2020 was the year of remote working and now both corporations and professionals are seeing it as the future of work. According to a study by Flexjobs and Global Workforce Analytics, there were an estimated 4.7 million remote workers in the US at the start of 2020. But like everything in life, telecommuting comes with its benefits and drawbacks.
1. What Does It Mean To Work Remotely
Remote work is a working style that allows professionals to work outside of a traditional office environment. It is based on the concept that work can be successfully executed outside the office. Instead of commuting to the office every day, remote workers can work anywhere and that literally means anywhere on the planet.
That’s the beauty of remote work as it allows people to work in a way that makes the most sense for them. What remote workers gain is the freedom and flexibility to design their days to reach their full potential and live a more fulfilled life.
2. Pros and Cons of Working Remotely
Some remote workers take full advantage of the opportunities that a remote working lifestyle gives them. And you should consider how to monitor work from home employees.
A flexible lifestyle
Remote employees can focus on the things that matter to them outside of the office. For example, parents can start work earlier to spend more times with their kids after they come back from school. Some people choose to attain further education as they save time from their daily commute and remote learning is as real as remote working. Before COVID-19 started its relentless march across the globe, many remote workers decided to hit the road and leave their routines behind to expand their professional network and experience new places.
Remote employees are notably less stressed and have higher morale than their in-office counterparts. By eliminating that commute, and letting remote employees work in an environment that they’re comfortable in, employers are nurturing less stressed-out employees. Less stress means more productivity and stronger motivation. Happier and healthier employees are also more loyal to their companies.
Renewed passion for work, greater engagement and higher productivity
By having the freedom to personalize your office space, you get to eliminate distractions and all those negative things that spoil the working experience. You get to create an environment that inspires you and allows you to enjoy what you do for a living. Remote workers are more likely to put in the extra effort which is why they are usually more productive.
Employees save on office clothes and transportation, but remote working is also beneficial for a company’s bottom line. Flexjobs reported that employers can save $22,000 per remote worker per year, even if the entire team is not remote. During the pandemic, companies realized the savings potential of allowing their employees to work from home.
On the other hand, remote working also made us see things we took for granted while working in our offices. For one thing, misunderstandings are more likely to arise as we need to repeat the same things several times as not everyone is present on a Zoom call. Digital communication comes without the non-verbal part which is much more important than the things we say so we lose a significant part of the human interaction.
As great as technology is, even a video chat can never measure up the real thing. The pandemic also limited our movement and quarantines made it challenging for parents to work and take care of their children while at home. Generally, if you don’t live alone, distractions and interruptions can hamper your productivity.
Last but not least, without the physical distance between your home and your office, many remote workers find it difficult to unplug from work and relax at the end of the day. We have become a plugged-in society and all this time spent at home also results in higher Oncor Energy expenses.
3. How To Survive and Thrive While Working From Home
With a few simple tricks, you can master the art of remote work and fully enjoy its benefits.
Communicate clearly, communicate often, and repeat as necessary. Whenever in doubt if someone has understood you correctly, repeat and check up on them to avoid misunderstandings.
Set yourself up for success
Make your surrounding work for you by creating a home office that supports your productivity. Get an ergonomic chair, desk and even a keyboard to avoid back and neck pain. Choose a room that is abundant in natural light which will make you feel better and help you be more productive. Less need for artificial lighting is good both for your eyes and your wallet.
Find your working style
Enjoy the perks of remote work by personalizing your space and routine. Get to know yourself to find out when you are most productive and under what circumstances – and work your way around that.
2020 has changed many definitions, including the one of normalcy. There has been a cultural shift in what society deems to be an appropriate workplace and remote work has capitalized off of that newfound freedom. Working remotely means being free to live life on your own terms but to benefit from this lifestyle fully, you need to be aware of the pitfalls and push yourself to successfully overcome them.