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Remote Working: The Goods and Bads

05 September 2023

Remote working was only something you could have wished for before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, 2 years down the road, remote working has become the new norm. Employers who were strict and stern about work schedules had no option but to operate remotely during the pandemic. When they saw the tremendous benefits of this model, they couldn't help but continue operating that way even after the pandemic was declared over!

The employers are happy as they save massively on operational costs, and employees are happy because they can spend more time with family. Remote working seems like the picture-perfect situation for everyone.

But as they say, there are always two sides to a coin. While we can't deny the good side of the remote working model, we also can't turn a blind eye to the fact that there are some downsides to it.

This blog post highlights the good and bad of the remote working model so that you can decide whether you would like to continue with the model in the future or return to the office for work.

The Good Side

Most employees would choose to continue working from home if given a chance. The employers are also benefitting in numerous ways, which is why they aren't imposing that all employees return to the office like they did pre-COVID-19. The remote working model has gained tremendous popularity over the past few years, and it seems like it's here to stay for good.

Let's have a look at the good side of the remote working model, which has led to its popularity and widespread acceptance even by the most inflexible employers.



Higher Productivity

One of the biggest benefits of the remote working model for the employees is they can perform better. Employees who work from home are found to be more productive. Now, there are numerous reasons for this. When working from home, you don't get distracted by your co-workers who show up at your desk every few minutes, asking about even the most trivial matters.

When you go to the office, you've got to reach on time, no matter how late you slept the night before. You feel sleepy for half of the day, which affects your efficiency and productivity. That's not the case when you're working from home. You can sleep extra hours and wake up feeling fresh. The remote working model allows you to work during hours when you feel most productive. You aren't bound by the 9 to 5 schedule.



Quality Family Time

If you ask remote workers about one reason they wouldn't want to return to the office, most would say that remote working allows them to spend quality time with their families. Going to work just the shift hours. You invest more than 8 hours daily, including the time you spend getting ready and travel time. By the time you come home, you're so exhausted that you just what to retire. This results in your family time to go on a back foot.

However, when you're working from home, you get to spend more time with your family. You can enjoy all 3 meals of the day with them. You can also go to pick up your kids from school and divide responsibilities to make your partner feel less burdened, all while managing work on the side. Most employers don't have a problem with their employees spending work hours with family as long as they deliver the work on time.



Healthier Meals

Going to the office means eating out several times during the week. Eating out so frequently isn't the healthiest thing to do. This is where remote working can benefit you. When you're working from home, you can enjoy home-cooked meals throughout the day. Healthier, home-cooked meals are good for your health, and the healthier you are, the better you'll be able to perform.



Saves Money

Remote working also enables you to save money (lots of it!). You can save all the money you would be spending on fuel and eating out if you were going to work every day! As for the employer, they save operational costs and enjoy a more profitable business.



Reduced Absenteeism

If an employee isn't feeling well, they may call their day off and decide to rest. This means that all the work that was planned for the day has to be pushed to the next day. However, the absenteeism rate is greatly reduced in the remote working model. If an employee who's working from home isn't feeling well, they can sleep a few extra hours and start work when they're feeling better. They don't have to drive all the way to work. They can also take a nap between work. This allows the employees to complete the day's work the same day, even if it's a few hours late.

The Bad Side

If you look at it closely, you'll know there are numerous downsides to remote working. As much as remote working seems like an ideal situation for employees and employers, certain challenges make the employers and employees give the remote working model a second thought.

Let's look at some of the downsides of remote working that make it the not-so-perfect option in the long run:



Communication is a Challenge

Communication is a challenge when you're working remotely. Unlike working from office, where you can conveniently walk over to your co-worker's workstation to address any confusion or queries, you can't do the same when working remotely. You've got to wait for the other person to get back to you. Communication through online communication channels can never be as effective as in-person, face-to-face communication. This often results in delays and missed deadlines.



Distractions

While you enjoy quality family time when working from home, you can't deny that family can be a distraction. Having your kids running around, the sound of the television, and the noise from the kitchen can distract you and affect your focus. You're highly likely to make errors if you don't have a dedicated office space in your home.



Higher Risk of Musculoskeletal Disorders

Offices are usually equipped with suitable office furniture and equipment that facilitates employees to work comfortably and without hindrance. However, that's not the case for everyone when working from home. Not everyone has a dedicated home office. Even after 2 years, there still are people working from their beds and couches and don't have proper office equipment at home.

Sitting in awkward postures for long hours puts you at a high risk of developing posture-related musculoskeletal disorders. You may think that working from the bed or couch is comfortable, but it really isn't. Sitting in an incorrect posture puts strain on your body, specifically the spine and hips, and you're at a high risk of experiencing chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. If you don't address these complaints on time, you might end up with lifelong disabilities.

Using an ergonomic work desk and ergonomic chair like Ergonomic Office Chair BS2 can significantly reduce the risk of posture-related musculoskeletal disorders in remote employees. Ergonomic furniture improves the ergonomics of your home office and makes remote working a lot more comfortable, safe, and practical option!



Lack of Social Interaction

This is one of the biggest downsides of the remote working model, especially for extroverts. Not being able to meet people daily can adversely affect socially active individuals. If you enjoy having people around to talk, you may start to feel lonely when working from home and this can possibly affect your mental health and, eventually, your productivity.



Challenges for the Managers

It can get very difficult for managers to manage large teams remotely. Unlike working from the office, where they can keep a check on their teams and ensure they aren't wasting too much of their time talking or hanging around with their co-workers, managers can't really keep a check on their remote employees. They already find it difficult to communicate efficiently with remote employees, and managing the team, keeping track of progress, and ensuring the timely completion of projects is yet another challenge for the managers.



No Day End Time

Remote working offers flexibility to the employees, but it has also blurred the day-end time. You can enjoy the flexibility of starting work late, but you also have to give time to work after your shift. You've got to make yourself available for meetings even after your shift ends.

Closing Word

The remote working model has both good and bad sides both, but the benefits definitely outweigh the downsides. Most of the challenges of a remote working model can be overcome. If you plan to continue to work from home in the future, the first thing you should do to make the remote working model a truly winning situation for you is to invest in ergonomic office furniture to make your home office ergonomics-friendly. As for the employer, it would help if you switch to a hybrid working model where employees will have to come to work at least once a week and continue to work from home the rest of the week! If you're willing to make it work, the remote working model is definitely here to stay!