Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Remote work has blurred the lines dividing personal life and work life. Learn about the pros and cons here! [Tuesday: Return Driven Strategy]

September 5, 2023

Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:


We’re excited to share with you an important insight about the independent workforce.

Every Tuesday, we publish these kinds of articles with hopes to help you effectively navigate an ever-changing work landscape as a business leader, manager, or worker.

Today, we’ll talk about the downside of remote working.

Read on to know more about this topic.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Return Driven Strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the way work is conducted. Prior to the health crisis, employees across the globe crowded office spaces for the whole workweek. All of that changed due to global lockdowns.

During the peak of the health crisis, almost every employee was working from home, communicating with their peers and bosses through telecommuting applications. Even though some had doubts about remote work, the setup went relatively well.

Productivity levels remained consistent and in some cases, even improved. Professionals, whether traditionally employed or not, enjoyed a slew of benefits inherent in remote working:

  1. Flexibility – Some remote workers chose when to start and end their work day as long as they accomplished their tasks. Because of this setup, professionals had the time to prioritize other areas of their personal lives.

  2. The ability to work anywhere – Professionals had the power to choose where they wanted to work. This setup gave them a range of remote job opportunities that didn’t require on-site work.

  3. Cost savings – People who worked remotely saved lots of money on transportation and food costs because they need not go to the office. Due to these savings, workers were able to deploy their financial resources to other areas of their lives such as health needs.

Given the benefits highlighted above, it’s reasonable to assume that working remotely promotes greater work life and personal life balance. However, recent studies have shown that the work setup comes with disadvantages too.

According to Integrated Benefits Institute’s 2022 study, remote work had an increased effect on mental health when compared to on-site work. Specifically, researchers found out that remote and hybrid workers had an increased likelihood of suffering from anxiety and depression than their in-person counterparts.

What’s more?

Gallup found out that employee engagement in the U.S. dropped to 32% in 2022 from 34% in 2021. It was also discovered that 18% of American workers were actively disengaged from their work. Those interviewed for the study included those who were working remotely or in a hybrid model.

While these data points are deeply concerning, they are not surprising. Remote work, by its very nature, has blurred the line between personal life and work life. Because of this, professionals could no longer separate their personal lives from their professional responsibilities, thereby leading to increased instances of stress, burnout, and diminished boundaries.

So, what can business leaders do to mitigate the negative effects of remote work?

  • Provide instantaneous feedback – Independents or employees may feel anxious about their work performance simply because they’re not receiving immediate feedback from their clients or employers.

    To combat this, organizations and business leaders must make it a point to provide independent contractors with immediate feedback about their performance.
  • Promote proper boundaries – Since remote workers typically fulfill their professional obligations from home, they’re usually forced to respond to work communications outside of their work hours. Because of this, some might find it hard to keep their personal and work time separate, thus leading to burnout, anxiety, and stress.

    To prevent inducing burnout, stress, and anxiety, firms should take into account the times of the day where individuals prefer not to be contacted unless absolutely necessary.

The changes in today’s work environment can be explained through Return Driven Strategy’s (RDS) second foundation: Vigilance to forces of change. According to Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo in the book, “Driven”:

“Forces of Change can rock the business from all directions. Some forces of change are slow and predictable; some are sudden and unexpected. Others appear to be random. The fact is that Forces of Change drive the risks and opportunities of all businesses. How well management understands and manages these risks and opportunities will determine the firm’s success or failure.”

To remain competitive in today’s complex work environment, executives must take into account the mental well-being of both employees and independents since these can significantly affect both individual and organizational performance.

After all, the labors of both employees and independents are the lifeblood of any firm, since without them, an organization cannot effectively meet its goals.

So, if you want to remain ahead of the curve in keeping both employees and independents happy and fulfilled, take note of the tips and data points mentioned above!

These insights will help you navigate the ever-changing labor landscape for years to come.

If you’re looking to gain a better understanding of RDS, we highly recommend checking out “Driven” by Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo.

Click here to get your copy and learn how this framework can help you in your business strategies and ultimately, in ethically maximizing wealth for your firm.

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy”

In the book, “Driven,” authors Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo said that the goal of every long-term successful business strategy should incorporate the combined necessity of “making the world a better place” and “getting wealthy.”

That is why they created Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy—frameworks that were built to help leaders and professionals plan and evaluate businesses so they can also help others achieve their organizational goals and career goals.

The frameworks describe the plans and actions that drive returns for anyone in an organization such as independent contractors, marketers, brand managers, communicators, and other people in any field. These actions lead to the creation of wealth and value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the society.

Every Tuesday, we’ll highlight case studies, business strategies, tips, and insights related to Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy.

In planning, building, or managing brands and businesses, these strategies, case studies, and guidelines will help you choose what specific actions to take and when to take them.

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Return Driven Strategy!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research

View All

You don’t have access to the Valens Research Premium Application.

To get access to our best content including the highly regarded Conviction Long List and Market Phase Cycle macro newsletter, please contact our Client Relations Team at 630-841-0683 or email client.relations@valens-research.com.

Please fill out the fields below so that our client relations team can contact you

Or contact our Client Relationship Team at 630-841-0683