There is no perfect work environment, especially since every individual will prefer something a little different, but the pandemic has accelerated a trend that was already happening—remote work. Enough time has passed that we are now able to see some of the real advantages (and disadvantages) of this work style.
Advantages/Making Life Easier
No commute means that employees can use that time to work out (maybe) or sleep in a little extra (most likely). This extra time allows many people to feel refreshed and ready to take on the workday. Another major bonus of no commute is avoiding the headache that is morning and evening rush hour. No one is complaining about cutting down their commute time by 100%.
No commute also means way less money spent on gas, and with today’s gas prices, that is a major upside.
Flexibility in Work Environment
73% of those working from home used a home office to complete most of their work, but the beauty of remote work is that you get to decide. You could kick back on the couch, go outside if the weather is nice, or visit a favorite coffee shop to get out of the house. For those that own a pet, this can also mean more time with fluffy, which for many people is a mood booster. Many remote workers already are reporting less stress with remote work.
The ability to make lunch at home and make coffee exactly the way you like is yet another way this flexibility can allow you to save money.
Despite many employers’ concerns, some studies are showing that work productivity is not taking a hit because of remote work. According to a study done by Owl Labs, 90% of remote workers say they are just as productive, or even more productive than they were in an office environment. Apparently working 10 feet from your bed does not negatively affect productivity for most remote workers.
Disadvantages/Things to Consider:
Planning and Preparation
You can’t just send employees to work from home with no support and preparation. Employers must put in thought and research into what kind of software to use to stay connected. You need to do this to keep work streamlined for employees to be as productive as possible.
When working from home, it can be hard to separate work time from leisure time, especially if you don’t have to luxury of a home office. This can be a problem because 55% of those working remotely reported working around 2 or more hours a day at home. This can lead to quicker burnout and is something for supervisors to stay aware of.
Remote work has its ups and downs, but with the technology and understanding we now have on this mode of work, because of the pandemic, it shows no sign of stopping. This is not a bad thing, as many employees prefer this method of work (and avoiding traffic). It just takes some planning and figuring out how to best separate work life from home life, but this is a doable task.