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Pros & Cons of Remote Work

According to a research by the World Bank [1] only 6% of employees in Poland work remotely. Most often these are people dealing with new technologies and the media: programmers, (graphic) designers, marketers, and journalists. As the trend to work remotely becomes stronger, more and more employees are looking for such a possibility [2].

remotely

It may be surprising for some to learn that the communication in a remote company may be more efficient and easier to scale than a traditional one, in a normal office. However, working it out requires to change the attitude and select proper tools. Thanks to this it is possible to efficiently eliminate the information gap which appears in traditional models or companies, where only some employees perform remote work.

Be Prepared

When working remotely it’s worth to take care of the necessary equipment and tools. An additional monitor, headphones, or access to a computing cloud are not a fad if they will positively impact work efficiency, similarly as communication or project management tools. It’s worth to compare the solutions available on the market and select those which best meet the expectations and needs.

Self-discipline

Many employers believe that remote work carries the risk of indolence and the lack of control over the work results. Well… no. As a matter of fact, during remote work the employee focuses on the task and is more oriented on the result than on sitting at work [3]. Of course, the vulnerability to lose focus is an issue of individual self-discipline. However, in this case the key to success may be allowing the employee to freely organize the work day.

Set a Plan

When performing telework, the previously mentioned self-discipline is extremely important. It is good to set a certain rhythm of the day with booked the best time to stay focused and be efficient. This does not always mean constant 9-5 work. The work flexibility allows to start working earlier or later, to take a break in the middle of the day and return to the tasks in the afternoon.

However, it is important to set a plan, list of tasks to perform, thanks to which we can see the work progress. There may be many distracting factors both at the office and at home: laundry which has to be hanged out to dry, shopping, or children asking for a moment to play with them. A good solution is setting time units to perform a certain activity.

A Special Place to Work

Assigning a separate room or desk for being at work helps to be efficient and to focus. It’s easy to disturb the work-life balance if we are working from any space: the kitchen, salon, or bedroom, and if we find documents with each step we take. Then, there is the risk of creating an effect of being constantly at work. Order and discipline are extremely important, because thanks to them we can maintain balance between professional and private life. It’s worth to present such mental boundaries also to loved ones, and teach them that we return to the family life only after leaving the “office”.

A-team

The main advantages of remote work, from the perspective of an employer, may primarily include the possibility to employ the best specialists. The lack of territorial restrictions provide vast opportunities to employ people with the best available experience and competences. It is a great chance to discover talents which for their own reasons have chosen to live outside of big cities, metropolises, or those who search for flexible forms of employment.

In a situation when employees may execute their work from any location, the costs of administration or renting an office may be significantly reduced or relocated. In an extreme case, one may completely give up an office. An example of such an approach is SoftwareMill, a programming company from Warsaw with 40 employees, which never had a physical registered office, since its beginning. Costs which the company would have to devote to office spaces, are instead relocated to dedicated trainings, benefits and employee meetings, or invested in the top notch equipment and tools.

Peace of Mind

Remote work means no need to drive to the office, thus saving time. The average time needed to drive to work in Poland is 41 minutes, and 40% of the surveyed spend more than 45 minutes on getting to work [4]. This time may be used in a completely different manner: more sleep, self development, hobbies, leisure. However, those working remotely primarily value the possibility to spend more time with their close ones. For the parents of young children this is a perfect possibility to participate in life, have a closer contact, and better relations.

Each of us knows when he or she is the most efficient, and may adjust the day to that rhythm.

Apart from time, remote workers gain also mental comfort, because they do not have to worry about road traffic, crowded public transport, or free parking spots. Moreover, the flexibility of this type of work assumes that it is possible to make up for a break or starting a bit late, in the afternoon or evening, when the children are sleeping.

Savings

Working from home means also measurable savings in terms of the home budget: lower fuel consumption, saving on public communication fees, coffee to go or eating lunch out. Going further, limiting driving means a lower emission of CO2 to the atmosphere which has a positive impact on the environment.

Digital Nomad Society

As the society and markets mature, the popularity of remote work becomes stronger and the advantages which follow are multidimensional. It concerns both short and long-term perspectives related to the global economy and environment. According to employment trend forecasts of the World Economic Forum, work flexibility, including remote work, is “one of the strongest factors impacting transformation of business models in many trades”.

The generation of digital nomads is going to stop being something new, and instead will constitute one of the popular work options.

Polish version: Money.pl


2. Evolution of work 2016 Study, ADP Research Institute and "remote work", Search Result, Google Trends, September 2017
3. The Work From Home - WFH experiment, Nicholas A. Bloom and associates, Stanford University, March 2013 Remote Collaborative Worker Survey Report, ConnectSolutions, February 2015
4. Commute Survey Study, PageGroup, December 2016