Working remotely is what almost everyone is doing these days, it seems. Even if you work in an office, you may need to take work home occasionally. Like any other new approach, though, there are pros and cons.
If you’re working remotely, it’s a great way to stay on task. You won’t be distracted by a conversation at the water cooler, a coworker needing your help in person, or anything else that could contribute to a late project. Of course, if you have children that are staying at home with you, this may be even more distracting.
Another advantage is wiping out the commute. This can take a lot of time out of your day, especially if you live in a modern American city where there is a lot of traffic. That racks up gas costs, wear and tear on your vehicle, and more. Add a commute onto both ends of your day, and you may very well be putting in ten or twelve-hour days. You may love your job, but hate your commute--which could lead you to quit faster than you otherwise might.
There’s also a lot of flexibility. If you’re not clocking in and out, you can put in your hours whenever it works for you and your employer. This makes it much more family-friendly than an office job. You’ll also have the advantage of not having to take time off for ‘snow days’, when you can’t commute to work or your kid’s school cancels.
For employers, it’s also a mixed bag. You don’t have to pay for building costs, utilities, or other expenses associated with an on-site location. That can save them a lot of money, especially if employees are providing their own equipment. They get to experience weather advantages, too--they won’t need to deal with employees calling in because their car broke down, or it’s too snowy to get to work. The flexibility can work in their favor, too. If they provide family-friendly hours, employees won’t have to take time off to take their child to a dentist appointment, or some other task.
However, there are cons for employers and employees. The type of relationships fostered at work might be great for collaboration. It can help teams build camaraderie and get to know each other. Even though teams can still connect over collaboration tools like Slack, it’s not quite the same.
Employers may also be worried about productivity. There’s not the same sense of accountability that there is an office. If employers are worried about slacking off, it can create a stressful, low-trust environment for everyone.
It can also be harder when it comes to collaboration. If you pop by someone’s desk often, you know exactly what their status is on your project. When you’re working remotely, you might have no idea what they’re doing.
Putting in the effort to overcommunicate and set clear expectations can clear up a lot of the issues with working remotely. If it works for you, it can save on commute time, wasted productivity, and money! Looking for technology suggestions to help you get started? GroovyTek can help you get your remote tech up and running