Remote working or working from home has gained widespread acceptance in 2021 due to the pandemic. Yet, some businesses already had staff working from home, but during the pandemic, almost all companies were forced to let their employees work from home due to covid protocols. After all, businesses can’t compromise on the health and well-being of employees.
What is interesting is that many of the businesses have requested their employees to continue working from home even after the pandemic. From a business perspective, WFH has its limitations, but its advantages are way more appealing. Cloud-based collaboration tools and solutions that are tailored specifically for remote working have made WFH as manageable and effective as working from the office.
We have already seen some businesses turning to remote management completely, but as of now, not all businesses can do that as there are some situations where employees have to be physically present in the office. In the coming years, as Artificial Intelligence and cloud technology reveal their full power, we may see many businesses successfully operating remotely.
The advantages of remote working
With a majority of businesses and employees preferring to work from home, at least for a part of the week, it’s clear that there are a number of benefits to both businesses and employees. Here are some of the most significant advantages of remote working.
One of the primary reasons why businesses prefer remote working is increased productivity. Employees are more relaxed and less distracted when they are working from home, and a quiet environment facilitates more focused work. Flexible working hours let employees have a break and family time as and when they want, and this helps in having a positive, energetic mindset, resulting in better productivity.
In contrast, the office environment has more distractions, and employees spend valuable time commuting to and from the office. Businesses also find employees working longer hours and willing to work earlier or later in the day as a trade for working from home.
Cutting down costs without compromising on productivity is important, and remote working is highly effective in it. Businesses can save on office space, supplies, utility bills, and other facilities while ensuring growth due to increased productivity.
Tax law and other legislation has been formed to allow tax relief for job expenses when working from home and more. Although businesses that are new to the WFH system have to invest in buying collaboration tools and other remote working solutions, the costs associated with them are low. Most of these solutions are cloud-based and can be upgraded as per the business’s needs.
As employees get flexible working hours, they may be willing to work earlier or later in the day, which helps multinational companies manage the business better. Customers and clients from different time zones get a fast response, improving overall business performance.
The staff and employees don’t have to sacrifice family commitments, and they get a better work-life balance. As the working relationship isn’t closely monitored, employees are allowed more autonomy and feel more trusted. They’ll also develop a working routine that works the best for them, keeping them motivated and focused.
The disadvantages of working from home
Working from home also has its disadvantages, and it is necessary to take them into account before going for it. Here are the most important disadvantages of working from home.
It’s not for everyone
Working from home may not suit everyone, and some people love the office culture and social interactions. Some people need personal interactions and face-to-face guidance to bring out the best in them.
Also, not all the employees have a quiet, comfortable environment at home, especially when they have young children. The broadband speeds may be poor in rural areas, and it might not allow some employees to complete the work smoothly. In such cases, it is not productive to implement WFH, at least for those employees, and hence businesses should consider leaving it to the employees.
It’s hard to monitor performance
Performance monitoring is critical in determining productivity, and it is hard to monitor the productivity of remote workers as they are not in the office. However, you can look at targets and goals so that if the goals are not met, you can take necessary measures at an early stage itself.
For jobs that do not have goals and targets, there are several cloud-based solutions for performance monitoring, including time and keypress tracking. You can integrate these tools with your business solutions and determine many key factors.
Working from home poses a bigger security risk than working from the office as the employees will be using different networks and accessing servers from other parts of the world. When working from the office, businesses are at a much lesser risk since all traffic goes through the same network.
Companies can protect information and data by installing encryption tools, enable remote wiping in case the devices you provide go missing and many other advanced methods that tech people can set up.
Working from home is gaining more and more popularity these days, and the pandemic has given employers a practical insight into its advantages and disadvantages. Many CRMs and collaboration tools make remote working more manageable, and we will see more development in this field in the coming years.
However, from a business perspective, there are several benefits to remote working, like increased productivity, lower costs, and flexibility. At the same time, it is better to give employees an option to work from the office as some people prefer it due to personal reasons. Also, remote working increases security risks, and employee performance can’t be monitored as easily, but both of these disadvantages can be ignored if you have the right tools and strategy.