Working remotely from the comforts of home has taken off in recent years and more companies are offering this option for their employees. As new technology and tools have developed, the need for companies to have a physical location has dwindled. New start-up companies are also finding it easier to get off the ground without the daunting expense of renting an office space. Are you suited to working remotely? There are some definite pros for employees working remotely, but also some drawbacks.
Advantages of Working Remotely
- Increased Flexibility: Perhaps the biggest advantage of working remotely is the flexibility to work wherever you want. Usually, the only requirement is a stable internet connection, so you have a better ability to juggle your family and work obligations. Your work/life balance can therefore vastly improve under this setup.
- Higher Productivity: While employers fear that their workers will end up getting distracted by TVs and other domestic activities, the office environment tends to come with its own set of distractions like noisy coworkers and meetings. Most employees are actually more productive when working remotely than they are in an office setting!
- Reduced Commute Time and Cost: Your first thought might be how much you’ll save in gas money every week, and that can certainly add up over time. But you’ll also save a lot of money in regular maintenance costs and repairs on your vehicle that come with the hard wear and tear of a commute!
Disadvantages of Working Remotely
- Company Culture Suffers: Technology can make it really hard to build a positive company culture and camaraderie with coworkers. Companies with workers based in a local area can often make it work with periodic face-to-face meetings and happy hours, but those with employees nation or worldwide will find it very difficult to keep a company culture alive.
- Collaboration is Harder: Technological tools such as GoToMeeting and Google Hangouts can help alleviate the difficulties of remote collaboration, but there are no substitutes for face-to-face meetings.
- Domestic Distractions: We just mentioned above that workers tend to be more productive working remotely than at the office, but the fact remains that domestic distractions can happen. Learning to balance these with work obligations is the key to making remote working work for you.
- Easy to Blur the Line Between Work and Life: Work/life balance is easier to achieve when working remotely, but it’s also easier for this line to become blurred. Make sure you define your boundaries clearly, set up a work/life structure, and stick to it. That way you won’t end up turning into a workaholic!
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