The fuzzy socks! No makeup! The flexibility! These are just a few of our favorite telecommuting things.
Whether you call it remote work, working from home, or are so hip that you’ve starting using the acronym WFH in your messages to friends and family, telecommuting has undeniably entered into our hearts—and homes.
In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 8 million, or 5.2% of the workforce works exclusively from home. Of course, several companies that boast a more modern work culture, such as many in the tech industry, are increasingly cutting employees more slack and allowing them to work from the comfort of outside office walls a few times a month or week. While telecommuters range from those who have never seen a coworker face-to-face to those who step out for the occasional afternoon, most of the benefits and challenges for employees remain fairly similar.
If the boss just granted you the freedom to explore new horizons with your laptop in hand or you’re considering a full-time remote gig, consider these pros and cons of telecommuting! Here’s what you should know before kicking off the shoes for a long day in.
😀 Pros – The Charming Side of Telecommuting
Less Environmental Impact
It may come as no surprise that taking millions of cars off the road decreases carbon emissions, meaning benefits for the environment and less fuel costs for consumers. Because an estimated three-fourths of workers drive alone every day, the daily pilgrimage to and from work can certainly put a strain on environmental health.
Not only is allowing telecommuting good for a company’s eco-friendly brand, it also empowers employees to make good decisions for the world! Need more proof? A Canadian study found that “working from home is associated with decreases in overall travel time by 14 minutes and increases in odds of non-motorized travel by 77%.”
Easier Work-Life Balance
When given the flexibility of working from home or anywhere else outside of the office, you’ll have more control over how to organize your day. While some companies may have rigid hours even for telecommuters to be “on the clock”, generally those that value work-life balance will give their employees the power of choice. For example, the ability to pick up the kids from school before getting back to work drastically reduces stress and simplifies juggling priorities.
While it may seen counter-intuitive to some, working without immediate oversight or being surrounded by coworkers can actually boost productivity. Studies weighing the pros and cons of telecommuting have suggested that those with flexible working arrangements are less likely to quit, have higher job satisfaction, and increased productivity than their cooped up peers. Certainly, cutting out the office’s chatty neighbors may be a contributing factor.
Saved Costs for Both Businesses and Employees
Businesses benefit from a host of saved costs when the team is and out and about. For instance, some factors include less overhead, better worker productivity, and less utilities consumed. Meanwhile, employees can rejoice from the saved commuting costs, smaller professional wardrobe, and saved time from not commuting. After all, time is money.
It’s Growing in Popularity
Of course, we wouldn’t be grappling with the pros and cons of telecommuting without its recent rise in popularity. A change in technology and shifting demographic changes from Millennials have been undeniably leading the charge. However, the itch to work in jammies isn’t limited to younger workers, as even older generations are reaping the benefits.
😧 Cons – The Less Glamorous Side of Telecommuting
Feelings of Isolation
Working a world away from the team can lead to feelings of isolation, especially if you work primarily from home.
To get back out into the world, but still stay far enough away from the boss, try changing up your environment. Coffee shops for remote workers or coworking spaces are quick fixes to squeeze in some more human interaction.
More Potential for Distractions
While workplace distractions are out of the picture, telecommuting makes room for a new obstacle–home distractions! Whether you have kids or 10 cats at home, you’ll have to be really good at siloing your personal life from your personal life. Otherwise, you may just slip into the habit of mixing the two throughout the workday.
Harder to Collaborate
One major obstacle that companies may have when deciding on whether their employees are eligible for telecommuting is the necessary level of collaboration. Many positions require constant communication with team members. Employees working out of the office will therefore need to have a solid grasp of digital methods of communication and be best friends with the phone.
Sometimes Harder Work-Life Balance
Not all the pros and cons of telecommuting are black and white! Work-life balance can go both ways. Why? While the added flexibility will help you have a better handle on managing personal matters, the two may start to seep together. When you leave an office, work typically stays at the office. However, when home is the office, it’s much easier to slip into your emails at all times of day.
More Need for Time Management
The Snuggie-clad worker must be at the top of their game to maximize time. It’s easier to get lost in several chores before realizing you’re still on the clock or the day has gotten shorter. Depending on your work style, you may need to work differently than in an office. Try to self-pace or plan your day at the onset to ensure you’re completing all tasks.
Interested in continuing or finding a new career with flexible work arrangements? Explore some of the best companies for remote work in Arizona!