COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of our daily lives, including overall productivity. We are seeing shifts in activity levels, changes in daily schedules, how employees are staying on top of things outside work and productivity tool usage.
Many major tech companies have announced plans to allow their employees to continue working from home for much of 2020. Others are making the shift more longstanding. Twitter announced that employees would be allowed to work remotely “forever,” and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels described the transition to cloud-based work environments as “permanent” at the AWS summit in May.
Despite all the positive press about working remotely, some studies suggest it’s not what it’s cracked up to be. Social isolation, employment uncertainty, WFH burnout, and the virus itself have combined to shock the health and well-being of workers worldwide. With remote employment on the rise, studies report pros and cons of remote working.
1. Increased Productivity
First, working remotely erases the distractions of the office workplace. If you require a controlled environment and limited human interaction to be productive, you may want to consider applying for a remote position. Employers have found this to be a great way to boost productivity and limit operational expenses.
2. Flexible Hours
Second, by having flexible hours, you’re able to tend to the many urgent responsibilities (like getting your car repaired or taking your children to school) in your life that a regular 9-to-5 job would make harder to accomplish. Having time to take care of life’s responsibilities results in less stress on yourself, and more contentment with your career. And employers, by allowing employees to work under flexible hours, can increase employee retention rate, which also increases the company’s productivity.
3. Saving Time and Money
Third, eliminating the commute to work every day, you’re potentially saving thousands of dollars each year in subway fares or gas an parking. You’re also saving hundreds of hours in commuting time each year. You can use this time for yourself to de-stress, read a book, pay bills, learn a new skill, or to do whatever else you choose to make your day easier and life better.
There’s also something else you could do with your newfound time: work on supplemental sources of income. With an extra four hours a week, you can contribute to your personal blog, find freelance work, even drive for Uber. Many people use this time to test the waters of a dream business venture. However you choose to use the extra time, expanding your sources of income can relieve yourself of some financial pressure—and be fun and exciting in the process.
1. Less Collaboration
First, if you‘re working remotely, you’re missing out on opportunities to work side by side with your colleagues. Depending on your job, this may or may not be a pro or con. For some, it can be distracting and reduce productivity. But for others, working in a busy office is a great way to meet new people and make friends. And when you put people together, great collaboration can take place. Collaborating can also help you achieve your work goals more effectively and efficiently. And it can also be quite fun.
2. Limited Advancement
Second, sometimes working out of the office can make it harder to stay in the loop. Not being seen every day, and maybe even forgotten about, can make it harder to advance through the company and receive promotions or raises. It’s important if you’re working remotely to keep consistent contact with your colleagues. It’s become common to conference call or video chat into meetings, which helps to solve this problem. However you’re doing it, if you’re producing quality results in a timely manner, you’ll be recognized by your superiors.
3. Cyber Security
Last one, if you’re traveling or working remotely, it’s possible you’re putting sensitive information at risk. However, public networks found in hotels and airports that are unsecured give eavesdroppers an opportunity to monitor your online activity. Financial statements as well as usernames and passwords may be compromised from using an unsecured network.
In conclusion, for better or worse, this period of uncertainty and major change is likely to make a lasting impact on the way different companies interact with one another and the ways in which organizations operate. With distributed teams, things like a lack of communication, security concerns, training and on-boarding challenges, and burnout are more pronounced. As remote work becomes more of a new normal, we’ll see these challenges rise up the priority ladder for organizations trying to grow and move forward in this new paradigm. Start to adapt to the new technology for your business strategy for the new normal.