TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

The Pros and Cons of Remote Work and How to Tell If it’s Right for Your Company

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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These days nearly every activity has a digital application. From dating to shopping and everything in between, if there’s not a medium to execute a task online, you can almost bet there will be one soon. This even applies to the workplace.

The average 9-5 of yesterday is gone. Companies are striving for higher employee productivity and reviewing studies and research to determine how to do so. This not only applies to office operating hours, but it also applies to where employees work. With ever-expanding digital capabilities, employers are opting for workplace alternatives such as allowing employees to work remote part-time or even full-time.

However, there are a number of pros and cons to consider when deciding if remote work is the right solution for your company. Keep reading to decide if the pros outweigh the cons.

PRO: REDUCED WORK-RELATED EXPENSES
Having employees work remotely can help your company reduce work-related expenses. There are a number of unseen expenses that businesses incur when they expand and grow, including the cost of office space. By reducing the number of employees that work in-office, employers can reduce the cost of office space, utility bills, furniture expenses and other employee-expected amenities often offered in a traditional office environment.

In addition to business costs cut, this is also a favorable condition for employees, as it will reduce money spent on gas, parking, vehicle maintenance and even clothing expenses from working in a traditional office setting.

PRO: LARGER TALENT POOL
Have you ever looked for candidates for a job but realized that your business is in a less than desirable location for ideal candidates? With remote work, your problem is solved. Remote work setups open up virtually limitless doors for employers when seeking talent. By allowing employees to work remotely, your candidate pool expands from those who are willing to live and work where your offices are located to anyone who is qualified for the job.

PRO: MORE WORK HOURS
A recent study found that on average, remote employees worked 1.4 days more per month and spent less time idle and unproductive while working remotely. When working in a non-traditional office environment, employees often have fewer distractions than in a typical workplace and can focus better.

CON: VIRTUAL COMMUNICATION
Remote work means less face time, less communication and ultimately less overall interaction and collaboration with other employees. In certain fields, the subsequent loss of collaboration and general human interaction on a day-to-day basis would not be missed. In other fields, the business hinges on this type of communication.

Additionally, because computer screens do not emit emotion, a lot can be lost in translation in virtual messages. Direct and readily available communication can be taken for granted when faced with the reality of communicating through a computer screen.

CON: DECREASED EMPLOYEE HAPPINESS
Sometimes the isolation that comes from remote work leads to employee unhappiness. Humans need interaction and connection with others in a real, in-person environment can make the biggest differences for your mental and physical well-being. Additionally, employee isolation can also result in remote employees feeling as if they cannot illustrate the value of their work as well and as a result, some believe it is more difficult for remote employees to receive a promotion.

CON: PRODUCTIVITY
Just as an increase in productivity can be a huge advantage for remote working environments, it can also be a con in certain situations. Because remote employees are not observed directly by their supervisors, many employers or supervisors might automatically assume that their remote employees are not being as productive.

Remote employees can fall susceptible to a lack of discipline when not having a mandated and expected structure to the day, ultimately resulting in a decrease in productivity. In addition, tracking remote employees’ productivity can be difficult in certain industries where performance indicators are more difficult to set.

Looking to take your office remote? When deciding if a remote work environment is right for your company, consider the above factors. Many companies will opt for partial work from home schedules, allowing employees a certain number of days to work remotely. Not only is this seen as a huge benefit when prospects are job searching, but it also allows companies to ease into a remote work environment if that is their ultimate goal. Remote work isn’t right for every company, but in the right environment, with the right employees, the payoff can be enormous.

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