How remote work is setting itself up to be the new office norm

Posted on November 08, 2019

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Remote work is a situation where an employee completes and submits work to employers without being physically present at the office. It is commonly known as ‘working from home’, even though the work can be done from anywhere and not necessarily the employees home. With the rise in technology and our introduction to digital nomads and virtual offices in Mumbai, people are now looking to make full-time remote work a reality instead of just a dream. Let us look at the benefits and challenges involved with remote work to understand why it is becoming the norm instead of the exception.

Benefits of remote work

Working remotely is beneficial to both employers and employees. Some of the most common benefits are:

  • Flexibility and work-life balance

Remote employees have the flexibility to divide their time between tasks more freely. You could be travelling in the Bahamas and making new friends every day while still keeping your boss happy and meeting professional goals. It allows you to spend free time with your family, as there is no time wasted over commute or idling at the office.

  • Higher productivity and better health

According to a report published by the Royal Society for Public health in the UK, it was found that remote employees are much less stressed than their office-going counterparts. Studies also show that this results in employees having better mental health and being more productive at their job. This is a win-win for employees and employers.

  • Expands employment opportunities

Not being tied down by location allows employers to choose from a wider range of applicants and select the best person for the job. For employees, this could mean getting your dream job, no matter where in the world it might be, without worrying about relocating. Remote work also improves employee retention. Workers do not have to bear coworkers they dislike and are more satisfied as they get to spend time on the things they like along with their work.

  • Cost-saving

A fully remote team can save employers costs like rent, office furniture and the cost of employee commute. For such a company, finding a virtual office space for rent can be a lot cheaper in the long run. All of these costs add up and save employers a large amount of money, which they can use in other areas of the business. For employees, getting rid of the commute saves costs, time and reduces stress.

Challenges of remote work

  • Procrastination

One of the biggest fears of employers when it comes to remote work is that employees will procrastinate on their work. This procrastination might come in the form of a pet, a family member, neighbour, or even the television. To deal with this, employees must use time management techniques and focus on prioritising tasks to avoid procrastination.

  • Challenges faced in communication

This is the second biggest fear for employers. In an office, you can simply get up and ask a coworker for help or discuss a tough situation over lunch break. This is not the case for remote workers. Any challenges must be faced and dealt with alone.

  • A feeling of isolation

While you might finish a lot of work this way, working remotely tends to create a feeling of loneliness and isolation in employees. This lowers morale and productivity over time.

  • Working too much

While remote workers are responsible for dividing their time amongst work and life, there are many times when work seems never-ending. Just like it is up to the remote worker to avoid procrastination, it is also up to him or her to know when it is time to take a break. Remote workers must prioritise their tasks to avoid burnout and deliver consistently.

The fields of technology, writing and shopping have already accepted the idea of remote work with open arms. Other fields such as teaching, medicine and accounting are also slowly accepting this trend and taking it a step further. As with any innovation, there are certainly challenges that remote work must face. However, just like the internet and coworking offices, remote work is a trend that is here to stay. Ensure that your organisation stays ahead of the curve by learning more and adapting it to suit your business.

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