WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS & DISADVANTAGES OF WORKING REMOTELY?
We know that the ability to work remotely is very appealing to many employees. But what are the benefits and disadvantages of working remotely for the company? As times change, so does our need to be flexible with our working situations. No longer are we in a position whereby staff are all based in the same office and working closely together on a daily basis. In order to work within the varying availabilities of staff or in order to attract employees that perhaps are not based locally, the need to provide remote working situations is becoming more common.
Working remotely certainly has its advantages and it does allow a company to open up their employee options in order to secure the most suitable candidates. They have access to a wider pool of applicants and can then select the right fit based more on their skill set than their locality. Moving states or even countries is not always practical, however with working remotely becoming a more recognised option, businesses can bypass that roadblock.
The flexibility of hours that working remotely offers, also allows those with children or other responsibilities to essentially keep a foot in the door. They are still able to secure the types of jobs that they are trained and qualified for, but within the structure that works alongside their home-life. According to Buffer’s report on the “State of Remote Work”, 40% of people claim that a flexible schedule is the biggest benefit of remote work.
Working remotely doesn’t even need to be every day, employers have options. It’s all about balance and that can also be achieved with a 50/50 office/remote scenario. This structure would allow employees to have some of the flexibility they need, but also keep the team connected on a regular basis.
Staying connected is also now easier than ever before. There are so many options and platforms that companies can use to ensure that their team stays in touch and is able to access all the vital information they need to be able to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively when away from the office.
Having less employees working in the office also means reduced overheads. Smaller offices are required to house smaller teams and therefore lower utility bills and create an overall smaller carbon footprint. Also by allowing people to work apart from one another it also helps to minimise the spread of any sicknesses through the team. When people are unwell they can stay at home and continue to work without the risk of infecting others.
Savings are also on the cards for employees as well. Working remotely means less time commuting, less petrol, less KM’s on cars and no parking fees. Possible savings on food bills as buying lunch out would reduce. Childcare bills may also be reduced or removed depending on how often you are able to work remotely.
The other situation that may be avoided by working remotely is office politics. With a reduction in the number of employees that need to work in close quarters with one another may help to avoid some personality conflicts, but also reduce the amount of time that gets wasted through idle chit chat and unscheduled breaks.
As with all great ideas, working remotely also has its challenges.
The opportunity for distraction when working remotely is also very real. When a team member is not necessarily being held accountable throughout the day as they would probably be in an office situation, the temptation of various distractions can become too much and result in a loss of productivity.
Some people also don’t deal with isolation very well. When they are required to motivate themselves and not have physical contact or interaction with other people day after day, they can become disengaged.
On the other hand, when you have the ability to work at any time of the day because you’re set up is remote, you can fall victim to developing a skewed work/life balance. It’s very easy to not know when to switch off and before you know it, your home life becomes impacted. According to Buffer, 22% of remote employees report that unplugging after work is their biggest challenge.
An easy way to help companies overcome some of these challenges is to engage in some remote team building activities which are offered by Total Team Building. They co-ordinate a program called Office Olympics which allows teams to remain connected even when they are not sharing the same space. The program requires teams to collaborate together to complete various fun tasks and challenges and to remain connected, while having some fun as well.
Whichever way you cut it, working remotely is more a necessity than it is a choice these days. The trick is getting the balance right and making sure that those employees who are working remotely are still connected with each other and the team as a whole and that they can continue to work collaboratively towards a common goal.
About Total Team Building
Total Team Building specialise in teams…we facilitate fun engaging experiential team building activities designed to enhance team productivity, team culture, leadership, communication and collaboration. For more information about how Total Team Building can help you and your team contact us today.