Pros and Cons of Remote Work
The popularity of remote and hybrid work has grown since the COVID-19 lockdowns and opened employers and employees to a new kind of work environment. As the fear and harms of COVID-19 diminished most businesses began transitioning back to how it was before, but many office-style jobs decided to adopt long-term remote or hybrid work models. Remote work is a popular discussion topic for all types of employees: young employees looking to travel, employees with kids, employees taking care of sick loved ones, and so on. Although remote work does not apply to all jobs, it holds many pros and cons that employees and employers should consider before committing to or rejecting the remote or hybrid work models. Does remote or hybrid work make sense for you? Let’s find out!
Pros for Employees
- Improved work-life balance
- Enhanced employee satisfaction
- Expanded job opportunities
By having the opportunity to work remotely, employees can work from anywhere! This opens employees up to new opportunities that would’ve never been possible with an in-person work model. The work-life balance gets much easier with a remote or hybrid schedule. For example, employees can schedule appointments during the day, spend more time with families, and find more time to prioritize their health and exercise. This in turn lowers stress and increases overall happiness. Remote work schedules also expand job opportunities for employees since they don’t necessarily need to be in the same geographic region as the job they’re applying for. For example, employees could live in a lower-cost area while working in a higher-earning area, saving money on commute time and costs.
Cons for Employees
- Blurred boundaries between work-life balance
- Isolated workdays & lack of social interaction
- Limited career growth opportunities
Being able to work from anywhere is a double-edged sword; although it creates new opportunities for employees, it also blurs the boundaries between employees’ work life and personal life. Essentially, the workday never ends. Remote work can also result in employees feeling isolated. Although employees interact virtually, a lack of social interaction can result in deep psychological effects based on the person. Since the employees aren’t in the office interacting face-to-face every day, it can also limit networking opportunities within the company. This can lead to fewer growth opportunities within the company and weaker mentorships and relationships. If employees stay proactive and reach out, this can easily be avoidable.
Pros for Employers
- Increased access to global talent
- Cost saving
- Increased employee productivity
With a remote work model, employers can hire outside of their local geographic area. This expands employers’ access to talent and can increase the level of work output. Remote work saves employers a lot of money. Without the need for big office spaces, the costs will be little to nothing. By cutting big chunks of these expenses out of the business while keeping up productivity, profits will skyrocket! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics highlighted a study done by Trip.com between 2021 and 2022 where they found hybrid work schedules increased employee satisfaction and reduced rates of quitting or leaving the company by 33 percent. Within the same study, it was found that hybrid workers took fewer days off with their increased flexibility to complete tasks. Managers were originally hesitant to participate in the hybrid study due to the fear of lower productivity from their employees. After completing the study, managers had positive opinions regarding productivity in hybrid work schedules. Based on this study, hybrid work schedules essentially lead to more productivity and satisfaction in and out of the office.
Cons for Employers
- Challenges with communication and collaboration
- Monitoring & accountability
- Potential for decreased innovation and creativity
Some employees aren’t going to be as effective at communicating virtually compared to in-person and this may result in challenges with communication and collaboration. Communication is key when it comes to remote or hybrid work schedules. Since everyone won’t be in the office at the same time, monitoring productivity is often based on how disciplined and accountable employees are out of the office. Collaboration is closely connected to innovative ideas and creativity. Group brainstorms are super beneficial to innovatively completing tasks and keeping the company fresh. It’s important to find ways to collaborate even when workers are remote.
Does a Remote or Hybrid Work Schedule Make Sense for You?
It’s hard to find a balance between in-person, hybrid, and remote work schedules that benefit the well-being of employees while also benefiting the well-being of the business. The remote and hybrid work schedules trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down and the weight attached to its benefits and drawbacks are disputed based on specific situations. If remote or hybrid work schedules aren’t currently offered at your job, why not give it a try? Feel free to use this as a resource for your employers or employees if you are curious about trying the remote or hybrid work schedule.