What are the pros and cons of remote working?

What are the pros and cons of remote working?

Remote working is growing in popularity, especially in the startup world. In fact, we’ve even implemented a flexible working policy here at Movemeon.

So far we’ve implemented the following: working from home the first Friday of every month, 2 extra Flexi-days a month of your choice, and our team away trips also include flexible working, so far we have worked from these locations; Brittany, Montenegro, Seville, Chamonix, Granada, Barcelona and Romania. 

laila client success manager movemeon

Author: Laila, Client Success Manager – Movemeon.

Remote working is a new approach that can allow both employer and employee to adapt to work and external requirements in a mutually beneficial manner, so, here are our pros and cons:

Pros – Work-life balance

1. Time management

One of the key benefits of remote working is the time you get back from your usual commute. This allows for daily exercise, food preparation (e.g a nutritious dinner that doesn’t involve a microwave), quality time with your loved ones and a good night’s sleep.

TUC analysis has shown that the total average UK commute takes up just less than an hour per day (58.4 minutes). When you wake up you’re already in the office and when you’re done for the day you’re already home meaning you can invest that time in either personal projects or general wellbeing. 

Working from home also allows you to get on top of general life admin/house chores that you may not have the time to do over the course of the week, e.g those put-off doctors and dentist appointments!

3. Productivity

Evidence suggests flexibility in workplace location appears to boost the productivity of staff. Some argue for a responsibility factor: employees tend to work harder when they are out of the office. Not only do they feel a greater sense of control and less stress, but they also feel more of an obligation to be visible to teammates. A 2012 study by polling company Ipsos MORI found 47% of employees surveyed said they attempted to be ‘more visible’ by sending more emails and making more calls. Even more, 60% said they worked longer hours when they worked flexibly.

Also, another benefit is the reduction of in-office distractions and ad-hoc requests, allowing you to really focus and execute on the most impactful tasks and priorities.

4. Work-Life balance – young families

Day-day flexibility = quality family time.

More time to focus on taking children to school, attending after school events, appointments and reducing the cost of daycare.

5. Stress management

You are in control and can create an environment that you feel comfortable in. This also allows you to have flexibility in your schedule to take breaks to re-energize and in certain situations.

Also, spending more time with your pets is a known stress reliever!

Cons – Missing out

1. Internal discussions

Too much removal from the office can make you feel out of touch with instant day to day changes. This can be somewhat recreated digitally by having 1hr per day allocated for a video call or google hangout with your team and regular catchups.

2. Productivity

For some, it may be hard to find a distraction-free environment, especially working from home with young children. Try to create a distraction-free office space where you can either close the door during work hours, work in a different room or wear headphones when necessary to limit distractions.

There is also a potential to get relaxed around lunch hours, making up the time after your core hours – it can be hard to track when people are actually working or out to lunch, again regular communication and touchpoints with your team are crucial.

3. Meetings

Video meetings can prove a very effective way of maintaining communication, but they can also tricky especially if you have a bad internet connection, bad audio and people speaking over each other.

Also, quite often priceless conversations come directly before and after a meeting – which you can miss on the conference call. – Follow up with an email, on live chats and keep in contact where you can.

3. Less time for team bonding

Working away from the office can mean you miss out on spontaneous after-work drinks, events, peer feedback and advice.

5. Data security

In the new GDPR era, you have to be especially cautious when working away from safe WiFi areas – if you’re working in a cafe, for example, you could be a victim of a data breach so keep this in mind.

Read more about whether remote working improves productivity here.

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Author

Movemeon
Movemeon
Movemeon.com - The world’s leading community of consultants, alumni and commercial professionals. Also, growing hubs in France, Germany and APAC.

Founded by two ex-McKinsey Consultants, Nick Patterson & Rich Rosser.

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