Remote working refers to work that’s done outside the office, usually from home. Whether you’re freelance or employed, you might have the opportunity to work from home a few days a week or even full time depending on your employer. However, as with any role, remote working has its pros and cons. From giving you more freedom and flexibility, to increasing feelings of isolation - it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of remote working to decide whether or not it’s right for you.
There’s No Commute
Whether you’re fed up of sitting in hour-long queues of traffic twice a day, or you can no longer face your train commute, one of the best things about remote working is that there’s no commute if you choose to work from home.
So whether you use the extra time to head to the gym before your working day, or simply get an extra hour’s sleep - you’d be surprised at how much you can get done with a few more spare hours in your day.
You Can Save Money
From your morning coffee, to yet another office birthday, office workers spend an average of £1,175.52 each year on office-related items.
However, when you’re working remotely from home, you can save a little bit of money, as you won’t have to fork out for your colleagues’ birthday, after-work drinks or your daily lunch order from your favourite café, leaving you with a little bit of extra money each month to treat yourself with.
Increases Staff Retention
Whether an employee requires a more flexible work schedule to fit around other commitments, such as children, or the daily commute is too much - remote working can help to retain staff by giving them the flexibility to work from home and maintain a better work life balance.
Not only is it advantageous to keep talented, high-performing employees on board, but it’s also cost-effective too, as finding a replacement can be a costly process, using time, money and resources to find someone new. So whether your company offers remote working full-time, or just a few times a week, it can go a long way to keeping your employees happy and content in their role and help you to keep your biggest talent.
It Can be Hard to Achieve a Work Life Balance
When it comes to remote working, it can be difficult to maintain a work life balance when working from home. Not only is it difficult to switch off, meaning you end up working way into the evening, but many people feel under pressure to prove that they’re being productive, meaning they over-compensate by doing extra work.
However, renting a desk in a coworking space can help remote workers to achieve a more healthy work life balance, allowing them to switch off from work when they walk out of the office door.
It Can be Difficult to Monitor Productivity
If you manage a team of remote workers, it can be difficult to monitor their productivity without appearing as though you’re micromanaging them. Unlike office workers, it’s not as easy to arrange weekly or daily catch ups with your team when they’re remote, making it difficult to monitor productivity and ensure projects are completed on time.
Although it’s perfectly possible to effectively manage a remote team, it just takes a little bit of extra planning, tools and time to make sure your entire team remains happy and productive.
Relationships Between Employees are Weak
Most office-based employees build strong relationships with their colleagues due to the sheer amount of time they spend together, however, remote employees don’t get the opportunity to build relationships with their fellow employees, leading to feelings of isolation.
However, one of the best ways to combat this is to arrange work nights out every month or quarter, giving employees the chance to meet each other face to face, rather than just communicating through a screen.
It Can be Lonely
From freelancers to business owners, one of the most common complaints about remote working is how lonely it can get. Although working from home may seem like a great idea, the novelty can soon wear off - especially when you realise you’ve not left your home for a few days!
However, one of the best ways to combat these feelings of isolation is to rent a desk at a coworking space. Whether you choose your own dedicated desk, or just hot desk a couple of times a month for a change of scenery, it’s the perfect way to make the most out of your remote working privileges.
So whether you’re considering allowing your employees to work remotely, or you’ve been offered a remote role, these pros and cons will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not remote working is for you.