The Pros and Cons of Remote Working
The Internet has made the term “working from home” a commonplace arrangement in a lot of people's lives. While the typical 9-5 job is still in some ways the standard when it comes to employment arrangements, flexible hours and remote working are fast becoming an appealing and viable option for a broader range of people. Cyberspace has facilitated this shift as we are becoming more and more connected to each other - whether we're in a cafe, the beach, the office or at home.
The appeal of work-from-home arrangements is the thinking that you can be productive in the comforts of your own house or apartment. The usual considerations for accepting a job become a lighter affair as you neither have to think of commuting to work, office politics, or keeping up your professional appearances five days a week.
Sure, you still have to factor in your salary and the benefits you will receive as an employee. But all the possibility for flexible work hours is understandably appealing in many ways and for many of us.
As we've previously mentioned, part of the appeal of work-from-home arrangements is in removing the traditional barriers of office situations. You no longer have the problem of getting from point A to point B for the simple fact that your home will be your office and moreover, you won't have to deal with the constraints of business culture. corporate attire will be reserved for special meetings and not for your day-to-day affairs and office politics will be a thing of the past as your cubicle or office won't be next to someone you might not see eye-to-eye with at work.
It also aids in being able to simulate a better work-life balance and a more stress free, less hectic and safer environment for you, as you are able to drop the kids of at school , attend a PTA meeting, tend to a sick relative, all without time off from work, making excuses or hectic drives back and forth to the office.
However, while there are many pros to working from home, some of the advantages also come with disadvantages and it's not the solution for everyone...
Considering the Cons
In considering the cons, you have to take into account the most important component of employment arrangements: your professional self.
How are your work habits? When are you most productive? Where are you most productive?
You have to earnestly ask yourself the things that relate to your work style as these will contribute to the success of your work-from-home arrangement.
Further, in determining whether to accept remote working arrangements, you also have to consider the benefits of having an office, and thus the cons of working from home.
One of the benefits of having an office is having a space reserved for being productive. While yes, the thought of not leaving the comforts of your home is a great idea, but in practice, your work and productivity may be impeded by the proximity to creature comforts. Your desk may be next to your bed. Your room may be next to the flat screen TV. Among the drawbacks to working from home may be your own comfort and being too comfortable to be productive.
What Works For You?
Ultimately, you will have to decide what kind of situation works best for you. If you're the type of person who can work anywhere, anytime, then a home office may be a great way to go. However, if you're work style is greatly influenced by a focused environment, then an office may suit you best.
What Should I do if We Go Remote?
Should you decide to work remotely, or allow your employees to do so, it is often easier said then done. To help make the process easier, here are five questions you need to answer before working remotely:
- What technology will you need? Will your company provide computers, or will you use personal devices? What devices do you use at the office that may not be at home? The questions are endless, but defining what tech you will need, will increase the chances of remote working being successful.
- Do your systems support remote working? This is an important question to ask. You need to know whether your existing systems can support remote working, especially when it comes to communication and sharing files.
- How will employees connect to the office? Will they need a VPN to access files stored on office services? What will the main communication methods be? How will they partake in calls if need be? In any office, communication is important, and you need to make sure remote workers have an effective way to communicate with the main office.
- What hours will you expect to work? Many companies have set work schedules and working remotely opens up employees to potentially different working hours, so it is best to define what times you expect remote workers to be on-line.
- Where will you work from? The greatest benefit of remote working is the ability to work from literally anywhere you have an Internet connection.
Before you do implement a remote working scheme, you should get in touch with us. Here at Mirus we offer a wide variety of solutions that enable or support remote working. For example, our cloud offerings combined with Microsoft's Office 365, server virtualisation, device management systems and security can help ensure that you are not only able to access your office systems, but are also productive.