The Pros and Cons or Remote WorkReading Time: 5 minutes
Remote work has certainly removed certain societal pressures. It’s allowed people with physical disabilities to have reliable employment. It has made asking for a day off from work to visit the doctor a much easier ask.
Moreover, commuting to work can eat up one’s time and therefore income. And last but certainly not least, it puts to rest the days where bossy supervisors linger around their employees’ desks. Many co-located offices can indeed be pretty horrible places to go to for work. Remote work resolves these unnecessary pressures. There are certainly many positive elements that have influenced more and more professionals to work remotely.
Remote work simply means working a professional, white collar, job away from a set work station. It other words, you will be working wherever you are. Some companies have tasks that do not need an employee to report at their head quarters daily. Some jobs like programming, content writing, social media marketing can be done remotely. Once finished, the work is submitted online. A company with a global footprint can use remote workers in various countries to avoid rental expenses. It’s a win-win scenario for many nomads and stay-at-home employees.
Why Work Remotely?
Various issues might influence why one might want to work remotely. Working in the comfort of home can be exciting and advantageous to the worker and to the company. Workers can multi-task and do household chores. They can take care of other issues while working. Also, it cuts down on the transport costs of commuting daily to work, which makes it good for the environment.
With remote work, there is less pressure coming from the employer. You can work anywhere. You can work remotely to take care of other personal business. For instance, nursing mothers may prefer to work remotely to take care of their babies while at home. You can have a flexible lifestyle, and save money on commuting and on new professional workwear.
The company benefits by cutting costs on resources that might be used by their employees if they all reported to an office daily. For companies, this means that office space and electronic equipment could be paid for by the employee. Some companies want to offer services globally; therefore, hiring workers on different client-sites might affect their expenses. Remote workers are ideal for companies with multiple markets and different global offices. It keeps the employer from renting space to accommodate full-time in-house employees in different parts of the world. However, working remotely has its downfalls too, which we will get into in a minute.
Working alone without other employees nearby limits your face-to face interactions with other human beings. You can be distracted by house chores and fail to deliver your work on time. Time management can be difficult; you may fail to balance your social life and work duties, and so on and so forth.
How Did It All Start?
Did you know that remote work dates back to the 1600s? Before industrialization, people used to work on their land and trade their products instead of dealing in money. Carpenters, blacksmiths and tailors all worked from their homes, or in shops attached to their homes. We’re kidding, obviously.
It’s the advent of technology that has contributed to the development of remote work. The introduction of computers and of the internet has changed the way we work. The effect of these innovations was even greater than that of industrialization on the trade-workers and agriculture workers at the turn of the century. It’s crazy when you think about it, but people can now offer services to an international community, from the comfort of their homes! The blacksmiths of the 1600s would never be able to wrap their heads around that idea.
Employees can work in virtual places and conduct meetings online. Online platforms offer real-time office space to international colleagues. Workers can interact as though they were meeting and working in person. Communication, and even language, is no longer a barrier. Submitting finished work is also made easy by online platforms.
Teamwork is possible for remote workers in different countries, particularly if they are savvy and use the right tools. Available remote work technology is always getting better. In turn, the number of people doing remote work is also growing daily.
- Flexible work hours
You can work at any time of the day or night. Your working hours can depend on your availability or even on your mood!
- Flexible lifestyle
Remote work offers a flexible lifestyle, not fixed to shifts in work or in weather conditions. You can work while socializing with your family and friends.
- Better health and wellness
You are free from work-related stresses such as commuting and reporting to work on time. You work in a comfortable work environment, that you can arrange all on your own.
You can do your professional tasks at home while attending to other day-to-day issues such as house chores, nursing children, shopping, cleaning and more. If you are a freelancer, you can work for many organizations simultaneously.
- No daily commuting expenses
Working from home means you are not commuting to an office. You can save time and money by not having a car and by avoiding the annoyance of traffic.
- Higher productivity
You can focus and deliver on your tasks without distractions from co-located colleagues. You also don’t have to wait on other people for meetings or other never-ending group activities.
- Saves costs for the employer
It can be a win-win scenario, as an employer can save costs by having more remote workers. There is no need for an office or for large and fancy office equipment if an employer exclusively hires remote workers.
- Time management issues
It might be challenging to balance work and home life. Remote workers might end up concentrating on work more than their chores or vice-versa. Striking the right balance is difficult.
- House-chore destruction
Working from home can completely disrupt your normal work schedule. It’s very easy to be tempted to tend to some pressing issues in the home. You may get distracted and end up neglecting your work duties. Before you know it, you might be working late into the night.
- Dependency on Technology
Remote work is highly dependent on technology. You must have backup power, efficient gadgets, and a good internet connection if you want to be a productive remote employee.
Tips For Efficient Remote Work
It’s not all grim. There are a lot of great guides and ideas out there for anyone who is new to remote work.
With the right mindset and the right advice, you too can become an efficient remote worker!
Plan and schedule your tasks
Planning your tasks makes it easier to complete them on time.
Avoid social media
Social media platforms can be destructive to your concentration. Use them wisely and only when necessary.
Pretend you are in an office
You can pretend that you are in an office, if it can help you to manage your time and workload. You can schedule a break and lunch hours that are typically granted in professional office environments. To be extra productive, you can use those breaks to perform chores and other personal tasks.
Communication is essential when working remotely. You must keep all lines of communication open so that you can receive updates on time from other workers or employees.
Invest in batteries and in a great internet connection
You must have the power to keep your gadgets running. You also need a reliable internet connection if you want to communicate and to function properly as a remote worker.
Determine your most productive working hours
You must know yourself very well to identify hours where you can work productively without setbacks.
Take time to rest
You must give yourself hours to rest from working and doing house chores. Anxiety might drain your energy and make you unable to deliver excellent work. So be sure to plan time for rest and relaxation.
Final Words On Remote Work
Working away from a traditional office setting does come with great perks. It makes it possible to multi-task. You can work a professional job in your pyjamas, while also doing things around the house like cooking, washing, gardening, etc. Sometimes, on especially productive days, it may feel like you won the workplace lottery.
However, it can be tough, can take a lot of getting used to, and can quickly turn into a nightmare.
The truth is, becoming good at remote work is time-consuming. As with anything, it’s about practice, and about setting the right habits. You may occasionally fail to balance your work-duties and your social life. You can’t completely avoid all the setbacks of remote work, but you can and must persevere.