certain times of the day, spending an additional 67 minutes connected daily to show their colleagues and bosses that they are still around and “on the job”, according to a comprehensive report from consultancies Qatalog and GitLab between 1,000 American and 1,000 British employees.

“The dramatic workplace changes of the pandemic gave us a unique opportunity to reshape the way we work forever. We could have restructured the work to be asynchronousletting us build the work around our lives, but we fail”he pointed Tariq Rauf, CEO of Qatalog in the presentation of the study.

Valuing personal time for oneself, family, partner and friends is a deep mark left by the pandemic
Valuing personal time for oneself, family, partner and friends is a deep mark left by the pandemic

Faced with this scenario of opportunities, the specialist warned: “Our research shows that we are falling back into old habits, that we should have let go of when we had the chance”.

According to this research, more flexibility and asynchronous tasks will be the form that work will take in the futuresomething that aligns with employee expectations. But it is not easy to implement and, even with the best of intentions, companies still encounter barriers to asynchronous work. The main barriers are digital presenteeism and the failure of technology.

Informal norms and technological challenges mean that many workers feel required to prove that they are busy and online during normal working hours. They are remote but not asynchronous, which negates many of the benefits of a remote configuration.

Remote workers spend an additional 67 minutes connected daily to show their bosses that they are still present and
Remote workers spend an additional 67 minutes connected daily to show their bosses that they are still present and “working” (Getty)

More than half of the workers (54%) said that their colleagues are stuck in old habits and nearly two-thirds of people (63%) believe that bosses within their organization prefer a traditional culture with employees in the office. And when employees can’t be in the office, presenting as ‘online’ is likely the next best thing,” the report noted.

The digital presenteeism is ubiquitouswith employees working an extra hour each day to show that they are still online and contributing, due to the fear that colleagues and bosses will think they are not working hard enough hardeither.

The asynchronous job occurs when members of the same team complete their work during different times of the day on their own schedule, and without the expectation of responding immediately to others, as you might do during virtual or face-to-face meetings, or instant messaging applications.

More than half of workers (54%) said that their colleagues are stuck in old habits (photo: Euroinnova)
More than half of workers (54%) said that their colleagues are stuck in old habits (photo: Euroinnova)

As detailed by the workers who participated in the report, the average knowledge worker receives notifications from six apps, and 73% of employees respond to these notifications outside of work hours, making it hard to log off.

Secondly81% of workers believe they are more productive and create higher quality results when they have more flexibility about when to work, and 65% of those who work asynchronously regularly said this had a positive impact on their well-being.

Valuing personal time for oneself, family, partner and friends is a deep mark left by the pandemic. And this is what the numbers reflect: 66% of workers said they would quit a job if their flexibility in choosing their hours was limitedand 43% would consider a lower paid position if it gave them more flexibility on when to work.

In closing, the report stated that “workers today are already demanding a greater flexibility. For future generations it will be non-negotiable. The old way of working is deadbut the future of work that we all want is not something that will just happen to us, it is something that we must actively and intentionally build.

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