As of 2022, 26% of U.S. employees work remotely. Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, employees have found many benefits to hybrid and remote work. Employees enjoy working from home because of the convenience and flexibility, and although COVID restrictions have been lifted, employees still want the benefit of working remotely.  

While employees are enjoying this new way of work, it is causing some employers to struggle with productivity paranoia.  

What is productivity paranoia? 

Productivity paranoia is when employers fear their employees are not being productive. This is common for remote and hybrid work because employers cannot physically be around their employees to make sure they are getting work done.  

Leaders often fear that their employees are at home getting easily distracted, not working to their full potential, and not making work their priority during business hours.  

Despite employers’ paranoia, most remote employees work over 40 hours a week and are over 7% more productive than in-office workers.  

How productivity paranoia is counter productive 

Productivity paranoia is negatively impacting the workplace. Because employers are having a tough time trusting their employees, it is causing a disconnect in terms of productivity expectations.  

This disconnect is causing employees to overwork themselves so that they can prove they are accomplishing tasks. The constant struggle between employees trying to prove themselves and managers not trusting their employees is harming mental health which is causing less productivity within the workplace.  

Ways to overcome productivity paranoia 

While it is reasonable to worry about employee productivity, it becomes a problem when the paranoia starts to cause unnecessary conflict between leaders and their employees.  

Here are some ways to reduce productivity paranoia:  

  • Be transparent about your concerns 
  • Have weekly virtual meetings  
  • Trust your employees 
  • Communicate about their weekly tasks 
  • Set goals and expectations 
  • Eliminate micro-management  
  • Embrace new work changes 
  • Support your employees  

Productivity paranoia is doing more harm to your company than good. Learn to trust your employees and focus on ways to overcome this paranoia, so that it does not damage the relationships you have with your employees.