The remote working world – favoured or frustrating?
In such a short space of time, the world’s workforce has shifted from the long-established office routines to what many of us considered to be the dream of home-working. Little did we know, the remote working world comes with its own frustrations and in many cases that frustration can lead to the powerful emotion, anger.
Seeing red on the regular
Have you noticed a change in your employee’s mood since remote working? Are they acting irritable, using negative language or causing unnecessary conflicts with colleagues? These could all be signs that they’re feeling frustrated. Research shows the following factors are grinding the gears of many remote workers:
Waiting for a response
Without being able to pop over and ask a colleague a quick question in the office, employees are now having to wait for hours, sometimes days to get the necessary answers and approval that allows them to get on with their work. This results in frustrated follow-up emails, passive-aggressive messages and a hacked off member of staff.
“Can you hear me?” “Are you there?” “You’re on mute!” - While these phrases were somewhat entertaining at the start of lockdown, we’re now months down the line and slow internet connections, network disconnects and unreliable devices are becoming daily infuriates.
With emails, WhatsApp and the likes now being used as the main method of communication while remote working, the lack of gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice make it really easy to misinterpret what is being said. And when communication isn’t clear, we all have a tendency to assume the worst resulting in conflict and rifts between team members.
Why anger shouldn’t be bottled up
We’re all human, we all feel angry from time to time and anger in the workplace is an inevitable reality. But, locking a lid on anger in fear of what might happen if something is said, can have a damaging effect on mental health and workplace wellbeing.
Anger is a really hard emotion to communicate with others, which is why so many employees often choose to bottle it up. Here are some of the reasons why staff may want to think twice about internalising those emotions when a co-worker crosses the line:
· Stress levels increase
· Depression and anxiety are heightened
· Productivity levels lower
· Colleague conflicts rise
· It will bubble away until you eventually explode…
The key to keeping your cool
So, how can we encourage employees to deal with feelings of anger? Here are our top three tips for helping employees keep their cool while remote working:
When caught up in anger, it’s hard to see the good. Employees should be encouraged to stop and take notice when they’re feeling irate to allow space to make a mind-set shift and channel those emotions into something constructive. A good way to do this is through mindfulness activities.
2.Promote an honesty is the best policy
Anger is often linked to a wide range of negative outcomes such as violence and assault, so the chances are if your staff are feeling aggravated, they’re going to keep it quiet in fear of being judged. Managers should therefore encourage honesty with their people and offer their support through compassionate conversations.
3.Develop emotional resilience
By challenging anger and increasing emotional resilience, employees can become more tolerant to frustrating situations and instead engage in problem-solving and looking at the situation from a place of clarity.
Find out how Key Wellbeing can help your people develop emotional resilience to better handle the frustrations and stresses that come with remote working more effectively and calmly.