Remote working is on the rise. After all, who wouldn’t prefer flexible working? Working from home is quite appealing to many employees. But does working remotely actually work? Are there any cons? Let’s look at some research findings.
Studies show that working from home is a good way to save time, because the time spent commuting will be off the table. At the same time, the expenses for commuting and its psychological effects such as stress can decrease. Increase in productivity is another positive outcome of remote work. The Skill and Employment Survey by the Social Sciences Faculty of Cardiff University found that remote workers are more productive. They also work more than what is expected from them and they have better work ethics. Working remotely is also a good opportunity for those who have responsibilities like childcare, and it contributes to family relationships since it has the potential to increase the quality and quantity of the communication within the family. Remote working benefits the organisations, too. According to statistics by Global Workplace Analytics, businesses on average save $11,000 per remote employee.
On the other hand, there are also downsides of remote working. Remote employees are not as motivated as employees who work in a traditional office. They are paid less and in many cases their internet costs are not paid by the employer. Besides, it is known that switching off is quite difficult for them which might negatively affect their mental health. Employees who work from home might also have difficulty insulating the world of work from other aspects of life.
Nevertheless, remote working seems to increase its popularity due to its advantages. As employee wellbeing has also become quite important, leaders are now more positive about the idea of detachment of work from place and encouraging their employees to work at least one day from home. However, it would be good to consider personality differences and varying needs of employees before arranging any non-traditional working habits since not everyone would benefit the same from remote working.
For further information
Allen, V. (2017, October 4). People who work from home are more productive because they avoid distracting ‘office chat’ and try harder out of fear of looking lazy. Daily Mail[London].
Felstead, A., Jewson, N., Phizacklea, A., & Walters, S. (2001). Working at Home: Statistical Evidence for Seven Key Hypotheses. Work, Employment & Society, 15(2), 215-231.