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The advantages and disadvantages of remote work
A large number of companies have adopted the remote work lifestyle for the long haul, at least for now. And there are plenty of good reasons for that outside of pandemic related reasons. Being forced into remote work revealed a whole slew of positive benefits for companies and employees alike. Plus, after nearly two years of forced isolation, it was difficult for employers to get their teams back into the office. Working from home provides a lot of flexibility for employees, and for employers, but it also has some fairly glaring drawbacks that couple its many benefits. To learn more, check out these seven pros and cons a remote working environment can have for a business.
Con: Awkward Introductions
Remote work removes all of the innate things that go along with physical offices. When new employees join the team, virtual meetings can make introductions awkward. We’re all in different environments during a remote meeting and it can be hard to break the ice. Virtual ice breakers are one way companies can help ease the awkwardness and smooth the introduction out. Consider this technique in a company meeting when new employees are meeting each other for the first time.
Pro: More Work Life Balance
One of the positive benefits of a remote working environment is that employees and employers can enjoy a more even balance between their work life and their personal lives. With long commutes, long hours, and work outside of the office, corporate employees are burnt out on a wide scale. Remote work, even in small doses, allows team members to give more priority to their daily lives and take care of errands or chores that they might not have time for normally.
Con: Lack of Body Language
Remote work removes a lot of in person subtleties that we’re accustomed to using to read a situation. Over email, text, or through a call, it can be hard to get a sense of where the person is coming from. So much of our communication comes from body language, which is something that we lose almost entirely when working in a remote environment. With video calls, you’ll get some sense of their physical mannerisms, but not enough to replicate being in a room with someone else.
Pro: Employees Can Organize Their Own Time
Whether we want to admit it or not, managers have a tendency to micromanage. Employees can end up spending most of their time adhering to a system or work flow that just doesn’t work for them, and that can slow work down. When self driven employees are given the freedom to set their own schedules and work flow, the potential for increased efficiency can go up drastically. It may not be entirely true for every employee, but for those that have a solid work ethic and like to get their work done quickly, this can be a great benefit for their overall efficiency.
Con: Home Distractions
At the same time, being at home can present more distractions than an office. At home we have all of our comforts and entertainment devices, which can be distracting when trying to focus on a project for work. For those that have trouble focusing and find themselves easily distracted, consider setting up a dedicated work space such as an office or a corner of the living room that is partitioned off and isolates you from potential distractions.
Pro: Improved Workplace Technology
Virtual work environments have forced an interesting hand for some companies which is to improve the technology they use to conduct business. From new laptops to improved task management applications, companies are investing more in their tech now than ever before. This has positive benefits for both business owners and employees who will be able to enjoy new, improved, and faster ways to do their jobs.
Con: More Meetings
On the other hand, better technology and remote work means more meetings. This is because you lose the ability to have quick ‘water cooler’ chats with other employees or supervisors. This can in turn have an adverse effect on productivity, negating any improved efficiency brought with remote work in the first place.
Remote work has many more potential positives and negatives, but it really all comes down to how businesses operate internally to determine whether the format will work for them or not. Some businesses may find that remote work is better for them. Decreased overhead and more flexibility can be just the thing that certain companies need to make their business successful. Others may find that it creates too much ambiguity within the team and makes it harder to keep track of employees’ work. Whichever the case for your business, these pros and cons can help you come closer to a decision to offer remote positions or not.