Remote work seems to be the buzzword lately. While having the flexibility to work from outside of a corporate office has been feasible for a few decades, working remotely is only now on the rise.

What is Remote Working?

Remote Working
Photo by Dillon Shook on Unsplash

Remote work is a working approach that allows employees to work outside of a traditional office environment. It is a work arrangement in which workers do not commute to a central workspace such as an office.

Instead of traveling to an office each day to nine-to-five it from a designated desk, remote employees have the privilege to work on their projects wherever they please. They can enjoy their personal lives to their fullest while still earning a living.

Its major highlight is that people can work remotely in a variety of different ways; they can choose to work in a way that makes the most sense for them. For instance, people can opt to work remotely for the majority of the week, while only commuting for meetings once a week. So, let’s take a brief look at the types of remote work.

  • Fully Remote job is the one in which you work completely from your place of choice. It never requires you to go into a common physical location.
  • A flexible job is flexible to an extent. It may require the employees to work from the company’s physical location at least some of the time.

In essence, people have the option to design their days so that their professional and personal lives can coexist peacefully.

History of Remote Working

The last decade has seen major growth in remote workers. However, the concept of remote working was first brought about in 1973 by a NASA physicist Jack Nilles, who is now known as the Father of remote work.

In 1975, the first personal computers hit the scene followed by the birth of the internet in 1983. Then various companies started allowing employees to work from home and the numbers dramatically soared after Wi-fi was invented in 1991.

As of a 2018 report, 70% of the world population works remotely at least once a week and 53% of the population at least half of the week. Today, with more than half of the world’s workforce working remotely, never have there been as many opportunities for remote workers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Remote Working

In case you’re an employee sitting in an office nook right now, you may daydream about working remotely and taking breaks whenever you want. But does the reality of remote work live up to the expectation?

Let’s take a quick look at some of the ups and downs of remote working.

Advantages of Remote Working

There are a ton of benefits to remote work for both employees and employers, although it might seem like it is only in favor of the employee. Let’s break down a few of the advantages:

1. Flexible Schedule

The most evident reason why people want to work remotely is that it offers them flexibility. Employees can work whenever and wherever they want to, which makes them far content. Besides, you can tend to your responsibilities in your life that a regular 9-to-5 job would make harder to accomplish.

On the other hand, employers can increase employee retention rate which adds in for the company’s productivity.

2. Higher Productivity

Working remotely erases the strict rules and regulations. You can choose a place and time you’re the most productive at which reduces distractions. This is a great way to boost productivity and limit operational expenses for the employers as well.

3. Reduced Commute

In today’s society, commuting is a major source of stress. The longer you commute, the more likely you are to be stressed out according to research.

Remote workers are free of this problem. A lot of time is saved if you won’t have to commute daily and you would also be contributing by saving petroleum.

4. Saving Money

When you won’t have to commute to work every day, you’re potentially saving thousands of dollars each year in travel fare or gas and parking. You save money on the things that you would otherwise have no options except spending.

Remote employees are also good for the company’s point of view. There would be no spendings on costs like rents and office furniture. Even if only a fraction of workers is remote, the company would save a lot.

5. Better Health and Wellness

Employees will be happier when they have the flexibility to work according to their choice. According to a report published by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK, remote workers are notably less stressed than their traditional counterparts.

Also, there is a reduced chance of spread of communicable diseases as there will be less to no contact at all with other people.

Disadvantages of Remote Working

While remote work is gaining more and more popularity, there are indeed some downsides to this working style. Let’s take a look at some of them.

1. No Specific Working Hours

“Remote Working” tends to sound like a lighter workload but it’s really a tricky thing to overcome. While working remotely, you are expected to answer calls or reply to emails irrespective of the time. If things get worse, you will be stuck in a single room for the entire day.

2. Less Collaboration

If you are working remotely, you won’t be working side by side with your colleagues. Although working with fellow employees can be distracting for some, there is far less collaboration involved when working remotely. You aren’t as likely to meet new people and make friends.

Remote work seems to be the buzzword lately. While having the flexibility to work from outside of a corporate office has been feasible for a few decades, working remotely is only now on the rise.

3. Loneliness and Boredom

One of the biggest downsides of a remote job is loneliness. In an office, you would be spending quite a lot of time with people around you. However, if you are working remotely all by yourself, there is no need to talk to socialize and ultimately, loneliness is born.

4. Lack of Motivation

There is a chance that you will be less motivated when you’re working remotely. Since there is no strict time table you must abide by, you are likely to lose self-discipline. So, it is better to set a personal goal and use productivity software to stay motivated throughout.

5. Personal Distractions

When you’re working 9-to-5, there will be far fewer personal distractions. Opposed to that, when you’re working from home, you’ll constantly be reminded of your family responsibilities and duties. This might distract you from your work which could slow down your pace.

6. Lower Pay

Often, companies pay remote employees less, especially in big cities with high costs of living. As a result, the overall compensation of a remote worker is comparatively lower.

Conclusion

As working remotely becomes more acceptable by the day, companies are increasingly offering positions with flexibility. However, before deciding on working remotely, you must evaluate and determine if this is the right choice for you.

While we can offer you some of the pros and cons, the decision is ultimately yours. Despite all the hype, remote working is not for everyone. Nevertheless, you can give it a try if you think it can make you happier and more productive!

References

(Last Updated On: March 20, 2020)
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