Telework or Remote Work

It’s been a while now since remote work has been adopted as an option to classic office hours. Apparently one out of five employees throughout the world is part of a remote working program. Most of them are from the Middle East, Latin America and naturally, Asia.

remote work

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Working remotely allows companies to use the labor force of employees who integrally or partially work outside the official headquarters – the most common form is working from home.

While very large global corporations reduce this so called total “freedom”, because the disadvantages started to show – working from home is still one of the most appreciated amenities according to employees.

As any other amenity, no excess is beneficial and I strongly believe that working remotely is very important. As long as it is used in an appropriate manner and as long as there are other occasions for the employees to meet, other than the End of Year Office Party (or not even then).

Of course, you should also have the technical endowment to allow such thing, and also take into consideration the nature of the business. For example, I don’t see how waiters or lifeguards can choose remote work.

Advantages of working from home:

  • Flexible schedule;
  • No long hours spent in traffic daily;
  • You get rid of spam visits at the office and you have less interactions with those nosey people – hence increased productivity;
  • You have more self-driven employees and an increased retention rate;
  • You don’t have to attend to face-to-face meetings;
  • You are (very) close to your family;
  • You work in peace and quiet;
  • You are happier;
  • You don’t have to eat at the office;
  • People from other companies may want to work for your employer;
  • Medical leaves will be reduced;
  • You will spend (way) less money for clothing;
  • In some cases you don’t have to work regular hours (from 9 to 5).

Disadvantages of remote work:

  • Sometimes the noise made by the neighbor power drill can be a bit disturbing for a job that involves a lot of (video) phone calls;
  • You can be easily distressed by those around you and lose all your productivity;
  • Lack of control over the employee is considered a disadvantage, but without an efficient monitoring and control system,  a sneaky employee will do this under your nose at the office;
  • Absence from the office may implicitly mean you are not part of the organizational culture. That’s why I recommend just a few days per week of telework, against total “exile”;
  • Personal development and training will suffer a decline;
  • Your job may never seem to be done;
  • You have smaller chances to be promoted, because your superiors don’t see you that often anymore;
  • You may get lonely sometimes;
  • It’s harder to finish your work at a certain hour;
  • If you are not very disciplined, remote work is not for you.

Working remotely has also some logical restrictions: no extra hours, you can’t be forced into this kind of work (it has to be your choice), you are responsible for the equipment you received, the location of your remote activity has to be the same – you can’t work from a different place every week, possibility to meet your colleagues, proper training, etc.

As a conclusion, I am a big fan of remote work because it gives the employees the flexibility they need and I don’t necessarily think about “the youngsters” only who seem to value more the work-life balance.

Just keep the flexibility within healthy limits, so anyone can benefit!

Good luck teleworking!