The meteoric rise of remote work amid the pandemic has many people wondering whether or not the trend will continue. Certainly, there is a lot to consider when deciding if remote work is the right solution for you or your business.
This article will examine the pros of remote work, of which there are many, and the cons of remote work, of which there are a few so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not remote work will be the right solution for you or your business.
So, without further ado, here are seven pros and three cons of remote work
The Pros of Remote Work
1. There's a greater pool of talent available to hire
Businesses that offer remote work benefit from being able to hire the best and brightest candidates regardless of where they are physically located. Let's face it, the odds of the best employee for the job living close to your local office are slim. There is a huge pool of talent available worldwide, and having the freedom and flexibility to hire the best candidates without needing to worry about their location is a huge plus for any business.
2. You can save time and money commuting to work
Another benefit of working remotely is that there is no need to spend hours commuting to and from work each day. For employers, this means that your employees will be much less likely to be late for work or delayed due to weather conditions, and traffic, etc. For employees, this is also a huge benefit because it means saving money on gas and parking. It also provides employees with a much better work-life balance, leading to increased job satisfaction and productivity.
3. Employees will have more freedom and autonomy
By being able to work from anywhere, employees will gain a level of freedom that can empower them to perform their best. Many employees, particularly in tech roles, can work from anywhere with a stable internet connection, and giving them the freedom to work from wherever they feel most comfortable and productive can only help your company.
After all, an employee sitting in a crowded office all day probably won't have the same amount of energy to give as an employee sitting in their own backyard, at the beach, or in a nice coffee shop. What should matter isn't where the work is being conducted, but how well the job is done, and employees simply do a better job when given the freedom to work wherever they want to.
4. Operational hours can be extended at no additional cost
Despite their jobs, not all people work best during the day. Some employees find that they are more productive in the evening or even at night. If you are limited in terms of your operating hours due to office expenses, then giving your employees the freedom to set their own hours (as long as the work gets done on time) can be a great way of extending your business's operating hours without increasing overhead.
5. Greater accessibility for those with disabilities
Now more than ever, it's important to make sure that you are accommodating those who have disabilities in the workplace. The cost of making an office wheelchair accessible or installing brail throughout the premises can be expensive. By allowing people with disabilities to work remotely, it can be much more affordable to make your company accessible to those who would otherwise have to deal with challenges to work for you. Remote work can be a win-win in such situations and is often a great solution for both parties.
6. Overhead costs can be lowered significantly
The costs of running a physical office can be high, especially in urban centers where monthly rent and utilities can be detrimental to your success. By allowing your employees to work remotely, you will be able to save on expenses such as utilities, office supplies, food and drinks, and equipment. By limiting or eliminating physical office hours, you may even be able to save the money you would spend on renting and running an office, which can be a gamechanger, especially for small-medium sized businesses.
7. Sick days are less of an issue
When an employee is feeling a little under the weather, they may call in sick, which can strain your resources and put you behind schedule from a productivity standpoint. However, by allowing people to work remotely, you may find that even though an employee isn't feeling great, they may still be able to get some work done from home, which is better than them getting no work done if they call in sick. Also, if they have to go to a doctors' appointment, it's no problem. They may be able to do some work when they get back home from the doctors so that the entire day isn't a write-off.
The Cons of Remote Work
1. It's harder to build team spirit
There is a certain camaraderie that comes from seeing your co-workers each day. Friendships develop, and there is a sense of mutual support and empathy that simply can't be cultivated when working remotely. Sure, you can do virtual meetings and team chats so that everyone gets to know each other, but it really isn't the same as when you are working alongside someone day in and day out.
2. Scheduling meetings can be a challenge
Due to technical considerations, it can be difficult to schedule meetings where everyone is present. If half of your team is working during the morning and half is working late at night, then trying to get everyone on a video chat at the same time for a meeting can be a challenge. Different people also have different internet connections, which can also be a factor in terms of quality during video conferences.
3. It's more difficult to supervise employees
Finally, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to supervise your employees. Remote work tends to be a great solution only when you trust each employee to do their job correctly. This means that hiring and training your staff properly is even more important since they will be working independently most of the time. So, if you want to be successful with remote work, you need to ensure that every team member knows exactly what to do and how to do it.
All things considered, remote work can be a great solution in many situations. By giving your employees the freedom to work from home, you can save both time and money while extending your reach, hours of operation, and talent pool. Although, in many instances, remote work is a blessing, it doesn't necessarily work for everyone. That said, one thing is for sure, the trend of remote work is likely to continue well into the foreseeable future and may very well be here to stay.