Today more than ever, people are making a living from there home. The need for a physical, dedicated office space is dwindling as new technology, tools, and workspaces emerge. People are finding new ways to make an income through creative services, software products, and more – they’re creating their own businesses. And many of these new businesses (especially technology-driven ones) aren’t investing in offices – they’re investing in people and operating 100% remote.
But working remotely isn’t for every one, and certainly not for every job type. You need to have the right team in place, and it takes practice. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to working remotely. Lets take a look at some of them.
Advantages of Working Remotely
It’s no surprise that one of the biggest perks to working remotely is the flexibility to work wherever you want. This makes it easier to juggle work, family, and other obligations. Work life balance can improve greatly by working remotely – but be careful; without the right boundaries, the opposite can happen.
When done right, working remotely can lead to a more focused workday. Employers fear the distractions of TV and household chores, but the office comes with noise, meetings, and many other interruptions from colleagues. Many people work best in their own space, with piece and quiet.
Reduces Commuting Cost & Time
Working remotely allows employees to spend less time and money traveling to the office, which saves a lot of money in the long haul. This also means more time in the day to be productive.
Saves on Office Expense
If you’re operating 100% remote, you’ll save a lot of money by not renting or owning an office building. Cha-ching!
You Can Hire Anyone
Why limit yourself to hiring people within a certain geographical location? By hiring remote team members, you can find the best talent to get the job done, no matter where they’re located.
Hopefully you have customers all around the world using your product at all times of the day. By hiring in different time zones, you can provide 24-hour customer support to ensure those customers are taken care of no matter what time it is.
Disadvantages of Working Remotely
Company Culture Can Suffer
Say goodbye to NERF gun wars and ping pong tournaments with your colleagues. It can be hard to build a company culture remotely. You’ll need to find ways to keep your culture alive through technology and periodic face-to-face meetings.
Communication & Collaboration Get Harder
Personal communication and collaboration are vital to a company’s success. If you don’t focus on this, it will hurt you. Email is a remote team’s communication killer. Use video chat, collaboration tools, and group chat to build a “virtual office”. Try new things until you find something that works.
Lets be honest, there are plenty of distractions at home too… the TV, kids, pets, chores etc. You must learn to balance these properly. Build trust with your employer by getting your work done, and being available when you’re expected to be available.
Fewer Boundaries Between Work and Personal Life
While work/life balance can improve by working remotely, that line is also at risk of becoming a little blurry. Define boundaries (set a structure) and stick to it to avoid becoming a workaholic.
Working remotely takes practice, commitment, and strong communication skills. It’s not for everyone, but you’d be surprised at how many well-known brands are operating remotely today. After all, who doesn’t like a little freedom, trust and flexibility in their lives?