More people are working remotely now than they ever have before, and this trend is likely to continue. So as your colleagues leave the office in favor of working from home, you may be wondering if this is a move you would like to make as well.
As with most things, there are pros and cons to working remotely, which we’ve outlined below. Hopefully, this plus your knowledge of yourself will help make it easier for you to decide if remote working is right for you.
Here are some of the main advantages of working remotely:
Greater Freedom, Flexibility, and Autonomy
This is far and away the biggest perk involved with working remotely. Since you don’t have anyone around you, there’s no one to check up on when you’re working or to tell you to get back to work. Of course, you still need to meet your obligations, but when working remotely you get to do it on your own terms.
But beyond just empowerment, this flexibility can also be rather practical. For example, you no longer need to wait to run errands until after work, or schedule appointments at the same time as everyone else. Instead, you can do stuff during the day and work around your other responsibilities. This is great if have children or any other family responsibilities, as it allows you to spend more time where you’re needed most.
It’s also one of the reasons why remote workers tend to be more engaged than their in-office counterparts. They are more grateful for their arrangement, and this helps them build a stronger connection to the work they do.
Make the Most of Your Productive Time
Despite the countless books out there telling you how to be more productive, it’s not an exact science. You can develop good habits and set up good spaces to work, but you can’t always tell your mind and body when it’s time to be productive. Sometimes they tell you, and when you work remotely, you’re in a better position to respond to what your body is telling you.
For example, some people just work better at night, but they are forced to try and be morning people because traditional business norms dictate that’s what needs to happen. But all this does is harm productivity.
If you work remotely, then you can use the times when you’re not productive to do other things, and then you can get to work when your mind shifts into the right mode. This is something you simply can’t do when you’re in an office setting, and it’s one of the major benefits of working remotely.
No More Commuting
Lastly, commuting is a major time waster and stressor, but it’s also a necessary evil. But only if you work in an office. If you work remotely, then you no longer need to jump in your car or on your bike to get to work. You can simply log into your computer and get started. No more headaches from the constant beeping of horns and poor air quality found outside.
While there are many benefits to working remotely, there are some downsides you should be aware of, such as:
Funding Your Own Utilities
If you work at an office, then things such as high-speed internet, phone, cable, electricity, laptops, etc. are all provided for you at no extra cost. However, when you begin working remotely, then you’ll be responsible for these expenses.
You likely already have most of all of these things in your home, but now that you’ll be working there, too, this might cause your bills to go up. Some companies may reimburse you, but most won’t, so spend some time looking at your bills to make sure you won’t be getting in over your head when working remotely.
Lack of Social Contact
Depending on the type of person you are, or what type of company you work at, the lack of contact with your coworkers could be both a pro and con of working remotely. However, even if you relish the time away from your colleagues, know that remote working can at times be rather isolating. There may be days where you don’t really leave the house, and for some, this would be unbearable.
If you think you will suffer as a result of so much time by yourself, but you still want to enjoy the benefits of working remotely, then you need to find ways to get out when you’re not working. Join a community group, sign up for a sports league, attend events at local cultural centers, etc. This will help you get more balance in your life so that you can enjoy the perks that come with remote work without feeling isolated and alone.
The freedom that comes with remote working can often be a double-edged sword. While you can work when you want, this can easily translate into time-wasting. Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, and anything else you can think of are all right there waiting to steal your attention, and if you’re not strong, then you could wind up getting into some really bad habits.
The only real solution here is to teach yourself some self-discipline. Make a routine and stick to it. It doesn’t matter what that routine looks like, as long as it works for you and you’re able to keep up with it. This will help you manage your time better and make better decisions about how to use it.
The Future of Work
Despite some of its disadvantages, remote work is likely going to be the norm in the not-so-distant future. There are just too many reasons why it makes sense, and people will continue to demand it. However, know that while there are many benefits, there are also some drawbacks. But if you’re prepared for these, then you will be able to take full advantage of all the perks remote work has to offer.
About the Author: Kevin is the founder and CEO of Vast Bridges, customer acquisition and lead generation service focused on strategic growth. He also runs Broadband Search, which is a platform designed to help people find the best value internet service provider in their area. All of these businesses were started out of his home, and he enjoys discussing with others the benefits and challenges that come with this lifestyle.
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