Working remotely has been one of the most talked-about topics in the business world throughout 2020. Many were forced into remote work due to the pandemic, while some were already working remotely. For most businesses and staff though, it’s been a steep learning curve.
So, now that so many New Zealanders have given working from home a test run, what have we discovered? Here’s some of the pros and cons of remote work, as well as a way to find a happy middle-ground.
The positives of working from home
If you’ve got family commitments, working from home can be great. School pick ups and drop-offs are easier, and you can even save money on childcare.
Not a lot of people enjoy being stuck in traffic or crowded on public transport. Say goodbye to that when working from home!
Less work-related expenses
We don’t like to admit it, but when working from home you certainly don’t need to look your best. Save money on clothes, travel and even those coffees and lunches.
Less office distractions
The constant buzz of an office can sometimes be irritating. If you’re lucky to have a quiet workplace at home, this can be a big bonus.
The downfalls of working remotely
Less social interaction
Humans are social beings, so having a bit of a catch-up over a coffee is something we miss when we’re at home.
While the flexibility can be great for those with kids, it can also be a distraction. Even things like household chores can eat away at you while working from home.
Missing the ability to network
For many people, networking is an important part of their career development. When working remotely, this can really only occur online.
Switching off after hours
Working and living in the same space is difficult, because there’s a tendency to always be focused on work when you should be relaxing.
What’s the alternative?
There’s a bit of a trend in both the pros and cons of working remotely. People enjoy having a little independence from the traditional office environment. That flexibility you get from working remotely is a big plus. But on the flip-side, there’s actually a lot of things about office life that we miss, such as social interaction and being able to separate work from home.
One alternative being used by many companies today is collaborative workspaces and serviced offices. Aside from the financial benefits of lower rent costs and having all amenities provided, serviced offices actually solve many of the common remote work problems.
Collaborative workspaces provide a distraction-free environment where it’s easy to maintain social interaction and networking opportunities. Rather than being surrounded by the normal distractions of an office, you’ve got your own space but can enjoy collaboration and interaction when you want.
Perhaps most importantly, it gives people the chance to attend a workplace, and leave work their when they head out the door. There’s still plenty of flexibility, but you can clearly separate work from your home life, giving you a much healthier work/life balance.