Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home seemed like a perk that just a small percentage of employees got to enjoy. Now, as we are two years into the pandemic a great number of full-time employees got to experience working from home, for some companies it was a choice between staying at home or working from the office while for some it was due to employer-mandated safety requirements. If you recently joined the ranks of virtual staff due to the pandemic you’ll soon begin to notice that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. In reality, though, just like working in an office, remote work comes with pros and cons and today we will cover some of them.
• Time savings – without the need to commute daily people find out that they have more time for themselves and that they can also save money they would normally spend on commuting. Commuters from Palmdale, California spend 85.4 minutes on average daily, we can only imagine how delighted some of them were when they started working from home.
• Productivity – Many people and their companies were surprised to find they were more productive when working from home. Some of the reasons are the absence of time wasted commuting, typical office distractions, random breaks, etc. A study by Stanford of 16000 workers over 9 months found that working from home increased productivity by 13%, employees also reported improved work satisfaction, and attrition rates were cut by 50%.
• Flexibility – Remote workers find they can both attend scheduled meetings and preserve quiet time to get solo work completed, giving them more flexibility in their schedules. Due to the high level of flexibility, a lot of remote workers reported better work-life balance, for example, they could spend more time with their families, use breaks to take care of some personal errands, etc.
• Lack of community and teamwork – Aristotle, the Greek philosopher said “Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual”. It has been proven throughout history that humans can’t live alone while some, can’t work alone efficiently and effectively. Working from home is not suited for everyone’s personality or ability. Some employees might prefer the routine, structure, human interaction, and all the other things that come with working in the office.
• Lack of motivation – Motivating employees was something that kept leaders up at night long before companies shifted to remote working. The “new reality” we all live in made this issue even more complex. For example, employees who work in an office with coworkers with a common goal and purpose might get that external motivation needed just out of the fact that they’re a part of a team. Whereas, working from home lacks that kind of environment.
• Unmonitored performance – remote workers are required to keep a check on their performance at work by themselves, sooner or later they’ll find out that self-regulation is an extremely tough job.
Marc Zuckerberg said “People are more productive working at home than people would have expected. Some people thought that everything was just going to fall apart, and it hasn’t.” While we at LinkedTour enjoy this style of working we are still aware that some of you reading this might find it difficult and demotivating so we added one more quote hoping that it will give you that kick needed to adapt. Alex Turnbull said “Successfully working from home is a skill, just like programming, designing or writing. It takes time and commitment to develop this skill.”