Remote Working has become the current trend, and owners of companies have embraced the idea that digital and technological evolvement has come to stay, hence the need for them to upgrade their work processes.
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Who is a remote employee?
A remote employee is an employee who works outside a traditional office environment. This could mean working from a local coworking space, home, coffee shop, or city across the world. The world has always been seen as a global village, where people do not struggle to connect to others.
COVID-19 disrupted mass gatherings; hence there was the need for a new strategy that allowed remote work
According to Madam Hannah Ashiokai Akrong, the Director of Human Resources (HR) at Vodafone Ghana, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, she said that technology is a wonderful thing that has made remote working possible. She said:
“Technology is a wonderful thing that enables us to work remotely, but at the end of the day, the role of the team leader is still very key in employee productivity. Just like any other activity, remote working has its downsides, which may affect employees physically or mentally. Fortunately, technology presents us with a variety of tools to choose from to deal with such situations, and the best part is most of these tools are free to download and use.”
Let us get the discussion started on the pros and cons of working remotely in this digital age.
The pros of Remote Working
1. It provides an opportunity to save
Working remotely enables employees to save a lot of money as they will not need to commute to work every day since they can work from wherever they are. Employers also don’t spend money on office maintenance. Imagine the bills you pay for your transportation, parking tickets, vehicle maintenance, eating lunch in a fancy restaurant, among others. All these savings become a reality when you are working remotely.
2. Promotes healthy lifestyles
Working in an office space is something that prevents a lot of employees from living a healthy lifestyle. As a daily routine, most people spend long hours in the office and less, taking care of themselves well.
Some do not get the luxury to exercise or eat healthy meals, which can compound a lot of problems for them if the issue is not addressed. With remote working, it becomes easier for them to control their lives and properly check any lifestyle that is bound to affect them negatively.
3. Promotes productivity
Working remotely will increase an employee’s productivity as they don’t get distracted by anything while working from their comfort zone. There are so many distractions in an office space, like your superior asking you to get them something out there when you are seriously working on something.
You can also work at different times of the day when you are more productive. Most employers won’t mind making your work schedule very flexible as long as you complete your tasks on time.
4. Promotes better work-life balance for employees
One thing that bedevils people’s work-life is that they cannot strike a balance in their work-life. Most people choose their work over their family, which has led to many problems in relationships. There is a better work-life balance when people work remotely as they will spend more time with your family.
Not commuting to work means that you can save a significant amount of time. Thus, you can utilize these saved hours to have some quality time with your partner and kids.
The cons of Remote Working
Working remotely, as seen above, has many benefits for employees and employers alike, but it also has its downsides. The cons of working remotely include but not limited to the following:
1. Staying motivated becomes a challenge
When working remotely, you have your space to yourself with no one around you to challenge you to be at your best when you are demotivated. As a remote worker, you can easily become discouraged and procrastinate if you don’t check it.
2. Communication gaps are created
Communication is vital among workers. When workers work remotely, there is sometimes a communication barrier created by hindrances of remote working. It is easier for one worker to approach the other in an office space where they work together, which is impossible with remote working.
3. Distorts social interaction
You are going to miss social interaction with the people in your organization. The lack of social interaction will affect you most if you are an extrovert. Also, when working the whole day without talking to anyone, you are most likely to feel lonely. Thus, you need to put more effort to interact with people in your team and even have to take part in remote team-building training.
4. Work overload
When working remotely, managing your immediate work environment is your sole preoccupation and not that of your superior. This poses many challenges to people as not everyone can manage everything without any help from anybody.
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