The advantages and challenges of remote work
Is a remote job right for you?
Picture the scene: You’re sitting on a sunlounger on a Mediterranean beach, your laptop perched on your legs. You take a quick Skype call, answer some emails and then continue your work in peace. Think that’s mad?
It could happen. Half of the workforce will be remote by 2020, according to statistics from Market Watch. So, do you think you have what it takes to take on remote work? Here’s what you need to know before you decide.
Remote work: the advantages
Before you start hunting for remote work, you may want to consider what the advantages are. It’s no surprise that there’s been a surge in this style of working in recent years. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at three of the reasons you might love a remote job.
You may be more productive
Think remote workers sit around watching daytime TV? Think again. One survey from CoSo Cloudactually suggests that professionals who work this way are more productive than the rest of the workforce. A massive 77 per cent of workers reported greater productivity whilst they were working away from their main office. The reason for this could be that there are fewer distractions when you work alone, and you have fewer meetings to attend as well.
You have more flexibility
Needless to say, one of the biggest advantages of remote work is flexibility. Working away from your office or site means that you can quite literally work from anywhere.
Think about it. Should you have children or a tricky personal life, this simple advantage could make a massive difference to you. For example, if one of your parents is ill and needs a helping hand, you can travel to look after them – and still work along the way. Remote work means that life is less of a balancing act and more, well, balanced.
There are online tools to help
What’s more, the modern world is 100 per cent geared up for remote workers. There are now many different online tools you can use to help you along the way. It’s worth taking advantage of this software to ensure that you’re in touch with your team. You can use free, professional tools to communicate with your company and keep them updated. Perhaps the most popular examples of this are Slack and Skype. The former allows you to hold multiple conversations with co-workers or clients while keeping all of the information in one place, and the latter can serve as your means of video conferencing for meetings.
Remote work: the disadvantages
Remote work sounds like a dream come true, right? While there are many advantages to working out of office, you should consider the downsides too. It’s not all flexible schedules and working in your PJs. Here are three of the possible disadvantages.
Remote work can be lonely
Isolation can be a real issue for those working remote jobs. In fact, 21 per cent of Brits said that remote work makes them feel lonely, according to a survey by BHSF Occupational Health. If you’re working from your kitchen table every single day, it’s not a surprise that you may start to feel somewhat alone. That’s why it’s important to get out and see people. You could try working from a café or joining a co-working office space, for example. These small changes to your remote working regime could be real game-changers.
You have to be self-sufficient
A remote job may mean that you have more control over your time. However, it also means that you need to take responsibility and get your tasks done to a deadline. For some individuals, scheduling could be a challenge. Luckily, there are some pieces of software that can help you manage your time. For example, you may want to try work-flow management tools, such as Asana or Trello. You can set your own deadlines for each of your tasks and get regular reminders to help you stay on track.
Bridging the gap is hard
If you’re working for a large company, the distance between you and the other staff members may be hard to bridge. Nothing can replace face-to-face interactions; while you can use the communication tools we’ve already mentioned, it will still be a struggle. Attending infrequent company conferences or meetings – if you can do so – could be one solution to this issue. Speak to your team about what works for you as an individual.
Looking for remote jobs? As you can see, this setup comes with both advantages and challenges. Before you decide whether a role like this will suit you, it’s worth taking the time to weigh things up. Some professionals will thrive in this type of position, while others may find that they struggle. The choice is yours.