CBIZ Gibraltar Insights And Resources

Disadvantages of Working Remotely

Disadvantages of working remotely 100% of the time:

  • Workers who are 100% remote tend to have lower employee engagement
    • According to Gallup research, those with remote work options have the highest employee engagement, while those with no remote option and those who work remotely 100% of the time have lower employee engagement.
  • A study of over 2,000 remote employees by Future Workplace, a New York City-based HR executive network and research, firm found: 
  • Two-thirds of remote workers are not engaged.
  • Only 5% always or very often see themselves working at their company for their entire career, compared to almost one-third that work in the office.
  • Missed opportunity to collaborate face-to-face with teams and build deeper relationships.
    • Although 40% of remote workers said it would help build deeper relationships, one-third never have any face time with their team, per the Future Workplace/Virgin Pulse study.
    • Losing those casual collisions and being near coworkers also makes it more challenging to stay up to date on what others are working on
  • Remote workers miss out on being part of a community which can often lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
    • It’s easy for employees to feel like they’re part of a company’s bigger picture when they’re in the office and brainstorming with coworkers every day. Remote work can make it more difficult for an employee to feel connected to and involved with daily company happenings, which can ultimately lower morale.
    • A Gallup study of 1,900 remote workers around the world found that when asked to name the biggest struggle with working remotely, 21% named “loneliness.”
    • According to the Buffer State of Remote Report 2020, the top three disadvantages to working from home for remote employees are loneliness (20%), collaboration and communication (20%), and not being able to unplug (18%).
  • Innovation and creative thinking often happen in person in small groups
    • Research shows that what remote workers gain in productivity, they often miss in harder-to-measure benefits like creativity and innovative thinking. Studies have found that people working together in the same room tend to solve problems more quickly than remote collaborators, and that team cohesion suffers in remote work arrangements.
  • Remote work does not work for everyone. It is largely dependent on an individual’s job responsibilities, experience, comfort level and capacity
  • Studies by Judith Olson, a distance-work expert and professor at the University of California Irvine, found that those most likely to succeed at working remotely are people who are self-directed, have worked with others at the main worksite before, have similar work styles, like one another, have access to high-end technology that helps them collaborate, and are highly skilled at using that technology. But a situation in which all these factors are present is rare, the researchers found. And if some of these factors are missing, it creates “strain on the relationships among teammates and require[s] changes in the work or processes of collaboration.”