There are a lot of discussions these days about the pros and cons of remote working. There are those who extol its virtues, claiming that it offers employees a better work-life balance, more flexibility, and improved productivity.
On the other hand, there are those who argue that remote working can lead to isolation and decreased productivity.
So which is right?
Does remote working really work?
And is it worth it?
- 1 What Is Remote Working?
- 2 Employees At Home
- 3 Working Virtually
- 4 Remote Work Employees
- 5 Benefits Of Working Remotely
- 6 What Bosses Really Think About The Future Of The Office
- 7 Work From Home Without Talking On The Phone
- 8 How To Work From Home
- 9 Not Everyone Can Work From Home
- 10 FAQs
- 10.1 Reasons To Continue Working From Home
- 10.2 Why is working from home better?
- 10.3 Is working remotely effective?
- 10.4 Are people really working remotely?
- 10.5 Is remote work better than office work?
- 10.6 Why do companies not like remote work?
- 10.7 How do you transition to working remotely?
- 10.8 Is WFH more productive?
What Is Remote Working?
Remote working has risen in popularity in the last few years because of advances in technology.
With the internet, email, and video conferencing, it’s now possible to work from anywhere in the world.
Remote working is defined as “the practice of using technology to perform work tasks outside of a traditional office.” It can also be referred to as telecommuting, telework, or teleworking.
There are a few different types of remote working arrangements. The most common is probably the home-based arrangement, where employees work from their homes. Other arrangements include co-working spaces, mobile offices, and virtual offices.
Employees At Home
The number of people working from home has increased dramatically in recent years. According to a 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people working from home increased by 115% between 2005 and 2015. In 2015, there were 24.8 million people working from home, which is up from 11.2 million in 2005.
There are a few reasons for this increase. First, there is a growing number of jobs that can be done from home.
Thanks to advances in technology, many jobs that used to require an office can now be done remotely. For example, customer service representatives, telemarketers, and data entry operators can all work from home.
Second, more and more employers are offering telecommuting as a benefit to attract and retain employees. According to a 2017 study by Global Workplace Analytics, 3.7 million US employees (2.8% of the workforce) work from home at least half the time. The study also found that 82% of employees would like to work remotely at least some of the time.
Employees in co-working spaces
In addition to working from home, more and more employees are working in coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces are shared offices that provide a collaborative environment for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers.
There are a few reasons for the popularity of coworking spaces.
First, they can be more affordable than renting a traditional office.
Second, they provide a community for people who work remotely. And third, they can offer amenities that are not typically found in a home office, such as coffee and printer access.
Another option for remote workers is the mobile office. A mobile office is a self-contained office that can be set up anywhere. It typically includes a desk, chair, and computer.
Mobile offices are popular with people who work remotely because they offer the flexibility to work from any location. They can be set up in a home office, at a coffee shop, or even in a hotel room.
A virtual office is an online office that helps businesses stay connected and productive.
Virtual offices typically include a business address, email, phone number, and website. They can also include meeting rooms, coworking spaces, and virtual receptionists.
Virtual offices are popular with small businesses and startups because they’re affordable and easy to set up.
They’re also popular with remote workers because they offer the flexibility to work from any location.
The Pros and Cons of Remote Working
There are a few pros and cons of remote working that you should consider before making the switch.
- You can save money on commuting and office costs.
- You have more control over your schedule.
- You can work from anywhere in the world.
- You can take advantage of flexible work arrangements.
- You may feel isolated from colleagues.
- You may have difficulty separating work from home life.
- You may need to be more disciplined to stay focused.
Virtual work is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around for centuries. The term “virtual work” was first used in the late 19th century by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.
He used it to describe work that could be done without physically going to the workplace.
Remote Work Employees
In the early 20th century, the concept of virtual work was expanded to include workers who were not physically present in the workplace.
For example, telephone operators and data entry operators were considered to be working remotely.
The term “telecommuting” was first used in the 1970s by Jack Nilles, an engineer who worked for NASA. He proposed that workers could use computers to connect to their office from home.
The first telecommuter was a woman named Anne McIntosh, who worked for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government in Kentucky. In 1973, she began working from home two days a week to care for her young children.
By the 1980s, telecommuting was becoming more popular, and a study by the Gartner Group found that 4.3 million US workers telecommuted at least one day a week.
Employee Working From Home
The trend of working from home has continued to grow in recent years. In 2017, a Gallup poll found that 43% of employed Americans worked remotely at least some of the time. This is up from 39% in 2016 and 37% in 2015.
There are a few reasons for the growth of remote work.
