Pros and cons of working remotely
Lots of companies offer remote work or at least a few days of home office per week, and for many people, it’s an excellent opportunity to have lots of flexibility. But is it a great idea for everyone to get a remote position? It depends. For ones, it definitely is a dream job, giving possibilities to travel or other saving your time on driving to work, but for the others, it may be the biggest nightmare.
The success of remote cooperation is determined by many factors, like your personality traits, the company you will work with, communication with your team, the organization of the project, and many more.
Taking into consideration my experience with remote, partially remote, and onsite jobs, I would like to show you some advantages and disadvantages of remote jobs. I hope it will help you decide whether you should try it or not and to prepare you for what you can expect from this kind of cooperation.
Pros of working remotely
It’s essential to answer why you want to work remotely. Do you prefer to work alone, or you want to travel, maybe you have some health issues which will make it easier for you to work from home or maybe you are a mum who needs some flexibility, or perhaps you have a different reason. But for sure you have to know what determines your decision. If you know what’s your motivation, let’s take a look at how you will benefit from working remotely.
1. You will get location flexibility
Clearly, the huge advantage of working remotely is a possibility to work wherever you want to, and I really mean wherever. If you prefer to see the jungle out of your window, no problem, if you have a favorite cafe, you can sit there and work as well. As far as you have enough money to buy a ticket you can go in any direction, all you need is a computer and internet connection.
Also, your workspace depends on your perforation. Do you want a specific chair or a standing desk? You can arrange your office according to your preference, and only your imagination and money can limit you in this case.
2. You will learn new skills
There are some new skills which you will master working remotely. For sure, you will learn to be truly productive, and self-organized, because trust me, you don’t want to spend more time than necessary for finishing your tasks.
It often happens in the office that you just go for a cup of coffee and start talking with a colleague in the kitchen, and you don’t even realize how you’ve just lost half an hour. While you are working from home, you can decrease the destruction factors and make your working environment in a way that will boost your productivity.
Besides, you are able to use a bunch of great tools that will help you to organize your work and make you more productive, but about productivity, I’m going to create another article.
I’m pretty sure if you learn how to be self-organized and productive, it will have a great impact on your private life as well. Since I’ve learned those skills, I save much more time on everyday tasks I’m doing.
3. You will become a communication master
While working from home, you have to communicate with other team members about the work you are doing. Of course, in most cases, you can get information by yourself, but sometimes you have to discuss a case with teammates. In this case, you will probably find lots of ways to communicate effectively, sending emails with the proper subject, and using the best available chats and screen share tools.
Besides, you won’t spend 15 minutes of your quick chat listening about all the office news; you will get to the details of the issue which needs to be discussed.
4. Your health will benefit
It’s not a mystery that in the office nobody has time for a proper meal, and finally you will grab a fast snack, which is not good for your health. Now, you maybe don’t feel the harmful results of the office diet, but in a few years, your body will remind you about all these unhealthy snacks. Just imagine that you have enough time to sit down and eat a good quality meal. It’s really much easier to keep a healthy diet when you work from home.
Also, you will be less stressed while working from home, because you won’t feel the heavy atmosphere when you are late with the project as a team. It will definitely let you be more positive and less tired.
5. You will save time and money
It seems really nice to go out from home when it’s sunny outside, and you are leaving 15 minutes to walk to your office. But most of us have to spend about 1 hour to go to the office and another 1 hour to go back, in crowded public transportation. It doesn’t sound that good as a walk. And unfortunately it’s not even your working time, so you just lose 2 hours every day, which gives you 10 hours per week. I bet you could have a better way to spend this time.
From my point of view, it’s the biggest advantage of working remotely. I have much more free time and can spend it learning new skills, meeting friends or having a nice time with family. I guess you could too.
Pros of working remotely
It sounds really great to have a remote position, but it has disadvantages as well. Let’s take a look at what can be wrong when working from home and what you can miss.
I already wrote you have to learn to be self-organized when you work from home, but for some of us, it’s really hard to deal with destructions. Of course, at work, you may have some coworkers who want to talk to you all the time, but at home, you may have different things.
If you have children, it may seem a great idea to work from home and take care of your kids at the same time, but your children may not understand you have to spend some time working, and it can be really tough.
Non-parents also may find some distractions at home, like preparing the dinner, talking with flatmates or partners, doing laundry.
If you are not an organized person, and you are not able to think about remote work as work, you may have issues with finishing your tasks fast and be truly productive. I think it’s a great idea to have a separated place for work only and to find a way to block the noises from outside.
2. Being out of the loop
While you start working remotely and the other part of the team works in the office, you may realize how much happens in offline and how much you skip. Lots of brainstorming sessions on the breaks, or quick meetings you are just not taken into consideration. In this case, it also depends on the company culture and communication in the team.
I was lucky enough to be a part of a well-communicating team, so I always had enough information to progress with my work, and still, someone was online to discuss issues, but I also know it happens totally different.
So, if you need to be in the loop, working on the home office may not be the best solution.
3. Lack of people around you
People need other people around, we are social, and if you don’t have a developed social life after hours, it may be difficult for you to stop seeing people on a daily basis.
I know many people who can’t stand sitting alone at home, and if you are one of them I think you shouldn’t consider remote jobs, because a lack of people may be very depressing for you.
In the home office, you are not invited to parties after work or can’t go for lunch with your colleges, and if you feel okay with an online contact, then it’s fine.
4. You depend on technology
While working in a remote position, you have to consider technology. The most important is a good internet connection and a good computer because without them you are not able to work and contact with your coworkers. If you plan to travel, you need to pay a lot of attention to stay in places which can ensure you good access to technology.
Well, it seems like we went through the positive and negative sides of working remotely. A lot depends on the company you are working with and your personality.
In case you are a very organized person, lots of friends out of a job, who doesn’t need to be around the people from 9 am to 5 pm and prefer to work in selected locations, then you should definitely take a look on the previous article about places to find a remote job and try it! At least negotiate a few days of a home office in your current company.
But if you are a social person who loves to spend time chatting with coworkers during morning coffee or lunch, you won’t be happy staying alone at home.
Besides that, remote work requires a lot of discipline and self-organization, you have to be a boss for yourself, and keep your productivity on a high level.
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