TIME TO INVEST IN A HOME OFFICE?
The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were forced to adapt to remote work in order to continue operating while adhering to shelter-in place orders. While some businesses are eager to return their staff to the office, others are considering adopting remote work as a long-term measure. Twitter and Facebook are two of the most prominent organizations that have announced plans to allow employees to work from home permanently. Before your company jumps on the remote-work bandwagon, there are some
important details you need to be aware of.
While the pandemic made telecommuting the norm, remote work has been on the rise for many years. From 2005 to 2015, the number of U.S. employees who telecommute increased by 115%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is because there are clear benefits to remote work. A study from Stanford found that remote employees tend to be more productive. Employees also report enjoying a better work-life balance, and companies
who offer work-from-home options report less employee turnover. There is also a great deal of cost savings, both for employees who no longer have to commute and for businesses that find themselves paying less in office costs.
None of this is to say that remote work is the silver bullet to solve all of your company’s problems. There are also major drawbacks to telecommuting. While some businesses report an increase in productivity after switching to remote work, others have seen productivity wane. The home environment, with kids, pets, and chores, can be more distracting than the office. When not following a strict schedule, some employees struggle with being self-motivated.
Remote work can also threaten company culture. Isolation is a big challenge for workers. While technologies like Zoom and Slack can make communicating about work-related matters easier, it’s no replacement for in-person communication. It’s harder to read body language over video conferences and nearly impossible to relay tone over text messages. Digital communication is a real barrier for team bonding. Your employees may be
able to discuss work-related matters, but if they are not connected on a personal level, you will see your company culture suffer.
Is working remotely the right move for your business? Only you can make that call. Take a serious look at the needs of your business, your employees, and your clients and ask if working remotely is really a smart move for you.
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