First, technology has made it easier to connect with colleagues and clients from anywhere in the world.
Second, the rise of the gig economy has made it easier for people to find work that can be done remotely.
And third, more companies are starting to see the benefits of remote work, such as increased productivity and lower office costs.
Benefits Of Working Remotely
Working from home will look like a great option from most angles, however, there are some pros and cons to consider before taking the plunge:
- You can take work with you wherever you go; whether that’s working from your “soft office”, aka sofa, or, from your local cafe, park, etc.
- You’re not tied to set working hours so, in theory, you can work around other commitments like childcare or family responsibilities.
- You don’t have to waste time commuting; to some, that may not mean a great deal but if your commute involves multiple buses/trains/x-minute walks.
- Your quality of life could/would improve; working from home means you have access to all the things an office doesn’t always supply. Having access to a full kitchen may have a positive effect on lunch and break times and you may even decide to have a crack at one of the many, many exercise videos online when there is no actual travel involved.
- You may be financially better off; depending on any agreements you make with your employers, not having to pay for travel (fuel, bus, and/or train tickets) can be a huge bonus – travel costs can soon mount up over the course of a year.
- Levels of productivity will likely increase if you work from home; once a routine has been established, there can be a greater level of focus as there are (potentially) fewer distractions and more control over how your work time is spent.
- Working from home can come with its own feelings of isolation, not just from colleagues but also from family and friends and it can sometimes make you feel cut off from your ‘team’ and unable to build the same relationships you would in an office environment.
- It can be difficult to separate work from personal time; working and living in the same place blur the lines and for a lot of people, it can become a real problem. There is no “off”-switch and sending one last email after hours can ultimately be the difference between feeling like you’re in control of that work is taking over your life.
- There may be issues with the technical side of things; although there are plenty of solutions to these, it’s something that can cause frustration and distractions from actually getting on with work.
- You could become a victim of procrastination; whether that means making more coffee breaks than you would in an office or taking slightly longer lunch breaks. It can be easy to become sidetracked when working from home.
- You might struggle without face-to-face interaction; for some people, being able to see and speak to colleagues is essential for maintaining motivation and a good work/life balance. If you don’t feel comfortable working independently, remote working may not be for you.
- There could be some problems with self-discipline; as there is no one directly watching over you, it can be tempting to take a few more liberties when working from home. This could lead to bad habits forming that might have an impact on your work efficiency and quality.
Health Benefits Of Working From Home
There are plenty of health benefits that come with working from home.
For starters, you can design your office space to be as ergonomic as possible, which can help reduce strain on your body.
You’re also likely to move around more when working from home, whether it’s to make a cup of tea or just to stretch your legs – breaks are up to you – and, if you have young children, working from home means you can avoid the expensive and time-consuming process of childcare.
Benefits Of Working From Home For Employers
There are plenty of benefits for employers when their employees work from home.
For one, it can help reduce the amount of office space that’s needed, which can save on rent and bills.
It can also lead to a decrease in absenteeism as employees are less likely to take time off for minor illnesses.
And, because employees are likely to be more productive when working from home, it can save on the cost of office supplies and equipment.
By allowing employees to work from home, companies are so widening the pool of talent exponentially – take away the geographical boundaries and you have a global workforce at your fingertips.
In the current climate, with so many people now working remotely, it’s more important than ever to have systems and processes in place that enable smooth and efficient communication between all members of the team, whether they’re in the office or not.
Disadvantages Of Working From Home For Employers
There are some potential disadvantages for employers when employees work from home.
For example, you may struggle to monitor and manage employee performance if they’re not in the office.
It can also be difficult to create a sense of team spirit and culture when everyone is working remotely.
And, if you have employees working in different time zones, it can be challenging to coordinate conference calls and meetings.
In order to make sure that remote working is successful for both employers and employees, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the expectations and objectives from the outset.
There should also be regular check-ins and communication between all parties to ensure that everyone is on track and meeting deadlines.
Benefits Of Remote Working During Covid-19
The outbreak of Covid-19 has led to a rise in the number of people working from home, with many companies implementing remote working policies for the first time.
There are plenty of benefits to this – employees can avoid exposure to the virus, and companies can keep their businesses running even if there’s a lockdown.
What Bosses Really Think About The Future Of The Office
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to rethink the way they operate.
For some, this has meant a move to remote working, with employees working from home instead of coming into the office.
While there are plenty of benefits that come with working from home – no commute, more flexible hours, etc. – there are also some potential drawbacks, such as a lack of face-to-face interaction and problems with technology.
So, what do bosses really think about the future of the office?
