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8 Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

02/07/2018

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Ask any modern-day employee, and you’ll find that the idea of working remotely is more appealing than ever. In a technology-driven world that helps make business tasks easy to do from any location, companies have begun to embrace the idea with an open mind. A recent study revealed that approximately 20-25% of today’s workforce handle work remotely in some capacity. So, why isn’t every company moving to this model yet? While the model of working remotely works wonderfully for some companies, there are many good reasons for keeping staff on site.

For employers who might be on the fence about implementing a new policy, here are a few pros and cons of working remotely.

Pros of Working Remotely

From flexibility to productivity, there’s a wide range of positive outcomes that can be found from a remote work policy, especially for companies that don’t require a lot of team collaboration or use in-office equipment, including:

  • Talent Acquisition—It’s not always easy to find top-rated talent, especially for unique roles. However, many companies are finding that an openness to a more relaxed and flexible work-from-anywhere schedule can attract highly-talented and qualified employees who might look elsewhere, especially Millennials.
  • Higher Focus—While employers might assume that working remotely might cause employees to be less focused, many are finding that removing daily in-office distractions that can occur from shared workspaces to meetings to exhausting commutes can create more focus and attention on work tasks. Additionally, new software like Basecamp, Slack, and other project management tools have proven highly successful in keeping a steady flow of collaboration, accountability, and productivity in these situations.
  • Innovation—When team members are distributed in various locations that lend to their specific needs and likings, a unique spirit of creativity and innovative thinking can emerge. Corporate office environments that lack in bright aesthetics or design can sometimes quench creative ideas from being birthed.
  • Employee Retention—Employers who have dedicated and highly-qualified employees don’t want to lose them. When life changes occur that can expand the need for flexibility in an employee’s life, they can easily be drawn to other companies that might offer the schedule and environment they need or desire. One way employers are finding they can retain quality talent is through allowing a remote work policy. Not only can it show a dedicated employee that they are trusted, but it will inspire them to want to produce great work results.

Cons of Working Remotely

A remote work policy isn’t right for every company or employee. Whether it’s due to a specific kind of business or a unique type of personality, there can be some disadvantages of having a remote work policy, including:

  • Cybersecurity Issues—For employees who work remotely, the use of cloud storage and various technological devices can leave the door open to potential cyber-attacks, especially for companies that harbor sensitive data. Companies that have a need for employees to work remotely should take the necessary steps to protect their employees and company systems from cyber-criminals.

  • Lack of Communication—For some companies, daily and ongoing communication between employees is a must. Working remotely can potentially weaken communication, as some employees will have conflicting schedules that might prevent deadlines from being met or information being received or given too late. Additionally, there can be several advantages to engaging with employees face-to-face, including being able to read or gauge certain behaviors and reactions. Certain personality types also require people interaction to be productive.
  • Loss of Collaboration—For some employers, collaboration is not only beneficial; it’s a must. When team members are distributed across various locations, it can be easy to lose a collaborative spirit that can best exist when everyone is gathered in the same space. Employee interaction is also very beneficial to an organization’s success and culture, so having team members in the same location can be helpful for building motivation and synergy between workers.
  • Potential Burnout—For some employees who work remotely, there can often be a mindset in place that involves never unplugging from work. A flexible, work-from-home scenario can make some employees feel they are always being watched, causing them to constantly check for emails and texts, as well as working at hours that should be dedicated to family or self-care. Working in an office environment can create a healthy work-home balance, as employees must regularly arrive and depart.

These are just a few of the many pros and cons employers are finding with a remote work policy. Knowing which is best for your organization can depend on several factors, and the team at LBMC Employment Partners stands ready to assist and offer wisdom when making this important decision. Contact us today to learn more!

Posted in: Human Resources