Remote working became a trend even before the advent of COVID-19. Over time the popularity of remote working has been increasing all over the world because of its upsides. However, like every other kind of working style, it also has downsides.
What does remote working mean and does it work? In this article, we provide you with a guide on the meaning of remote working, similar terms to remote working and remote working pros and cons.
Table of contents
- What is Remote Working?
- Types of Remote Work
- Remote Working Pros and Cons
- Benefits of Remote Working for Employers
- Disadvantages of Remote Working for Employers
What is Remote Working?
Remote working is defined as the act of working in which you have no need to commute to an office.
To work remotely, all you need is a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone and the internet. While some remote workers work from home or a coffee shop or a coworking space, others work remotely a only a day or two per week. This varies from employer to employer.
With remote working, you and your employees can communicate with one another and finish tasks even if you are not in the same room or space or even the same city.
Types of Remote Work
1. Digital Nomad
This is a term that means a person who also works while he or she is traveling. Normally, digital nomads stay in a variety of locations. At the same time, they use laptops, tablets or smartphones coupled with wireless connectivity (WiFi) to continue to work and get paid on the move.
2. Mobile Working
This term means a category of people who work in locations such as airports, business lounges, cafes, coworking spaces, client offices or train stations.
This term is considered a synonym for remote work. It literally means working for a company but staying at a different place and communicating with an office by computer and telephone. It more typically applies to permanent staff members.
In accordance with Global Workplace Analytics, although telework is frequently utilized as a synonym for telecommuting, telework actually refers to people taking work home following their working hours at the office. In the meantime, telecommuting refers to people working at home rather than commuting to an office.
5. Work From Home (WFH)
This term refers to people who work for a company but primarily work at home (not an office) probably because their employer allows them to do so or there is an unavoidable situation such as the spread of COVID-19.
Remote Working Pros and Cons
Benefits of Remote Working for Employers
1. Office Running Cost Savings
If your employees are working remotely, your company will have lower utility expenses. Besides, a lot of office space is no longer necessary. In some cases, perhaps, when all of you practice remote working, your company can save money without having to pay the rent of the office space temporarily. You can resume paying the office rental fees whenever everyone returns to work at the office.
2. Commuting Time Savings
Remote working gives you and your staff members more time in a sense that you no longer have to spend time traveling to the office and getting back home. This helps eliminate the lateness issues of employees provided that they start working punctually even if they are not in the office.
3. Larger Talent Pool for Recruitment
With remote working, you can now hire anyone from all over the world beyond the limitation that you once had for only people who were able to commute to the office. This is definitely only possible provided that they have access to the Internet and communication tools such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Disadvantages of Remote Working for Employers
1. Technological Challenges
Unstable wireless connectivity and cybersecurity issues are technological challenges of remote working. To solve these problems, it is advisable that you make investments in proper hardware and software for your team members. In addition, make sure you provide them with relevant training and support so they follow the best practices of cybersecurity.
2. Trust and Responsibility
Some team leaders have a hard time adjusting to remote work settings and still need to do constant check-ups on their team members. Therefore, as an employer, you have to establish trust and lead them by allowing your team to come up with their own goals. Use tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or Zoom to check in on daily tasks.
3. Absence of face-to-face communication
Remote working is absolutely making you have less time interacting with your team members in person. Ensure you use the right communication tool for the right job. For example, use live chat or a voice call if you want to just check in on your employees’ tasks and goals fast. Use a video call for more urgent or private communication which is the next best thing to face-to-face communication you can do when you work remotely.
On the whole, although remote work has a number of upsides, it has several drawbacks in the long run. If you work remotely full-time for a long time, you may find yourself distracted, isolated and even stressful or even exhausted.
The key to a healthy and effective working lifestyle is to work both remotely and in office. This will help you and your team members be more engaged with the culture of your company, peer learning and in-person interactions. The mental health of all of you will also be better along the way.