Remote working has become increasingly popular ever since the whole pandemic started and the circuit breaker was imposed.
Even with significant ease of restrictions at workplaces, a number of companies continue to let their employees work from home. Is it more efficient and economical to do so? Will remote working become the new normal even after the pandemic?
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of remote working and see if making this move will be an upgrade for your career.
Working from home can be an appealing career move as it eliminates most of the traditional aspects of working, like face-to-face meetings and formal business attire. Depending on your work style and culture priorities, this could either improve your work habits or make your bad ones permanent.
One obvious advantage of remote working (besides working in your pyjamas) is the time and money saved from not having to commute. Remote working also means no more worrying about getting a seat on the bus/train or squeezing into the bus/train during peak period! One question you can ask yourself is if you don’t leave your house to go to work anymore, will you still go outside?
Although remote working comes with the benefits of having more time to do other things–like having breakfast with your family or meeting friends whom you would otherwise be unable to see because of your work schedule–the temptation to waste that time slouched in bed watching Netflix instead of waking up early for a relaxing morning walk is real.
Remote working is advantageous if it allows you to be more productive in your work and give you time to spend with your family, friends or on developing better life habits. If however, a traditional going-to-the-office job means you’ll actually get to breathe fresh air once a day and come face-to-face with other human beings, you might want to consider whether remote working is a healthy decision.
Another advantage of remote working is the ability to tailor your environment to your optimal setting and get more work done. Being in the comfort of your own home means you can surround yourself with what makes you happy and motivated, and this should spur you on when the going gets hard. You’ll also be able to adjust the air-con or fan speed whenever you like and take breaks whenever you feel the need to–without the pressure of your supervisor staring daggers at you–which is effective against burnout! Remote working also means you’ll be less likely to be interrupted while you are focused and you will have more control over what to do first.
If you haven’t been able to discover your optimal work settings, remote working is also a good opportunity for you to try out different working methods and environments to see what suits you best.
Just know that remote working isn’t necessarily the best alternative to the problems presented by the traditional office setting.
The isolation that comes with remote working subverts our innate need for community. Working from home means less interaction and face-to-face communication with people you work with and it can dull your social senses to empathise and understand other people. Face-to-face interaction is one of the fundamental elements that make up a healthy, functioning society. Shared experiences is how communities are formed and developed, so removing the formal work setting takes away a large part of what makes up a healthy and interdependent society.
But just because the physical and social aspects of office life are taken away, doesn’t mean our world is doomed. Remote working allows you to choose the community you want to be a part of and it makes you responsible for developing these connections.So don’t forget to make time for outings with your family and celebrate occasions with your friends whenever you can!
With the freedom to take breaks and do whatever you want, comes the danger of getting distracted and not getting work done. These distractions include Netflix, pets, children or household chores that can defer your attention and decrease your productivity.
Ultimately, it really depends on you and the way you work. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. If, after considering all the points made in this article, you think remote working is the best way forward for you, then consider implementing productivity tools such as time trackers and task management apps to keep you on task and focused. On the other hand, if the traditional office setting is still more effective for you, know that you don’t lose out despite the popularity of remote working.
After all, this means less crowded public transport journeys for you.
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