Having remote workers is a popular option for businesses today but it comes with an assortment of pros and cons. Telecommuting might be a good option to provide at the office, but here are some of the positives and negatives to consider before implementing it.
PROS OF WORKING REMOTELY
Flexibility – Telecommuting allows for employees to work from wherever and in some cases whenever they want. This type of flexibility is ideal for families and caregivers. Employees that are not tied down by a set schedule have the freedom to take the kids to school, run errands, go to the gym, etc. as long as the job gets done and meets deadlines. Having the flexibility on where to work allows the employee to create the ideal workspace for them.
Saves Money – Working remotely saves money for both the employer and employee. Employers can reduce spending on the purchase and maintenance of office equipment. As well, there is no need to buy or rent a large working space for remote workers. Although it doesn’t seem like much money in the moment, buying a morning coffee and lunch every day can add up over time. Alternatively, working from home allows for employees to whip up drinks, meals, and snacks right in their own kitchen. Money is also saved from not having to buy gas as frequently.
Increases Efficiency – Several studies have show than employees that work from home tend to be more productive than their on-site counterparts. One reason for this is because there are more opportunities to focus on their current job without interruptions of socializing or office chatter. Because not every person is productive on the same schedule, working from home allows morning people and night owls to work when they are at their peak. Remote workers are generally measured based upon their final product which gives them extra incentive to produce the highest level of work.
No Commute – By working remotely employees avoid a lengthy commute by car, bus, or train which makes them start their work day earlier and calmer. Studies have shown that the longer the person has to commute to work, the more likely they will be stressed out. If they plan to work out of their home its cuts down the commute time to however long it takes them to walk from one room to another. Commuting time is spent doing work instead of being wasted. Working remotely is also beneficial to the environment as it saves energy — literally and figuratively.
No Dress Code – One huge perk of working from home is not having a dress code. This saves time and energy. Some people spend more than an hour each morning getting cleaned up and ready for work. This hour could be re-directed into doing something more valuable that’s either personal or professional. As well, not needing a professional wardrobe cuts back on money spent.
CONS OF WORKING REMOTELY
Distractions – In order for working remotely to work the employee has to remain disciplined throughout the day in order to avoid distractions while at home. Distractions come in many shapes and sizes. It takes a strong will to defend against them since they seem to multiply when away from the office. Succumbing to the distractions can be deadly for productivity. Working from home only works for employees that are self motivated.
Recognition – Because employees that work remotely are out of site they also tend to be out of manager’s minds. This can prove to be problematic if the employee wants to grow within the company. Studies have shown that remote workers working for companies that also have on site employees generally don’t receive as many raises and get promoted at a slower rate.
No Social Interaction – When employees work remotely they miss out on important social opportunities. Because they aren’t seeing their team face-to-face every day there is a loss in camaraderie. This can lead to less of a sense of common purpose among the team. It may take longer to establish trust and working relationships with a remote team in comparison to an in-persons team. As well the employee may feel a little isolated and may be denied positive personal relationships between staff members.
Being Out of the Loop – Remote workers run the risk of being out of the loop. Even though they can interact with co-workers with different kinds of communication and collaboration tools it’s not the same as being in the office environment and having face-to-face conversations. This can lead to misunderstandings that require time wasting clarification. Being physically present with your coworkers leads to a more collaborative work environment that can’t be replicated with technology.
Security – Working remotely can bring up possible security risks for an organization’s intellectual property and databases. Due to the distance that information has to travel with a remote team there is a higher chance for it to be lost. Worrying about data security is a great reason to want to have a co-located office due to the amount of malicious people online, the potential vulnerabilities of data encryptions, and so much money being moved around virtually.
Although Red Dog Media does not have a policy for working remotely, our work culture provides similar benefits to our employees. Red Dog Media prides itself on having a work environment that is ideal for our team. We understand that our employees have personal lives so a flexible work schedule is offered. This includes being able to build your own work schedule and offering unmetered vacation. Dress codes are a thing of the past at Red Dog Media. This helps employees feel more comfortable and less stressed about their daily outfits. As well, our employees are able to save time and money on food preparation as breakfast, lunch, and smoothies are provided by Red Dog Media’s in-house personal chef. Even though working from home is not currently an option at Red Dog Media, we like to bring the flexibility and comfort associated with it to the office.
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