With so many people unhappy with their jobs, more and more people are choosing to work remotely, since the ability to work from home or on-the-go typically improves job satisfaction. However, working remotely isn’t for everyone, or every company. Here are some pros and cons of working remotely to consider when applying to jobs and planning your professional future.
1. Increased Productivity
Working remotely erases the distractions of the office workplace. If you require a controlled environment and limited human interaction to be productive, you may want to consider applying for a remote position. Employers have found this to be a great way to boost productivity and limit operational expenses.
2. Flexible Hours
By having flexible hours, you’re able to tend to the many urgent responsibilities (like getting your car repaired or taking your children to school) in your life that a regular 9-to-5 job would make harder to accomplish. Having time to take care of life’s responsibilities results in less stress on yourself, and more contentment with your career. And employers, by allowing employees to work under flexible hours, can increase employee retention rate, which also increases the company’s productivity.
3. Saving Time and Money
By eliminating the commute to work every day, you’re potentially saving thousands of dollars each year in subway fares or gas an parking. You’re also saving hundreds of hours in commuting time each year. The average commute to work in the U.S. is now 26.1 minutes each way. That’s 4.35 hours a week you save by not commuting every day. You can use this time for yourself to de-stress, read a book, pay bills, learn a new skill, or to do whatever else you choose to make your day easier and life better.
There’s also something else you could do with your newfound time: work on supplemental sources of income. With an extra four hours a week, you can contribute to your personal blog, find freelance work, even drive for Uber. Many people use this time to test the waters of a dream business venture. However you choose to use the extra time, expanding your sources of income can relieve yourself of some financial pressure—and be fun and exciting in the process.
1. Less Collaboration
If you‘re working remotely, you’re missing out on opportunities to work side by side with your colleagues. Depending on your job, this may or may not be a pro or con. For some, it can be distracting and reduce productivity. But for others, working in a busy office is a great way to meet new people and make friends. And when you put people together, great collaboration can take place. Collaborating can also help you achieve your work goals more effectively and efficiently. And it can also be quite fun.
2. Limited Advancement
Sometimes working out of the office can make it harder to stay in the loop. Not being seen every day, and maybe even forgotten about, can make it harder to advance through the company and receive promotions or raises. It’s important if you’re working remotely to keep consistent contact with your colleagues. It’s become common to conference call or video chat into meetings, which helps to solve this problem. However you’re doing it, if you’re producing quality results in a timely manner, you’ll be recognized by your superiors.
3. Cyber Security
Traveling always presents potential hazards. However, if you’re traveling or working remotely, it’s possible you’re putting sensitive information at risk. Public networks found in hotels and airports that are unsecured give eavesdroppers an opportunity to monitor your online activity. Financial statements as well as usernames and passwords may be compromised from using an unsecured network. It can be difficult to avoid these networks while away from home, which is why frequent travelers, including remote workers, should use a VPN to protect their online anonymity.
A Final Note
Although you might not think remote working is for you right now, you might find yourself wanting to consider trying it out sometime in the future. As working remotely becomes more acceptable, companies are increasingly offering positions with flexible hours and the option to work remotely. Some jobs offer the ability to work remotely right away, while others only offer remote working opportunities after a certain amount of time of your employment. Either way, before deciding if working remotely is right for you, remember to weigh the pros and cons above.
Brent is an advocate for internet safety, hoping to spread awareness into the types of internet risks that are often overlooked.
Working from home may make you more satisfied and boost your productivity according to a new study by Porch. The survey included responses from 1,001 people who either work in an office, work remotely, or split their time between an office and home (“split workers”) and explored such topics as job satisfaction, work-location benefits, productivity and distractions, and downsides of remote working.
When I started my career over 30 years ago, I never would’ve imagined I’d be working remotely from a home office in the mountains out West for an East Coast-based company. Cell phones didn’t exist, the Internet didn’t exist, and personal computers only existed in the imaginations of entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.