Today, businesses are still grappling with how, when, and if they should bring staff back to the workplace.
The view across industries seems to be that there is no agreement in conversations with CEOs of firms in a wide range of sectors.
Business owners are struggling to balance rapidly shifting expectations with their own impulse to have the final word on how their companies run.
They are eager to appear responsive to employees who are relishing their newfound autonomy, but reluctant to give up too much control.
And they are constantly changing policies in response to worker demands, re-examining aspects of their business that they might not have tinkered with otherwise.
Work From Home Without Talking On The Phone
If you work from home, chances are you’ve had to do a lot more talking on the phone than you’ve perhaps been used to.
Whether it’s conference calls with colleagues or client meetings, there’s no escaping it.
But what if you could avoid talking on the phone altogether? Here are some tips for how you can do just that.
1. Video conferencing
If you’re having a meeting with colleagues or clients, use a video conferencing tool instead of talking on the phone. This way, you can all see each other and there’s no need to use the phone.
If you need to communicate with someone, try using email instead of the phone. It’s a quick and easy way to get your point across without having to talk on the phone.
3. Instant messaging
There are plenty of instant messaging apps that you can use to communicate with others without having to talk on the phone. This can be a great option if you need to have a quick conversation without getting on a call.
4. Social media
If you’re communicating with someone publicly, such as for work, you can use social media instead of the phone. This way, anyone can see the conversation and there’s no need for a phone call.
5. Voice memos
If you need to communicate something but don’t want to talk on the phone, try recording a voice memo. This can be a great way to get your point across without having to actually talk to someone on the phone.
How To Work From Home
Working from home is becoming more and more popular, but it’s not always easy. Here are some tips for how to make working from homework for you.
Set up a dedicated workspace; If you can, try to set up a dedicated workspace in your home. This will help you to stay focused and avoid distractions.
Take breaks; Don’t try to work all day without taking a break. Get up and stretch your legs, have a cup of tea, or take a walk around the block.
Set a schedule; One of the benefits of working from home is that you can create your own schedule. But it’s important to be disciplined and stick to a schedule. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done.
Communicate with your team; If you’re working remotely, it’s important to stay in communication with your team. Use email, instant messaging, or video conferencing to keep in touch.
Not Everyone Can Work From Home
Working from home is not for everyone. Some people thrive in the office environment and find that they are more productive when they are surrounded by colleagues. Others find that working from home suits them better.
There are a few things to consider before you decide to work from home. First, think about whether you will be able to stay focused and avoid distractions.
If you find it difficult to concentrate at home, working from the office may be a better option.
Second, consider whether you will have the support you need from your team. If you’re working remotely, it’s important to stay in communication with your team.
Use email, instant messaging, or video conferencing to keep in touch.
Third, think about your lifestyle. Working from home can be great if you have a flexible schedule. But if you have young children at home, it may not be the best option.
Lastly, consider the cost of working from home. If you need to set up a dedicated workspace, you may need to invest in some office furniture and equipment.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to work from home or not is really a personal one.
There is no right or wrong answer. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and decide what will work best for you and your situation.
Reasons To Continue Working From Home
There are plenty of reasons to continue working from home, even after the various lockdowns have been lifted and life returns to normal. Here are just a few:
You can avoid rush hour traffic, work in your PJs, take breaks whenever you want, and create your own schedule.
Why is working from home better?
Everyone will have their own personal reasons for wanting/requesting to work from home, but some of the most common benefits include no commute, a more relaxed dress code, freedom to take breaks when needed, and create your own schedule.
Is working remotely effective?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it depends on the person and the job. However, studies have shown that there are plenty of benefits to working remotely, including increased productivity and satisfaction.
Are people really working remotely?
A study from 2018 found that 4.3 million employees in the US (3.4% of the workforce) work from home at least half the time.
This number has been steadily increasing over the years and is only expected to grow in the future.
Is remote work better than office work?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on the person and the job.
Some people find that they are more productive when working from home, while others prefer the office environment.
Why do companies not like remote work?
There are a few reasons why companies may be hesitant to allow remote work, including worries about productivity, concerns about communication and collaboration, and the need for face-to-face interaction.
The idea that employers are unable to keep their eyes on their employees in the traditional sense is also a common concern.
How do you transition to working remotely?
If you’re interested in transitioning to working remotely you can either talk to your boss about telecommuting, negotiate an atrial period, set up a dedicated workspace at home, and keep the communication lines open by communicating with the team via Zoom or slack.
Is WFH more productive?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on the person and the job. Some people find that they are more productive when working from home, while others prefer the office environment.