Remote work is on the way of becoming the new normal for office workers. Many companies still struggle to deal with this since it’s of course a huge change for cooperation culture. However, there’s little alternative for companies when competing for employees that want to work remotely. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of remote work.
The advantages of working remotely
Remote working has many advantages. Let’s look at some of the many benefits that remote work can bring to your life and your performance.
This is the most popular remote job benefit. A flexible work schedule is the most important perk according to 32% of remote workers. This is the most likely answer to being asked in a job interview: “Why is remote work important?”
Not everyone is suited for the 9-to-5 office environment. Remote work allows employees to work from anywhere and at any time. Many people feel this is a great benefit.
With rigid working hours simple things such as taking your children to school or going to a doctor’s appointment can get complicated. It’s a win-win situation for employees to be able to work when they are most comfortable. It results in less stress for employees and makes them more likely to perform well during the hours they choose to work.
Companies that employ remote workers have likely realized the benefits of greater flexibility. Businesses can increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and decrease turnover by meeting their employees’ needs. Moreover, hiring remote means employers can hire across time zones. Companies that offer services or support to customers worldwide can benefit from the ability to hire employees in other countries.
Remote work demands excellent time management skills. It can be difficult to keep track of hours and stick to a schedule when you are not working within predetermined hours. To ensure that remote employees are making the most of their time, there are many time management strategies as well as time tracking software.
2. Employers and employees can save money
The costs associated with running a business, whether it’s a small startup, medium-sized business, or large enterprise, can quickly mount up, because you need to rent office space and invest in software and equipment on-site.
Remote work can save money for organizations and employees. According to a report by Global Workplace Analytics, businesses can save up to $11,000 each year by reducing–or eliminating entirely–the time employees need to be present in-person.
For office workers, the cost of simply going to work can easily be overwhelming. When employees move to remote jobs, they can make up to $4,000 annually by reducing the cost of parking, commuting and lunch.
Investing in a unified communication (UC) solutions like Slack, Teams of Jitsi takes full advantage of cloud tech to reduce the cost of hardware and software on-site and travel costs to and from the office. Remote team members can now join virtual meetings via video calls or use a mobile app to work from anywhere.
3. Productivity increases
Working remotely can lead to increased productivity. It can be extremely empowering to give employees the ability to choose when, how and where they work. Employees who have more flexibility in their work environment are more satisfied and productive, which ultimately makes them more loyal to their employers.
Remote work can lead to higher productivity levels if you work from home, a cafe, or a co-working space. But what about all the distractions? What about children, pets, and social media?
- Flexjobs conducted a survey and 95% of respondents said that their productivity was higher or equal when they work from home. Moreover, 51% said they felt more productive.
- 86% prefer working alone for maximum productivity.
- A Boston Consulting Group study showed that 75% of remote workers report improving or maintaining productivity on their individual tasks and 51% report the same for collaborative tasks.
- Stanford University’s study found that increases productivity when working remotely which leads to an full day more work each week.
To block out noise and coworkers who talk too much, office workers will often turn on music or podcasts to distract them. It’s easier to focus on the task at hand outside of the office.
- There are fewer interruptions and less exposure to office politics
- With the help of productivity strategies and tools, you can spend more time focusing on your work.
- A more peaceful and comfortable work environment
This increases productivity which leads to improved overall performance.
4. A better work-life balance
It’s not all about work: we simply spend too much time driving to and from work.
Remote workers can enjoy 105 additional hours of leisure per year. This means that you have a few extra hours per week to spend with your family and friends, pursue hobbies, or other opportunities.
How does it all add up? Better work-life balance.
Remote workers report a Workforce Happiness Index score of 75 out 100. This compares to 71 of 100 for office workers. Flexibility in work can lead to greater mental and physical health, lower absence rates, and less stress. This allows employees to perform at their best, and enjoythemselves.
5. It is a powerful tool for recruiting.
A survey revealed that 65% of respondents would prefer to continue to work remotely after a pandemic. 31% however, would love the possibility of working in a hybrid position. A further 27% of respondents said they would be willing to accept a pay cut of 10-20% if they could work remotely. According to the same survey, 81% would prefer to work remotely if they could remain loyal to their employer.
Remote job opportunities offer companies an edge over those who work in offices. Remote work expands the talent pool of businesses, from local to international. Employers have the option to post job openings and hire based upon talent and skill, not geographical location.
The disadvantages of Remote Work
Remote Work has its benefits, but it’s not all fun and games. Remote employees need to be able to deal with other challenges. Remote teams can still perform as well as co-located teams if they have the right task management system, and a strong communications and collaboration platform.
1. Remote teams face communication and collaboration challenges
Remote work can prove more challenging for jobs that require collaboration and a lot of teamwork. Remote work can be difficult because of miscommunication, lack of tools and time zones.
It’s not the same as working in an office. Employees can brainstorm, interact and collaborate in person. Any project manager will tell you that remote collaboration absolutely requires creative solutions.
It can be done with the right tools also boost productivity and teamwork to new heights. Remote team members can communicate effectively and collaborate with each other using integrated team messaging, file sharing, video conferencing and phone.
Certain tools can help with collaboration. Simul Docs’ version control tool helps businesses stay aligned with changes on important documents and ensure teams can collaborate efficiently on the same documents
2. Potential for isolation
People who are looking for remote jobs have one of their main concerns: they may feel isolated. Remote work means that you interact with clients, colleagues, and managers via the computer screen. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can result from a lack of human interaction.
3. Visibility has declined
Remote work might not be an option for some employees who feel that they won’t have visibility in the organization. Remote workers might feel less valued for their work and offered growth opportunities if they don’t have regular contact with leaders or managers. Remote workers often wonder how their hard work can be recognized without office interaction.
The popularity of remote work has also changed performance reviews. Many companies have begun to take performance management remotely and are leveraging communication solutions to bridge the gap between in-office communication gaps.
4. Security concerns
Security concerns can arise when employees use different servers to communicate, work and access sensitive information. Unsecured public networks could expose business data and allow for the monitoring or surveillance of online activity.
While this might not be a problem if someone is looking for dinner ideas, it can cause security problems if financial information or sensitive passwords are involved. These risks are more common for those who telecommute and work in hotels, cafes, or airports.
Remote work is not an easy task. While it has its challenges and pitfalls, the benefits of working remotely outweigh them all. Organizations must weigh the pros and cons to remote work as we move further into a digitalized, global connected world.
The dynamic workforce of today requires more autonomy and flexibility in how they work. Business leaders need to adapt their strategies to meet changing business needs. Get in touch with us if you want to learn how we as a company embrace change and remote work. Follow us on our blog app to get updates.