Before the COVID-19 pandemic made remote working mandatory across industries, many people struggled with office life. Several reports suggested how certain sections of the population, such as working parents or people with disabilities, couldn’t access employment opportunities. Now that remote working is the new normal and probably the future of work, people from various walks of life can tap into opportunities more than ever.
Read on to explore the benefits and challenges of remote working and how it’s permanently changing the world of work.
Defining Remote Working
Before we fast-forward to the pros and cons of remote working, let’s understand its meaning first. Remote work refers to a flexible work setting that allows employees to complete work offsite. It breaks away from conventional settings where employees need to be physically present in the office, allowing them to work from anywhere (a café or the comforts of their homes). Thanks to digital advancements, remote working has evolved and has been widely adopted by varied industries, including education, healthcare and IT.
There are different types of remote working models, including:
- Fully remote, where professionals work remotely all the time and in-office presence is not needed
- Hybrid remote, where there is an option for employees to work from office as well as from home
- Remote first, where organizations start with a remote model but there’s a possibility of physical office space in the future
- Remote time, where businesses allow employees to work one or a few days of the week from a place of their choice
- Remote during the pandemic, where organizations will continue to operate remotely until it’s safe to work from office
Remote working not only benefits employers by saving on costs and other resources, but is also greatly advantageous to employees. Let’s explore the host of advantages in greater detail.
Advantages Of Remote Working
If you’re uncomfortable about unconventional working models, consider these benefits of remote working that will influence your decision positively:
1. Autonomy And Flexibility
One of the greatest benefits of remote working is the freedom and flexibility it provides. You can focus on things that matter to you outside of the office. As there is no strict schedule that you need to follow, you can make room for other tasks or priorities. For example, if you’re a working parent, you have the freedom to take your child to school.
2. Cost Efficiency
Not going to the office every day does wonders for your savings. Not driving to work or taking public transportation can reduce all commuting costs. You can use these savings for other aspects of your life. Reduced traveling also helps you save up on time and be more productive throughout the day.
3. Emotional Well-Being
Among all advantages of remote working, the opportunity to attend to your emotional well-being is the clear winner. For example, when you work from the comforts of home, there is minimized work-related stress. You get the chance to set up your own office and this boosts your performance.
Disadvantages Of Remote Working
While there are several benefits of remote working, it also comes with its own set of drawbacks. Here are some disadvantages of remote working and ways to overcome them:
1. It Can Be Isolating
Remote working can be an alienating or isolating experience because of the absence of coworkers and teams. There may be reduced distractions, but minimal conversation and interaction can be emotionally challenging. This is where you need to step in and be proactive. Participate in brainstorming sessions, group discussions and informal (online) events as much as possible. You can even reach out to coworkers once in a while and have a catchup session.
2. There Can Be A Disconnect
Working remotely can accelerate a workplace disconnect. You can’t simply walk up to someone’s desk and ask for information or brainstorm ideas with them. It’s difficult to ensure that everyone’s on the same page as well. In such situations, make sure that you establish strong communication channels. Whether it’s requesting a video call or drafting an email, take active measures to keep everyone in the loop.
3. It Can Reduce Efficiency
Contrary to popular belief, working remotely doesn’t necessarily lead to productivity and efficiency all the time. Instead, you can get distracted by your immediate environment. Even if you’re working from home, neighborhood activity or family members talking can interrupt your flow. It’s a good idea to plan your work days in advance and organize everything in ways where you can work peacefully. Preparation is key.
When done right, remote working can prove advantageous. However, it’s not always easy to find the right balance and adjust to this new world of work. If you want to overcome challenges more confidently, try Harappa’s Embracing Change course. Powerful tools and frameworks will teach you how to remain resilient in the face of challenges and changes. You’ll even learn to overcome obstacles successfully. Try Harappa today!
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