A lack of in-person interaction with managers is causing low productivity and high resignations.
By Zee Johnson
Working from home proved to give UK workers the work-life-balance they had long wanted. But new research from global recruiter Robert Walters revealed that working remotely has been a double-edged sword that’s ultimately led to many people quitting their jobs. The reason? A lack of in-person conversations with their managers.
Companies that choose to continue remote leadership, without extensive training, will likely cause more harm than good to their retention rates.
Of those surveyed, two in three employees say they are “highly likely” to quit their jobs this year due to a lack of in-person meetings with leaders within their organisation.
The survey also found a correlation between a decrease in output and overall engagement (48%) for professionals who interact face-to-face with their managers less than once a week. Both output and engagement saw a steady increase for those who say they spent more days in the office with their manager.
Forty-eight per cent of employees contribute the decline in their output and morale to less interaction and fewer meetings with their boss. In fact, when asked how often they speak with their immediate managers whilst working remotely, 22% said they “don’t really communicate with manager when working from home.”
Despite working proximities, a manager should always be available to direct and lead their staff as they would on-site. “Outside of effective delegation and general team management, a line manager must act as a leader – guiding and supporting each individual and helping to finesse and bring out star qualities and skills,” said Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters and Walters People.
Fowlston also warns of the impact bad leadership could be having on staff working from home. “Professionals vying for progression want to show initiative, adaptability, and the ability to handle responsibility by themselves – and so by nature they won’t necessarily ask for more face time with their manager as they feel it works against the point they are trying to prove,” he said. “Where in many instances technology and the virtual world can aid proficiency, it is no replacement for human interaction when trying to engage a prospective employee or onboard a new hire.”