The current pandemic is transforming the way we live and work. While before the pandemic, the majority of us had to spend hours on commute to work and back home, now this seems to be changing. During the pandemic, everything moved to online way of doing things. School lectures moved to online platforms, colleges, companies, and businesses alike. It became apparent that due to advanced technology, we do not have to go to offices each day of the week to be productive. Jobs could be done; lectures could be learned even through online methods. This makes us wonder: is remote working the future of jobs? As with anything else, remote working has advantages and disadvantages as well. This article aims to explore them.
What is remote working anyways?
The main idea behind remote working is that people do not have to travel to a central office every day to work. They can work from wherever they want to. Besides commuting, remote working also gives more freedom on the working hours of employees. Differently from the traditional 8-4 or 9-5 working hours, they can work whenever they want on their projects.
There are different kinds of remote work and it is all based on the specific business’ rules and the employee’s preference. Some companies might require to work mostly remotely but to meet in an office for important meetings, once or twice a week. This is a job with higher flexibility than the traditional one. There might be other businesses that require full remote work meaning that they never have to meet in a physical space for meetings. Everything is done online.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Remote Work
Remote working sounds so attractive for almost everyone. Well, it does have a lot of benefits. One of the main advantages is that it provides a flexible schedule. This is the most attractive point for employees. It happens that our inspiration or motivation comes at different times of the day. With remote working, you can arrange your working hours based on the way you feel.
Another great advantage is that remote working brings higher productivity. Due to the freedom the employees enjoy to arrange their working hours, their productivity also gets increased. Additionally, remote working means that employees do not have to spend unproductive hours commuting to the office. They can use those hours to increase their productivity and reduce their stress that they would have from commute. Also, this could benefit the environment as well since less people would be using cars.
Employees would also save money by working remotely. They would not have to fill their car tanks as often or they would not have to order food all the time. Employers would not have to pay rent for an office or there would not be a need for buying desks, chairs and other office supplies. Overall, remote work is thought to contribute to a better mental health. Flexibility will result in greater happiness and reduced stress which can help boost productivity further.
Although remote work sounds perfect, it has its disadvantages as well. The flexibility that comes with remote working tends to translate into non-specific working hours. This means that since we are at home working, we are expected to be available all the time, no matter the time. You are expected to communicate via email or phone, no matter the time.
The other disadvantage is that you might also encounter mental health issues such as isolation or depression. This is because humans are social beings. We love having people around, and it is much easier when we collaborate with our colleagues. When you work remotely, you do not have these. You will be away from your colleagues which tends to have an impact on your mental health.
A final disadvantage is that the employees can have many personal distractions at home such as a book they want to read, family responsibility, or any other similar duties that can slow your progress down.
How has COVID-19 impacted the remote working method?
Since the pandemic is still ongoing, it is hard to estimate the effects of it on the way we work. However, there are certain phenomena that seems to be here to remain. For example, a lot of companies and business have shifted to remote working and a lot of them have actually claimed that they might adopt this kind of work after the pandemic as well. So, it seems like it was observed that productivity has not decreased and they could perform well, regardless where they were working from.
A study conducted by Deloitte company in Switzerland showed remarkable results. When participants were asked whether they are more productive at home or at the office, more than 70% of them responded that they are more productive at home or just as productive at home. This shows that there is a tendency for people to be fonder of this kind of working.
The COVID-19 virus has changed the traditional way of working. Nowadays, people tend to prefer remote working which brings many benefits such as saving money, more flexibility, enhanced productivity, and many others. It also has disadvantages such as having no colleagues near us, having to be available all the time, and similar ones. The world awaits to see whether this trend will continue after we find a cure for the virus.