The modern workforce is unlike anything we have ever seen before. As well as traditional in-office workers, there are now partially and fully remote workers and even flexible employees.
These new working arrangements bring with them inherent advantages and disadvantages. As such, in order to make a remote-based arrangement work, managers have to be willing to adapt and adopt.
When managers help make the transition easier, these negatives can be navigated. Resulting in an arrangement that affords employees with the flexibility and tools needed to thrive in the modern workplace.
In the past, working from home seemed like the promised land. An arrangement afforded to only the luckiest of people. However, due to world circumstances, working remotely has become the norm.
As more employees have embraced remote work, businesses are starting to see the value in such an arrangement. This is because working remotely positively benefits both the employee and the organisation.
Improved Work-life Balance
One of the great advantages of remote work is the notion of improving work-life balance. By removing the hourly commute and being able to schedule your own start and finish times, you have more personal time.
This means that you can use your commute time to take your kids to school or enjoy a run in the park or a walk around the neighborhood.
Setting your own hours means that you can make your child’s ballet recital or enjoy dinner with friends and family more often.
Increased Talent Pool
When businesses go through the hiring process, they may be forced to compromise because they can’t find the right talent. With remote employees, location no longer is a factor. Meaning that you can hire from anywhere in the world.
Often, hiring a full-time employee entails unnecessary costs, which is why hiring freelance employees is one of the best ways to ensure that the work gets done in an affordable manner, on a per-project basis.
This means that the hiring process becomes easier. With more options, the chances of finding a dream candidate increase. Additionally, hiring with no location limits means that you can foster a more diverse workplace.
When you give people the tools and freedom to work on their own terms, they can and will produce great results. This is why remote workers often experience increased productivity levels.
Advancing technology means that there are new cloud-based solutions and online tools that help empower workers to work productively. With technology and programs readily available, employees can work smarter, not harder.
Additionally, remote workers have less distractions. This means that time previously spent in meetings or being interrupted by office noises can now be channeled into productive and efficient work.
Reduced Office Expenses
Remote work saves money for both employees and employers. For example, employees no longer have the expense of putting fuel into a car or paying for other transport means. Employees also won’t spend money on lunch or coffee when it all can be made at home.
Employers will also save money under this working arrangement. Upfront costs to ensure every employee has the right technology in their home may be high. However, these costs will quickly be outweighed by the savings on real estate.
Making the transition to a remote-based team can be challenging. There will inevitably be an adjustment period where employees and employers work out what is working and what aspects need work.
Like any change, working remotely isn’t suited to everyone. In fact, some people may thrive while at home while others struggle to complete seemingly menial tasks and attend meetings.
Communication gaps can arise in a remote-based team. This is because everyone may be working off a different schedule. Some employees may even be in completely different time zones.
This means that it can be difficult to get prompt responses. This kind of communication gap results in deadlines being missed or important documents being completed without the proper information.
Lack of Motivation
A negative of remote working revolves around a lack of motivation. This could be because you want to play games with your family or complete everyday chores instead of logging on for a shift.
This could also be borne out of a lack of recognition. When workers aren’t in the office, it can be hard to receive recognition and praise. Without this, it becomes hard to work everyday when seemingly no one cares.
Working from home can be a distraction. There might be a pile of dishes that are calling your name. Your family might want to spend the morning talking to you, even though you’re technically at work.
This is because it is hard to draw boundaries when working from home. Little kids don’t understand that while you may be home, you still need to work.
The same goes for pets who bark and beg for walks. All of this noise can be even more distracting than office noise.
Missing Social Interaction
For some, the biggest challenge of working from home is missing the social interaction that an office environment provides. There are no water cooler chats. After work drinks are few and far between. There’s no one to accompany you on a coffee run.
It’s little interactions like these that break up the day. Providing a much needed distraction from work. For remote workers, the absence of social interaction can leave them feeling lonely and bored.
Managing a Remote-based Team
For better or worse, the workplace has changed. Employees will no longer be dedicated office workers, clocking in at 8am and making their way home at 5pm. Instead, the majority of the workforce will work remotely.
This kind of remote work marks a new dawn for working arrangements. Providing extra flexibility while also allowing for greater productivity, working remotely benefits employees and their organisation.
However, there are also negatives associated with remote work. Instead of letting these challenges become insurmountable, managers can provide employees with the tools to excel. Resulting in a remote arrangement that benefits everyone.