Updated: Sep 9, 2020
Office working vs remote working was a topic for discussion long before COVID-19, with many employers not able to see the full benefit of such an adjustment from the traditional office working set-up. But I wonder whether this time spent in lockdown has forced their hand and as such have seen that remote working is not only possible but also has many benefits.
Whilst COVID-19 is still disrupting both business and professional lives all across the world, companies are continually needing to adapt and as such are looking for innovative ways to still reach their fullest potential. It has become their responsibility to find alternative ways to keep staff on who struggle with childcare, and ensure they are looking after their most vulnerable employees, whilst at the same time maximising their business potential during a pandemic.
We've seen an influx of companies adapting in a variety of ways in recent months, and we will be investigating the pros and cons of shifting to a remote office environment.
Flexibility. We all have responsibilities outside of work, whether it is in the form of children, pets or otherwise. Working from home offers flexibility to staff which enables them to take care of their personal responsibilities alongside their work commitments. This in turn creates;
Higher productivity levels. Working from home there are fewer distractions due to the more relaxed and quieter environment, on the most part. Employees also tend to be more comfortable, increasing stamina to work for longer and take fewer breaks.
Saves time. Cutting out a commute can be both a huge morale booster and time saver, in turn allowing staff the additional time to take care of their personal affairs and be more productive for you when they are on the clock.
Save money. Shifting to a remote office will not only increase your employees' productivity but you will also save money on office space, office supplies, office snacks, etc.
Employees will take fewer sick days. Colds and food poisoning make going into the office miserable, but working from home? Not so bad. Another bonus? No sharing of germs.
Training staff is harder. Training newbies is more difficult to achieve and you can’t pick up the best practices from other employees when you work alone at a home office.
It can be quite isolating. Even if you feel that your capacity to do and discuss work is acceptable with the remote working set up you have, there’s still a level of socialization that you miss out on when you’re home by yourself. Working from home means that there are no more watercooler moments. Friendly discussions at the kettle that create a team bond are a thing of the past, casual collaboration that happens in every job is no more, and instead you rely on scheduled calls and meetings, and organised fun becomes the new normal.
Remote working blurs the line between personal and professional responsibilities. It's difficult to ensure there is self-discipline in your employees to separate what they can and cannot do during the day in a home office environment. Getting into “work mode” can be a challenge for even the most dedicated workers if they don’t feel good, have an issue with their kids, or have a long list of chores to do. Unless there is a clear separation that can take place, this disadvantage impacts everyone who tries to work from home. It's also easy to feel unmotivated if you are easily distracted and it’s way too easy to slack off, not only because of the environment but because there’s no one around to hold you accountable.
As you can see from the above, there are both pros and cons for remote working, and the preference varies from person to person and business to business.
For us, at Balance Business Solutions, we're a fan! Remote working offers our staff the flexibility to ensure they have the perfect work/life balance, which in turn increases our productivity levels to ensure we provide the highest level of service to our clients.
If you would like to see how we can support your business, call us today.