Remote work or “work from anywhere” has become popular in recent years as people seek to maintain flexible schedules and gain greater work-life balance. With tremendous technological advances in video conferencing and file-sharing over the years, almost anyone can be productive from anywhere at any time. Although this work structure offers many positive aspects and can be quite beneficial, it also comes with some setbacks.
The Booming Culture of Remote Work
In today’s digital world, the typical 9 to 5 in the office is fast becoming a thing of the past. But what’s the general employee feeling about remote working? According to Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Work, 97 percent of the surveyed employees reported that they would recommend remote work to other people.
The survey also found that 98 percent of the respondents would want to continue to work remotely. This is also seconded by a survey conducted by Flexjobs that found 97 percent of the workers surveyed desire some form of remote work. Remote work has also grown in popularity by 91 percent over the last decade.
This goes to show that remote work is not a brand-new concept. In a comparative study conducted by CompareCamp, it was reported that 3.4 percent of the United States workforce were already remote working even before the COVID-19 pandemic. This rise was exacerbated by the global shutdown measures to combat the pandemic. This meant that organizations across almost all industries had to close their offices and have employees working remotely.
There is strong evidence that remote work has been successful for both employees and employers. PwC’s US Remote Work Survey in 2021 found that 83 percent of employers say that shifting to remote work has been predominantly successful, in comparison to the previous year’s 73 percent. But what does that mean for you? Do you feel successful in a remote workplace?
The Cons of Remote Work
If you’re wondering why you’re struggling to be happy and productive from home, you’re not alone. Despite the perks that remote work afford you, it also poses its own challenges. When the delivery and execution of a remote work structure are inadequate, you’re sure to encounter some of the following disadvantages.
Collaboration and Communication May Be More Challenging
If your job requires a whole lot of teamwork, collaboration and communication can be harder to carry out. Tech tools, equipment, communication gaps, and different time zones bring additional hurdles to working as a team.
It’s thus important to create a remote working structure conducive to quick huddles and brainstorming sessions that require creative solutions. Since necessity is the mother of invention, there’s an opportunity to reimagine how office spaces are designed.
You might encounter Gather, Kumospace, Mozilla Hubs, Wonder, Here, and so many other virtual meetings. Being comfortable in these spaces might take time and effort, but it’s a small price to pay for collaborative spaces.
You Might Feel Isolated from Your Peers and the Rest of the World
A common issue reported by remote workers is that they can become socially isolated, leading to anxiety, depression, and even burnout. In an article published by Inc.com, loneliness was one surprising downside of working from home.
You might think that you’d rather be lonely than commute every day. However, a Stanford Study that spanned two years found definitive data that paints a very telling image of how finding the right balance is key to reaping the full benefits of working remotely.
There May Be Uncertainty in Your Career Growth
A healthy organization recognizes that visibility does not equate to productivity, commitment, and initiative. However, you might suspect that more promotions are going to the people who come into the office.
You might want to make sure that an organization you’re looking to work with remotely has a robust system for recognition and rewards. Ensure that there’s an efficient, if not automated, way of documenting your work output and achievements to make up for lost face time with managers and other leaders in your sphere.
The Pros of Remote Work
There are certainly a lot of perks to remote working, one being that you get to work from anywhere you’d like. That is unless your boss is adamant about you having an office at home! With that said, here are the top advantages of working from anywhere.
You Get Real Flexibility
According to 32 percent of the employees surveyed in Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2020 report, flexible schedule is considered the biggest perk of remote work. This might even be your go-to answer during job interviews when asked why remote work is important to you.
Remote work doesn’t mean you can’t possibly work from 9 to 5. Having the choice of where and when to be productive lessens stress but also props you up to perform at your best, during the hours you choose to work.
You Get to Save Time and Money
Commuting IS unpaid labor! It takes time and money. One of the most attractive perks of remote work is that you don’t have to leave the house. It’s breaking out of the tedious morning routine; waking up before your body tells you to drag your feet to get clean and dress to go to work.
According to the Global Workplace Analytics Work-at-Home After COVID-19 Forecast, you can save between 2,500 to 4,000 USD a year by cutting down half of your commute or travel budget. This estimate even goes up if you’re able to move to a less expensive area and work remotely full time.
You Have Better Work-Life Balance
Work should be a slice of your life, not the entire pizza. Managing and having that are important things to you outside of your job is the key to battling isolation, burnout, and loneliness when working from home.
The time spent commuting on top of being in the office adds up quickly and can sometimes take over your whole life. Remote work gives you up to 105 hours of extra leisure time every year. You can go back to school, learn a new language, and binge your favorite shows; you can do whatever you want with your free time!
Remote work gives you the freedom to manage and enjoy other important personal obligations and projects. Even the simple joys of watching your kid’s game, attending a doctor’s appointment, and running errands, become less complicated without the rigid office hours to consider.
Is Remote Work Good or Bad for You?
Straight answer: it’s not inherently anything. If a remote work setup is implemented correctly on the management side and yours, then you’ll get to reap all of the benefits and none of the setbacks. The better question to ask, though, is: can you truly get everything you need out of working remotely?
In truth, it’s not for everyone. There may be some people who value the office environment and the structure it provides not only in terms of work but as well as their personal lives. The key is finding a setup that works best for you and your unique needs. Go where you’re most productive and happy.
FIND THE BEST REMOTE JOBS THAT WORK WITH ACS PROFESSIONAL STAFFING
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