In the past, remote work and working from home were seen as a perk. Employees who worked from home were thought to be lucky. But now, with so many people working from home, it has become the norm. And while this still may seem like a good thing at first glance, there are actually many challenges that come with it.
In this blog, we will look at some of the changes in the workplace as a result of the rise of working from home and why it is essential to have a support system in place to help navigate these changes. Peer groups and networking groups can be extremely helpful in this regard!
The rise of working from home
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to allow their employees to work from home. And while this arrangement has some advantages, it also comes with a unique set of challenges – challenges that most business leaders are ill-equipped to deal with.
The PROS of working from home
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of WFH is that it can save on office space and related costs. Businesses can reduce their overhead expenses with less need for physical office space.
Additionally, employees who work from home often enjoy increased flexibility and a better work-life balance. They can take breaks when necessary and are not tied to a strict 9-to-5 schedule.
For business leaders, this can lead to improved productivity from their team. Finally, working from home can help to reduce distractions and increase focus. Employees are more likely to be able to complete tasks quickly and efficiently when they are not constantly interrupted by colleagues or other distractions.
In sum, there are many advantages to WFH, making it an increasingly popular option for businesses of all sizes.
The CONS of working from home
Although there are many potential benefits to working from home, there are also some potential drawbacks that business leaders and their teams should be aware of.
One of the main challenges of working from home is maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Setting boundaries between work and private time can be challenging when you are always in the same environment.
Research shows that this can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. Additionally, working from home can isolate employees from each other and make it harder to build strong team bonds.
But for leaders in the company, one of the biggest challenges is managing a team that is not all in the same physical location. It can be very challenging to coordinate meetings and deadlines. Additionally, there is the potential for miscommunication when employees cannot see each other face-to-face.
Another challenge that leaders face when managing a remote team is building relationships with their employees. This can make it increasingly difficult to build trust and rapport, which are essential for effective teamwork.
The importance of support systems
As our work lives are increasingly spent at home, it’s more important than ever to have strong support systems in place. For leaders, in particular, these support systems can help navigate the challenges that come with working from home. From sales and operations to management and virtually every other role, peer groups and networking groups can provide invaluable support and guidance.
As work and life become increasingly intertwined, having a trusted group of peers is essential. These groups can help us understand the changes we’re experiencing and provide support and advice when needed.
Whether you’re looking for guidance on managing your team remotely or simply need someone to talk to about the challenges of working from home, these groups can be a lifeline. So if you’re feeling isolated or struggling to adjust to the new normal, don’t hesitate to reach out to your support system. We all need a little help sometimes.
Are colleagues the answer?
Business leaders often rely on their colleagues for support and advice. However, working from home can make it difficult to get the same level of support from colleagues.
This is because colleagues may not be available when needed, or they may be too busy with their own work to provide adequate support. Additionally, colleagues may not be familiar with your unique challenges as a leader in your company and, therefore, may be unable to offer practical solutions.
Colleagues can actually be a dangerous source of support for business leaders who try to deal with the difficulties of working from home. They may appear to be helpful and invested in your success on the surface, but they may secretly want you to fail. After all, if you’re struggling to make it work, it also reflects poorly on them.
Of course, we don’t want to say that all colleagues are like that. Many are excellent sources of general advice and support. But for leaders in the company, this is a crucial factor to consider.
If you are a leader in your company, you need to determine to what extent challenges or problems you as a leader may face can be discussed with colleagues in your organization.
Peer groups and networking groups: the solution?
One way to help business leaders navigate these changes is by forming peer groups or networking groups. These groups provide a forum for sharing best practices, brainstorming solutions to common problems, and networking with other like-minded individuals.
Peer groups can benefit business leaders struggling to adapt to the new reality of working from home. Meeting with other leaders facing similar challenges on a regular basis allows them to develop strategies for dealing with them and learn from each other’s successes and failures.
Networking groups can also be helpful, although they tend to focus less on problem-solving and more on networking and building relationships. Still, these relationships can be valuable, both for the business leaders themselves and for their businesses.
Joining a networking group is an invaluable way to connect with other business leaders who are going through the same challenges and changes that you are.
At EGN, our peer groups provide a safe space for business owners to openly share their challenges and get honest feedback from their peers. We also offer resources and guidance to help members navigate these uncertain times and deal with the unique challenges WFH can bring about.
If you’d like to join one of our groups, please contact us right away. We would love to welcome you into our community!