The Benefits and Downsides to Working Remotely
Over the past few years, remote working has been steadily on the rise. But with HSBC recently announcing their move to put thousands of staff on permanent remote contracts, remote working is looking to become the future workplace.
With this in mind, here are the answers to all your questions about remote working. What is it? Why is it so popular? And what are the benefits and downsides to working remotely?
What is remote working, and why has it become popular?
Put, remote working is a working style that allows employees to work outside of the traditional office. It operates because workers do not need to work from the office or a specified place to execute their daily tasks successfully.
Remote working has shot to popularity in the past year, mostly due to working from home because of COVID. In April of 2020, during the first wave of the coronavirus lockdown in the UK, 46.6% of people in employment reported doing some work from home. Of those, 86% cited the coronavirus pandemic as the reason why they were working remotely.
Now that restrictions are starting to ease, this has got people wondering whether they would be best to stay working from home or decide to go back to the office instead. Therefore, here are the benefits and downsides of working remotely so that you can make a more informed decision on whether to return to traditional office work.
Downsides to working remotely: benefits of working remotely
- Less time spent commuting
Before COVID-19, the average Brit had a commute time of 59 minutes, which works out to 221 hours per year.
- Better work-life balance
Instead of spending your life commuting, remote working allows you to balance your home and work life better, spending this time with your loved ones instead.
- More control over your working day
Remote working allows employees more autonomy over their day-to-day scheduling.
- Reduced costs associated with a physical office space
As your employees work wherever they want to, this means that you can save a lot of money on office-related costs, such as rent and utilities.
- Higher productivity
One study found that 58% of workers have reported that they have been more productive whilst working from home.
Downsides of working remotely
- Risk of feeling isolated
However, working remotely can leave people feeling isolated due to the lack of community which you would find when working in an office.
- Feeling unable to ‘switch off’ at the end of the day
Working from home can also make it harder to ‘switch off’ at the end of the day, as you might be expected to work and relax in the same space.
- More potential distractions
From washing up to doing the laundry, looking after the kids, or being hounded by the dog, working from home has many potential distractions.
- Lack of office equipment
Employing people to work remotely assumes that everyone has access to a personal laptop or computer. However, this might not always be the case.
- Cybersecurity concerns
On the other hand, if employees use their personal devices to access work-related documents and data, this can bring up many cybersecurity concerns. Overall, there are many benefits and downsides to remote working. However, only you know what is best for yourself, your company, and its employees when it comes down to it. With these benefits and downfalls in mind, it is up to your informed personal preference to decide whether to stick to remote working or return to working in the office post-COVID19.