Remote work is sought after by employees who would prefer from somewhere other than the office.
Remote work advantages and disadvantages are important to consider before taking a remote job. Whilst there are many perks to working from home, there are a couple of downsides to take note of as well.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a great list of these pros and cons. This article might be just what you need when it comes to deciding which job setup is best for you.
Arguably the biggest advantage of working from home is the flexibility that it allows you.
You have more control over your workday, and can schedule your productive times around hobbies, errands, activities, and spending time with friends and family.
When you are in the office, you may often spend 8 hours at your desk. But, only 5-6 of those hours are truly productive, and you can end up wasting time. With remote work, there is less of a focus on hours worked, and more of a focus on deliverables met.
This flexibility also means that you can work from various locations, other than your home. If you want a change of scenery, you can find an outdoor space, a cafe, a restaurant, or even the home of a friend or family member.
You can also embark on a ‘workation’, which is becoming increasingly popular with remote workers. Travel freely and work from new and exciting places, and then explore and enjoy the locations during your downtime.
There is little worse than a treacherous rush hour commute. With remote work, this is cut out completely.
No matter what form of transport you use to get to the office, it can be time-consuming, expensive, and exhausting. If each trip takes about an hour, that is two hours a day that you can use in more productive ways.
The money on travel, parking, and other commute expenses can add up to a whopping total each month. With remote work, you can save this money!
The office might be a place of work, but let’s face it, it’s full of distractions.
Your focus is often broken by loud conversations, colleagues popping their heads over your desk for a chat, ringing telephones, loud keyboard clicking, and more.
At home, you have more control over your environment. Unwanted distractions are eliminated, and you are in a better position to focus on work.
With remote work, you can customize your office setup. You have control over the temperature of the room, the lighting, the noise, and the comfort levels. This means that you’re more likely to settle into a good work routine.
With the flexibility offered by remote work, you have more time to focus on your health and wellness.
The downtime that you have with remote work allows you to add a workout to your day. A walk during your lunch hour, or an online class in the morning – you have the freedom to pick times that suit you!
You also have greater control over what you eat during the day. Instead of grabbing whatever meal is most convenient near the office, you can be mindful about making nutritious lunches at home. The scrapped commute also gives you the time to make good meals to start and end your day off right.
Finally, your mental health will likely improve with your new environment. A healthier lifestyle and increased productivity will lend to this. Again, no commute means more hours to sleep, which also improves mental health.
Companies operating remotely make a positive contribution to climate change efforts.
By cutting out commutes, carbon emission is drastically decreased. The water and electricity usage in a big company office is also massive, so eliminating this equates to huge energy savings.
A remote work position is perfect for those who want to spend more time with family at home.
Parents with young children will find it easier to do school drop-offs and pickups. They can be more involved with their kids’ everyday lives, and be there for important milestones! Helping out with homework will also be a lot easier.
A remote position is also convenient if you have a sick or elderly family member that needs care and assistance at home.
When working in an office, it’s easy to quickly ask a colleague a question. With remote work, it might require a bit more effort to schedule a meeting.
You need to stay on top of online communication, as it is easy to lose touch in a virtual space. There is a need to schedule set meetings each week to maintain contact.
Even with consistent online communication, it can be difficult to properly discuss or come to a resolution on issues remotely. Online communication skills need a lot of work to reach the level of in-person communication.
While working on your own may be more productive, it can become lonely without physical interaction.
This is especially prevalent if you live on your own. Not being able to see and speak to people face-to-face daily can slowly impact your mental health over time.
To prevent this, you should make an effort to communicate openly on the online channels available and make plans to meet up with colleagues in person regularly. It is important to maintain a strong social life outside of work with personal friends and family.
Remote work can offer a better work-life balance. But, this doesn’t happen all the time.
Working in an office generally means clocking off at a certain time, and going home. If you work from home, you might find that there are expectations for you to work on things outside of your official hours.
Even if it is not coming from your superiors, you may be tempted to continue working past the end of your workday. When your workspace is in your living space, it becomes difficult to separate the two.
A company will always put provisions in place to protect their information. However, the centrality of a workplace makes this easier – it is harder to do for individual employees that are spread out.
It is important to train all employees on cybersecurity risks and how to keep their information safe. Cybersecurity needs to be well managed to avoid any breach that could affect the entire company.
When starting at a company, physical induction and social interactions are generally key to settling someone in. But with remote work, this becomes tricky.
The process of learning about a new role, and meeting team members, is more difficult online. There are limitations, as new employees have fewer interactions and are not able to shadow others and see how things are done.
This will generally result in a longer transitional period for the employee.
While you may save on commute costs and eating out, there are some added expenses in a remote work setup.
Water and electricity usage goes up, which hikes your monthly utility costs. You might also need to upgrade your internet plans to provide a stronger, more reliable connection for work.
There are other cost increases like added groceries, plus any necessary equipment and stationery for your home office.
Some companies do provide a stipend to cover these costs, but if not, they can add up to a hefty amount.
Remote work has many advantages to look forward to, but it can also have its disadvantages that need to be considered before taking the plunge.
Remote work offers benefits like flexibility, improved productivity and health, and more quality time with your family. However, communication can be harder, utility costs can increase, and feelings of isolation can creep in.
Remote work comes with flexibility, improved productivity and health, reduced commute and carbon footprint, and increased quality time with family. But there are also communication challenges, isolated feelings, cybersecurity risks, lessened boundaries, difficult employee inductions, and added utility costs.
It is best to weigh up the pros and cons of remote work, and then make an informed decision about whether you are ready to take on the remote working world.