Remote work is not a new term to anyone, any more. This is also not the luxury that most employees got as a part of their benefits package in North America. This is pretty much the reality of your work life. Yes, let that sink in for a moment.
While remote work has been slowly on the rise for all these years, now it is more of a need. Working remotely has become more mainstream than ever, and now with the pandemic in place, it is a safety measure than a choice.
What is remote work?
A working style that allows professionals to work outside their workplace is known as remote work. For the lack of better expression, remote work is working from anywhere that is not your work desk. The idea behind this concept is simply the fact that working efficiently is not dependent on a place. Remote work provides flexibility and more ownership of one’s work.
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Remote work VS Mobile work
Remote work is obviously working from anywhere but in your office. But there is also mobile work that some companies implement for distributed teams. The idea is similar to remote work - to provide flexibility to the employees, and the balance they desire between their work and lifestyle. The companies need to make sure of the diversity and inclusion benefits when making employees working in a mobility program. This can result in increased creativity and productivity.
Remote work VS Freelance
To most of the people, freelance and remote work means the same. While the fundamental difference is you can work remotely, but you will still be working for the company you are employed with. However, when you are a freelance worker, you work on multiple projects and are not necessarily employed by just one company. So you can have numerous virtual jobs that do not have to be on a permanent contract.
Remote work VS Distributed work.
While working remotely, your location has a direct impact on your performance. Distributed work is the kind of work that means your location has no impact on your work performance. This basically means that employers ensure you are given the work that does not factor in your location in any form. This is mostly the workflow with coders and developers.
WFH VS WFA
Work from home and work from anywhere are two different yet similar concepts. This basically means that you can work from home through a controlled environment, or you can work from anywhere, like a coffee shop or something. The only difference between these two ways is that you can control certain factors in your home, but when you work from anywhere, there can be multiple things that can be a problem. For example, the network, people around you, the light for the video call, and many other things.
Benefits of remote work
There are multiple benefits of remote work, of course. To be fair, during the whole pandemic, the idea of remote work has been the most significant relief for employers and employees. Imagine, if you couldn’t work from home, what would you do? Here’s a list of some noteworthy benefits of remote work:
More than anything else, flexibility is one of the biggest reasons why people like working remotely. Your lifestyle can contain both work and your personal life, and you can juggle between responsibilities. Working remotely does not confine you into the four walls of an office, and you are in charge of your own work schedule.
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Better mental health
Work has always been stressful. No person has not complained about their work being hectic. And it’s true. The world is a very competitive place, and sometimes it takes more than your typical workday to make things happen. Working remotely has proven to boost morale and decrease stress levels in professionals. In fact, as per a Stanford study, people who work remotely have improved productivity and better work-life balance than working out of a traditional office.
Other than the fact that when people work remotely, they tend to put in extra effort to make sure that their work is on-point - they also have high productivity. There have been reports about people working more sincerely when they work remotely. As per the State and Work Productivity Report, 65% of regular employees reported an increase in their productivity when working remotely.
This is mainly a benefit for startups. When their teams work remotely, they do not have to put in extra money to set up the infrastructure and other office things.
Negative findings of remote work
While most of us like the flexibility of working from home, there are a particular bunch of people who either cannot afford to or do not wish to work from home or work remotely. Simply because they are not at the liberty to do so, or they do not have the resources to support that lifestyle. It is pretty standard in countries like India, not everyone owns a computer or a laptop. How do you expect them to work from home during a pandemic when the companies are working towards getting rid of almost 75% of their workforces?
Cons of remote work:
Different time zones
The major problem with remote work is when trying to engage with teammates in different time zones. While this can be overcome easily, there is still one person working at an odd hour to make sure the entire team is not suffering.
No real-time collaboration
The delays in brainstorming and collaboration are a real problem. This problem is more for the teams working in fields like marketing and have to ensure that the whole team is on the same page. Real-time collaboration can be a problem when everyone is working on their own schedule.
Something as common as network issues can arise, and information can be miscommunicated. This is why companies need to use multiple tools for collaboration, in case one fails, they have something else to turn to.
Since human beings are the most competitive in nature, we are all in the habit of assessing our teammates and members to make sure that we are not lagging behind. We thrive under pressure, that’s just how it works. We like the idea of being compared and then being made to feel appreciated. While this is possible in a workplace when teams interact daily, working remotely does not provide this feedback nor allow you to be aware of your team’s work more than you should. This has been causing notable performance in employees. As per Doodle, 63% of them report that they have been worried about their performances.
How has Covid-19 changed remote work forever?
Covid-19 has made a mess of our lives in general, not just our work. While this is a situation that no one has control over, we can still make sure that we can work through it. Here are some ways how remote work has been affected since the pandemic hit us:
- Work from home is the new normal. Corporate flexibility is one of our most favorite terms to use. Mainly because it is the utmost safe measure to take at this point, and there have been proven records of increased productivity. So neither the employers nor the employees can complain.
- Your workplace will be transformed entirely by the time they decide to call you back to work. Social distancing is critical, so it is safe to say that all the conferences are going to be virtual. And in fact, the offices will be working through capacity measures. They will not be welcoming more employees than they should inside a building.
- Your home will be your office, 2.0. At the start of this pandemic, many professionals struggled with working from home. There were simply not enough resources for them. Now that we are all in the sixth month of this pandemic, we have all made sure that our homes are well-equipped for this lifestyle. A workstation is a new asset that will be found in everyone’s home.
- Online tools are the new best friends. Now that all the workplaces are almost virtual, tools like google hangout and zoom are on everyone’s dock. There is also enormous scope for e-learning as no matter what your age bracket is, you are supposed to be sharing files across the cloud and being very secure with data sharing.
Welcome to the new normal, everyone. This will be fun! You can learn to paint while you code for a new website.