Have you ever thought of working from home? Do you work remotely now? Or maybe you have never worked in the office? Let’s see what are the PROs and CONs for these alternatives.
Hey Crizpers, do you want to work at home OR in the office? Today I will try to consider some advantages and disadvantages of both solutions. The topic is designed to help you see which option would be the best for you to perform efficiently and to keep the necessary work-life balance.
In my record I have both on-site and remote experiences. That should be said, one and another have either positive or negative sides. To give you a better picture, I will try to describe the major important aspects in regard to these options from the best of my knowledge, background and additional research that was made.
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The most classical and widespread approach is the office work. Although the virtual community is growing fast and progressively, there are still a huge layer of companies that prefer to have their employees on-site.
There are multiple reasons for this choice, from economical, business, professional or security perspectives. Let’s say, among the other matters, this approach provides more confidence for both sides of the bridge. For the company as they see their people physically doing their job and for the employees giving them a sense of protection and stability. And I can understand why.
Working remotely requires a vast self-motivation, self-control and self-confidence. It also assumes a higher level of accountability, no matter whether you work remotely for a company or if you are self-employed.
ON SITE PROS
- From my personal experience, I really enjoyed working at the companies’ place and can see multiple positive aspects in this approach. Generally, the necessity of going to the office disciplines a lot. You have to follow the certain schedule, culture and rules that are applicable only to the office inhabitance. For instance, I doubt you would go to the front-desk in the gown or in your old stretched pajamas. Although, in one of the offices I worked it was allowed to wear slippers.
- Continuing with pros, there is an ability to look into the face of your colleague or chief. Sometimes this might be extremely helpful to get a result sooner or to avoid possible miscommunication. Face-to-face is a vital method to send or get a message correctly.
- Another cool asset is that you can hang out with your colleagues way more often than if you belong to a distributed team. This could be an awesome team-building event or a celebration, or just going to a bar together.
- Next, you have a workspace and an equipment needed. In most cases it is provided with no additional cost from your side.
- Social package. In many cases this asset goes together with the local contract and the company deals with all the relevant services.
- Depends on the company policies and the contract type, some on-site companies may take care of your income tax declaration. This takes some headache from you and adds more selling points to the opportunity of working in the office.
- All the above provides a strong sense of security for the employee as they can physically attend and connect with other people they work with.
ON SITE CONS
- Moving forward to constraints, I would say that first and the major one is that you are linked to the certain location. Even if the company has multiple offices all over the world, this does not mean they require the same professional in the location you’d want to be. And usually a relocation is a quite complicated process, therefore companies prefer to hire local candidates. In most cases you will have to stick with the city you were hired in.
- Another negative aspect I recognize, is the time you are spending for getting prepared and for traveling to the office. At best, this would be about 20-25% of the workday that you have to add to the regular business hours. This means that physically you will have to dedicate additional 25% of your duty-time for your work. And this complimentary time will not be literally efficient.
- Next is few privacy. What I am saying is despite there could be an individual workspace, it is not always possible to fully separate yourself and to focus all of your attention on a task. Moreover, in some cases the surrounding might be not only the team, but other teams, people from another company, customers or even passersby.
- One annoying thing is that some companies require to correspond to a certain dress-code or even a uniform. This is not always convenient.
Turning into a dogma of a remote work, need to consider that it still has its own benefits and gaps.
As mentioned above, working in a home office demands a lot of self-motivation, self-control and self-confidence. Besides, you will need to take care of the workspace and other related stuff yourself. Let’s see what I have managed to grasp from this experience and additional findings.
- For me personally the number one benefit is a possibility to be located anywhere. You can choose whatever place to travel, stay or live as long as you have a stable internet connection. Another condition is to have an appropriate and convenient home office or co-working nearby.
- Next, there is no time loss for the ‘to-the-office’ daily journeys. That time you can dedicate you yourself or stuff that you feel is important.
- Another advantage that I see in the at-home positions is the opportunity to build a flexible personal schedule. If you do not have a rigid time-table for meetings, chats or desk attendance, you can work whatever hours you are comfortable with. In many cases only the outcome is important.
- Completely no dress-code. That should be said, in case you have a video call, you would still need to put a shirt on. For me this is not bothering. In most cases you could look and feel whatever you want. And whatever you need to get the work done efficiently and on time.
- You can build your workspace according to your own preferences. Any equipment, furniture and appliance. You can even work in a coffeeshop or in a park if this does not impact your efficiency.
- And last in this list, but not the least one. Employers may offer a higher compensation for the remote workers in comparison to the salaries at locations people are hired from. For instance, if you live in Poland and if you are hired by an international remote company, depends on your skills and experience you might be offered a higher compensation in an average rate than if you are hired by the local Polish company.
- First, and might be the biggest pullback for some people is that you need to be extremely self-motivated and organized to perform efficiently. If you haven’t got used to make-up your workday, this might be a big fail. I have seen examples when a person is an awesome professional, but when started working remotely, the performance decreased. This can put a project in a risk.
- Another dark side of working in a home office is a work-life balance violation. Might sound not realistic, but this problem still exists. Sometimes when you are really engaged, you may not timely recognize that a business day is over long time ago. This leads to overtimes and is dangerous, as you can step in a risk of burnout.
- Timezones. At remote companies in most cases the colleagues are distributed all over the world. It could be really challenging to overlap in hours with someone who is located in a significantly different timezone. And sometimes it may become a real back-set if you need to sync with such guys on a regular basis.
- Home-office may require additional expenses on your side, like a better internet connection, appropriate equipment, tools licenses, etc. However, some companies offer pay-backs for a co-working or may provide a company equipment, that depends.
- Based of the type of the contract and the company policies, or the local laws, working remotely in some cases assumes taking care of the income taxes declaration and other relevant deductions yourself.
- A social package may not be offered for the remote workers. Or it may be offered as a reduced kit. This means, depends on your contract, you may need to take care of the health / life insurance, pension and other social expenses yourself. Not all the companies offer this support.
SOMEWHERE in the MIDDLE
So, remote or on-site? If you still have doubts of what approach to choose, you should know that there are other alternatives present.
- For example, some companies offer a possibility to work remotely part of your time. This is something in-between of the solutions we have discussed above. Usually this offer includes about 1-3 days per business week to work from home. By accepting this proposal you could try out both options and choose the best one that suites you personally.
- Another case is when a company has a local office, but allow it’s employees to work remotely. In this situation you may need to visit the office just in special cases.
- Further alternative is, when a company has an office or offices, but distribute the teams to the clients’ locations. Here you will be working remotely from the company office, but on-site with the client.
I hope on a high-level we have managed to review all aspects of the suggested opportunities. While making a choice, a popular practice is to conduct an appraisal weighting all pros and cons.
Below I have wrote down the notes that were mentioned in this topic and have assigned points to them. You could always enhance this list with your own bullets or to modify it according to your preferences for making a measured decision.
Remember, although I tried to be as objective as possible, this is still a personal perception in terms of pros and cons. If you have tried out both opportunities yourself, or one of the middle solutions, you may know other nuances from your experience. If you do, please share your thoughts in comments!
Should you have any questions, feedback or ideas, please feel free to address them in comments or in the connect form.