The advent of personal computers and high-speed networks have made it increasingly possible for some employees to work remotely, such as work from home or a work-sharing space.
However, remote work is still a subject of controversy among human resources professionals and administrators. They want to know: does remote work impact organisations positively or negatively? Are there benefits to both employers and employees when working remotely?
Advantages of Working Remotely
Employers can now attract talent more easily
When it comes to recruiting, employers who give candidates the option of working remotely are at an advantage. Employees who want to maintain a good work-life balance often find remote work to be highly attractive, especially those who want to establish a good work-life balance.
Employees spent less on work-related expenses
The most fundamental benefit of remote work is that employees are able to reduce expenses related to work, such as transportation. A person who normally drives to work would be able to save very large sums of money by working remotely, due to the savings stemming from not having to pay for parking, gas, and the use of a vehicle. As well as savings on clothing and food, employees can take advantage of this program.
Many employers also save money by having many employees work from home, as this arrangement allows them to reduce the amount of office space they have.
Working remotely from another city
When checking out a job posting, have you ever been disappointed to learn that it is located in a different city than your hometown? Employees who work remotely live in one place while working for a company located thousands of miles away. In some cases, employers want their remote workers to come into the office occasionally, which allows employees the opportunity to travel.
Stress reduction for employees
Working from a remote location can greatly reduce the amount of stress some employees experience. When a person feels much more at ease alone, being in a comfortable, non-public environment can be a great benefit.
It is also unnecessary for remote workers to encounter distracting factors found in an office setting, such as background noise, unrelated conversations among colleagues, and colleagues arriving and departing.
Transport problems that negatively affect employees' commute to work play an important role in employee stress. It is particularly troublesome for workers who live in big cities, whether they have to deal with traffic jams or public transportation disruptions. As a result, employee happiness and productivity can be influenced by the ability to work remotely.
Disadvantages of working remotely
Individualism among employees
Remote workers can find it difficult to build a sense of proximity with their in-office colleagues because there's no opportunity for off-the-cuff conversations at the coffee machine, or going out to lunch together.
Despite their remote locations, remote employees can also encounter the perception that they have a difficult time proving the value of their work to their superiors, which can make it more difficult for them to get promoted. It is also important to let people know that the absence of employees can negatively impact a team's productivity, which impedes meetings, brainstorms, and all other team activities.
Even though employee isolation can be inconvenient at times, isolation can sometimes be an advantage for some people, in particular those who like to keep to themselves and limit their interactions with others, especially at work.
An assumption of non-productivity
In particular, employers find absenteeism to be a concern with remote work. This is especially true among controlling managers. Some employers believe remote employees will not be as productive as those who work in an office because they aren't subject to direct supervision. It is also important for managers to have trust in their employees.
It is possible to become distracted
Remote work has many benefits but it isn't suitable for everyone, despite its appeal. Many people struggle with staying productive when working remotely, often due to their inability to focus. To reach their full productivity, some people need to be under supervision.
In addition, remote work requires more discipline than work on-site. A remote employee is responsible for their own productivity, which requires them to manage all the distractions (internet, TV, the beautiful weather, the presence of family) that can keep them from working.
The advantages of remote work far outweigh its disadvantages in the long run, but remote work does have its pros and cons. Remote work will undoubtedly become more commonplace in the years to come.