The 2020 global pandemic has made remote work more popular than anyone could have ever imagined. Today, both organizations and professionals all over the globe are taking this work arrangement quite seriously.
It’s not like that remote working or work from home wasn’t popular before, but now more and more people are seeing it as the future of work.
As per the study conducted by Flexjobs and Global Workforce Analytics, there were an estimated 4.7 million remote workers in the US at the start of 2020.
Now, if you are reading this article, it’s pretty much possible that you are planning to work as a remote worker either full-time or part-time.
But before you make any decision, I want to shed light upon both the good and bad sides of working remotely that you need to know.
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Table of Contents
- Is it Practical to Work As a Full-Time Remote Worker?
- Let’s Talk About The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely
Is it Practical to Work As a Full-Time Remote Worker?
This is a very common question that comes to the mind of most people when they think about remote work or work from home.
And honestly, remote work is a great way to avoid daily commuting and accomplish your office tasks in the workplace of your choice.
Even if you are an in-house employee, it’s possible to make a smooth transition to remote work and work as a member of a distributed team.
However, one thing that I want to make clear that it’s true that remote work adds flexibility to the life of a worker, but it is not everyone’s cup of tea and is not suitable for every profession.
So, before you jump in to take the final call, you should take a good look at the pros and cons of working remotely discussed in the next section.
Let’s Talk About The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely
Just like every other work arrangement, remote work or telecommuting has its own upsides and downsides.
For every person, who is either new to remote work or willing to start a remote job need to consider at least the key pros and cons of working remotely that are as follows:
1. Higher productivity
People who are working remotely tend to be more productive as compared to their in-office counterparts. Several reasons account for the enhanced productivity of remote workers. One such reason is lesser distractions.
When working remotely, no one is going to show up on your work desk to discuss trivial matters and have a discussion that is of no interest to you.
Moreover, many remote jobs allow you to work outside the regular 9-5 office hours. You can work at different times of the day when you are more productive. Even employers won’t mind your flexible work schedule as long as you are completing your tasks on time.
There are many studies like the one sponsored by Cisco that supports the fact that remote workers are more productive.
2. Better work-life balance
Working remotely means that you can spend more time with your family. Additionally, it is possible to create a schedule that can help you achieve the perfect balance between work and personal life.
Not commuting to work means that you can save a significant amount of time. Thus, you can utilize these saved hours to have some quality time with your partner and kids.
By getting some extra time daily to manage personal life, remote workers can be more happy and satisfied with their jobs.
Also, this is beneficial to organizations in the sense that it’s easy to retain contended employees and thus, maintain a high employee retention rate.
3. Healthier lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as an office worker can be quite difficult. Many individuals believe that the everyday hustle restricts them from having balanced meals, especially in the morning and the afternoon.
When you work from home, you don’t have to do certain things like getting ready for office, commuting to work, etc. As a result, you save a considerable amount of time and utilize it to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
You can cook and eat nutritious food and even involve yourself in multiple exercise sessions throughout the day. Moreover, it is also possible to take short breaks between work and do some physical activity like taking a brisk walk, etc. to keep yourself healthy.
4. More savings and lesser carbon footprint
Another key advantage of working remotely is that you can save more money each year.
Just imagine, all the bills that you pay for your transportation, parking tickets, vehicle maintenance, eating lunch in a fancy restaurant, etc. cease to exist. All these savings become a reality when you are working remotely.
By not commuting to work, you also reduce your carbon footprint as you will not be taking your vehicle out. Additionally, it will not only help you do your bit to save the environment but also save fuel for the future.
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1. Communication Gaps
One of the most important things that are missing in a remote work arrangement is proper communication among colleagues.
In the office, it’s so easy to approach any colleague whenever you want to discuss something in person.
However, as a remote worker, you have to rely on instant messaging and video calls to communicate with your team members.
While video conferencing can be a solution, it can never be as effective as talking to someone who is sitting right next to you.
The absence of proper communication among remote teams is likely to act as a roadblock for effective team collaboration.
2. Difficult to stay motivated
As there’s no active supervision and your colleagues are not working around you, it can be difficult to stay motivated and meet your targets.
In fact, this has always been one of the biggest challenges associated with remote work.
As a remote worker, you can easily become prone to a laid back attitude, and a habit of procrastinating. Once that starts to happen, it is certainly going to be a downfall in your professional life.
3. Lack of Social Interaction
It’s obvious that you are going to miss social interaction with the people in your organization.
The lack of social interaction will affect you most if you are an extrovert or a social butterfly.
Also, when you are working the whole day without talking to anyone, you are most likely to feel lonely.
Thus, you need to put more effort to interact with people in your team and even have to take part in remote team building activities.
4. Management challenges
While remote working sounds fun and interesting, one thing that most people fail to notice is that most of them have to manage everything ranging from their workstation to internet connection all by themselves.
Working remotely means that you have to learn and use various technologies, including apps like to-do lists, project management software, etc. to stay productive.
Furthermore, it’s also your responsibility to keep yourself organized and make sure that you have everything that you need to properly manage your work.
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Remote work is possibly the best work arrangement if you want to manage your personal life better while staying productive at your work. However, there are some pitfalls of remote work that you need to consider and have to push yourself to successfully overcome them. The pros and cons of working remotely mentioned in this article can help you know remote work better and make the right decision to either work as a telecommuter or not.