The Pros and Cons of Remote Work: What You Should Know
Remote work has become extremely popular since the onset of the pandemic and it's practically mainstream at this point. But now with so many companies offering employees the option to work from home part, and even full-time, it's got many of us wondering why we ever went to an office in the first place.
It seems we've gotten so lost in fulfilling our own personal needs and desires to even consider the downsides of working from home. This would be the greatest failure for so many Americans working from home who have been victims of the recent mass layoffs across the country.
There are many potential benefits to remote work, but there are also some major potential drawbacks that are rarely considered or even weighed against all the other personal luxuries of working remotely. The biggest drawback of working from home is the increasing potential to jeopardize your position in the long run.
If you can do your job from home, then a lot of other people can do your job, from anywhere.
With all of the huge layoffs in big companies right now, it begs the question of who’s doing the jobs they laid people off from. Sometimes masses of employees lose their jobs to the automation of new artificial intelligence advancements. But there’s also another culprit… overseas workers. Think about it, why would companies pay American wages to people to work from home when they can just as easily hire overseas workers to do the same work for 10% of American wages?
The Cons of Remote Work
While there are indeed many potential benefits to working remotely, let's start with a few of the potential drawbacks.
Remote workers are more isolated - and isolation leads to mental health problems. Mental health problems lead to productivity issues, among other things.
Remote workers run the risk of losing their remote job to someone else overseas who's willing to do it for much less. This kind of instance happens all too frequently.
Remote workers also run the risk of losing their job to someone who wants to show up at the office and is actively part of the team.
For employers, remote workers are generally more difficult to manage than those in a traditional work environment where they have to show their face and be held accountable in person. Giving employees a longer leash usually only makes them stray further, not stay closer.
The Pros of Remote Work
Everyone has their own reasons why it would be better for them to work remotely. The pros of working remotely should be obvious enough, so I won't bore you with a list of awesome reasons to work from home. I'm not trying to sell the idea anyway...
The Bottom Line
Is remote work a dream or a nightmare? - The answer is: it depends.
For some people, remote work can be a great way to improve their work-life balance and increase their productivity. For others however, it can be a sure path to isolation, decreased collaboration, a lack of face-to-face interaction, and ultimately running the risk of losing your job to someone else. It's a different situation for everyone, I suppose, but...
If you want to try making the most out of working remotely, here are a few tips:
Set clear boundaries between your work and personal life. It can be all too easy to let work bleed into your personal life when you're working from home. Setting a schedule with specific times for work and separating personal events altogether will help you stay focused.
Stay connected with your colleagues. Even though you're not working in the same office, it is still important to keep in touch and keep a solid connection with the people you work with. Make a great effort to reach out to them regularly and consistently.
Take advantage of the flexibility that remote work offers. If you need to take a break during the day, feel free to do so. If you need to work from a different location, go right ahead. The flexibility of remote work is such a huge benefit, so you may as well make the most of it.
Just keep in mind...
Remote work can be awesome in a lot of ways, but once you make the move to working from home, you make yourself a bit less personal, and therefore, a bit more replaceable. If you're going to work from home, you'll have a lot more freedom, but you will also need to work a lot harder to keep your position. If you're willing to work a little harder for a lot more freedom, it just may work out for you.