Even before the pandemic, more and more people have been trying to convince their employers to let them work remotely. The studies back up the claims that remote workers are more productive. The study carried out by Airtasker at the beginning of 2020 is one of the best examples.
The benefits of working from home are quite clear. There is no need to wake up early if you want to make it to work on time, particularly in larger cities with traffic jams. Sleeping for that extra hour can be the difference-maker between barely making deadlines and finishing work on time.
Remote workers also have fewer days off sick, and they do not demand as much wage increase as they value the freedom they have by working from home.
Nevertheless, with all these benefits, it is worth mentioning that remote work has some negative aspects as well. The difficulties mentioned in the article should give you a better understanding of why not everyone is keen on remote work, whether they are an employee or an employer.
Difficulty #1 – New Employee Integration
Integrating new employees is difficult already, but when you have to work on an online onboarding process, the situation becomes even more challenging.
Onboarding is not just about sending new hires logins and passwords to emails, software, and communication platforms.
Each company has a culture, and it takes a while before recruits become proper employees. And leaving someone to their own devices is not an option. HR has to go through similar protocols just like they would if a new hire were to join in person.
Difficulty #2 – Remote Collaboration
Collaborating with others is not as easy when you need to use online communication tools. In addition to potential technical difficulties, there is also more room for miscommunication as one’s message may not get across when you do not see facial expressions or hand movements.
Difficulty #3 – Different Locations and Time Zones
Working from another side of the world means that you have no option but to do so remotely. At the same time, there are some instances when someone travels overseas to work in the office, but such cases are pretty rare given how much of a commitment and a life change it would be.
Being in a different time zone means that you and the coworkers have fewer opportunities to chat live. When you are up, they may be asleep and vice-versa.
Difficulty #4 – Bad Health Habits
Having supervision is not just about someone watching you and making sure that you do the work. Proper managers know their team and notice things like overwork. Not everyone is capable of realizing that they have been spending too much time in front of a computer and need to take a break.
When you are working remotely and living alone, there will be nobody to tell you when you should take a break. In fact, your entire schedule may be upside down. Going to bed and waking up late, working overnight to meet deadlines, and not taking proper lunch breaks.
Bad health habits are a serious issue, and if you are not careful, you will eventually have to pay for it later.
Difficulty #5 – Trust Among Colleagues
Team communication is necessary for the workflow to go uninterrupted. However, when you talk to colleagues only online, it is difficult to build strong relationships and gain each other’s trust.
Humans are social creatures, and they need eye-to-eye contact to establish proper bonds with others. And since coworkers rely on each other, knowing that they have your back is extra important, but if you are stuck at home, you will not have a chance to have proper relationships with the team where you can trust one another.
Difficulty #6 – Productivity and Distractions
While there are reports about productivity among remote workers, one cannot underestimate potential distractions at home.
It goes back to the lack of supervision. If you have nobody who can control you, the odds are that you will procrastinate and delay the work until the last minute, which leads to poor quality as you will end up rushing the tasks.
While distractions like smartphone notifications are manageable, the same cannot be said about family members and noisy neighbors. If you are stuck in a place making it difficult to concentrate, working remotely is not the best option.
Difficulty #7 – Time to Relax After Work
Not everyone manages to find ways to unwind after a long day in front of a computer. It is no secret that plenty of people do not leave their monitor screen even after finishing the work.
The lines between work and time off blur, and you are no longer able to feel like you are relaxing. Not to mention that home is a place we associate with relaxation, not work.
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