More and more people today choose either part-time or full-time remote work from home. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in 2016 at least 22% of employed people were working from home. And while it might sound appealing to send emails from your kitchen table without having to wear pants, it's not a perfect setup. Choosing to leave the workplace, especially when it comes to your mental health, has significant advantages and disadvantages.
While some companies accept remote work and give their workers opportunities to work from home or even to work entirely remotely, without any physical location. Others believe that having employees in the office is key to success. Most businesses have benefited from adding remote work to their organizations, but drawbacks can also come with this choice. Some of these problems can actually hurt the company.
If you work remotely, the interaction tends to stick to structured channels. These include chats, daily stand-up, maybe every other week a few global meetings. It works well to perform organized tasks, but sometimes you may definitely feel disconnected from the business. The fact that most of this correspondence happens in written form or in front of groups makes it difficult for small talk or more free information. This can hinder your job, as just talking about the environment at work can provide some vital information about smooth progress. Still, most importantly, it can keep you from becoming part of a community.
The Feeling Of Isolation
It's natural for employees to believe they are part of a bigger picture when they're in the workplace and brainstorming with coworkers every day. However, remote work will make it harder for workers to feel connected and engaged with day-to-day business activities. This effect can ultimately reduce morale.
For business owners, if your business is new to a remote workforce, at first, it may be tempting to micromanage off-site workers. Yet treating them the same as your non-remote workers is essential to making them feel part of the team. When doing some of the above, managers will respect the flexibility of their telecommuters. Companies, for example, need to focus more on what they do than on when they do it. Whether an employee works better during the day or late at night shouldn't matter.
Employee Visibility Is Lessened
Due in part to reduced visibility within the company, workers could hesitate to accept a remote role. They may feel that a lack of face time with their boss or other business leaders is detrimental to their progress. Because of this, it would be harder for them to get promotions or other opportunities for growth.
This makes it challenging for remote workers to feel like they are a part of the corporate culture. You can offset this as an employer or manager by ensuring that your remote team is kept in the loop. There are many communication tools, like Slack or Skype, that can help with this. It helps to simulate an office environment by being able to communicate with peers in real-time.
Lesser Work-Life Balance
Working at home might seem to make it easier for employees to have a work-life balance. Still, some argue that not having a physical distinction between where an employee works and where they spend their free time can actually make it harder for them to unplug, stop focusing on work, and enjoy time away from their jobs.
It's not always easy to strike a balance between one's career and personal life. Combined with family responsibilities and their own interests, a stressful workload will leave workers feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. One study on stress in the workplace revealed that almost half of the participants felt they needed assistance in managing their stress levels.
While employees encounter everyday distractions in an office, they can face even more distractions at home: kids, families, pets, the new Netflix craze, etc. The in-home environment of everybody is distinctive, as is their ability to shut down distractions. But if an employee shows a lack of focus or dedication consistently, they may not be a good fit for remote work. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of remote work options before deciding whether your organization and its employees could benefit from them or not.
Working at home can actually lead to depression. Usually, people who work remotely love being alone a lot. But even for others, after only a few weeks of working alone and then my family at night, they may end up feeling very sad. There may also be a feeling of missing being accepted into a group.
Social networks may help you fight that loneliness a bit. But on the other hand, pausing only with social networks is not physically different from working on your computer. It is also well known that spending more time on social networks tends to make you less happy than the other way around.
You're Not Actually Leaving 'Work'
You don't leave your office at night while you work remotely. In fact, if you work in different time zones with people, you can end up communicating with people even when your day is over. It often makes a lot of sense, as otherwise, you may have too little time to communicate with your team, and this can really hinder a project's progress. Still, it means that there is no time in the day free of work concerns, which is terrible for your long-term mental health.
For employers, remote workers can reduce a brick-and-mortar office's expense. This expense can be eliminated entirely in some situations. The amount of company money spent on things like office food or equipment can also be minimized by a remote workforce. The saved money can be contributed to the wages of the workers and the company as a whole. For employees, it's the same. You don't have to spend money going to the office.
However, beyond the advantages, you need to take care of your health. For more tips and guides about working online or remotely, click here.