Technology has strongly helped to overcome the communication gap earlier faced by companies. People are connected with each other and can collaborate even from the comforts of their homes. ‘Work from home’ is becoming popular among professionals as it can prove to be more productive than working on site. People can save time lost in traveling to and from the office and also better manage their personal lives in a work-from-home situation. This, as such, maybe good for organizations as well as individual employees for balancing their flexible personal needs and work requirements. However, it can prove counterproductive in certain situations. Long periods of remote working can hamper the career development of the employees. Virtual teamwork can’t guarantee the productivity levels achieved at on-site collaboration in certain situations. Thus, organizations need to balance the option of remote working and onsite collaboration. Let’s have a look at certain perks and downsides of remote working and onsite collaboration.
Indians, on average, spend 2 hours per day commuting for work. Commutes are often displeasing, tiring, and can cause stress and irritation. This may ultimately result in lower concentration and productivity levels at the workplace. With the option of remote working, employees can not only save the time lost in commute but also have a cheerful mood. Employees can get more work done with remote working as workers are usually less productive in the last hour or so at the office. They are usually concerned about returning home and can have low concentration levels at the end of the day.
However, employers cannot simply allow certain employees to work remotely where others might have to travel to the office space. Such policies can create friction among certain co-workers. Employees should look for workspaces as close to their homes as possible or make use of public transport as they usually tend to be faster, economical as well as a better option environmentally. With better time management, employees can better manage their personal as well as professional lives. Employees can give their best output at the workplace with a well balanced time schedule. Businesses can, therefore, have maximum productivity from each employee.
As mentioned above, remote working can help with time management and can result in higher productivity of individual employees. However, this doesn’t necessarily translate to the overall increase in the productivity of the team or the organization in general. Projects usually require collaboration between different team members and the non-availability of certain employees on-site can slow down the completion of the project. Technology such as video conferencing has made it easy to conduct meetings, however, it can’t replace the physical presence of the individual in a discussion or a meeting.
Remote working has fewer distractions than onsite working, however, in certain situations, there might be disturbances like background sound or the presence of family members. This can prove to be an irritating distraction during important discussion sessions. Employees should, therefore, refrain from remote working in case of important discussions or meetings scheduled with team members at the workplace or search for a quiet workplace. Employers, too, should grant employees the option of remote working only when the employee is in absolute necessity.
Teamwork and social connections
Organizations are built upon the co-operation and harmonious teamwork of employees. On-site working helps employees better co-operate with each other and get an understanding of coworkers’ personalities. Teams can get a better understanding of coworkers' behaviors, thinking, strengths, and work ethics if employees work together in an office space. This ultimately helps in improving work productivity and proves beneficial to the organization.
Remote working can cause hindrances in understanding the behavior and personality of co-workers and result in friction among team members. Organizations should organize events and activities for engagement boosting among employees that allow workers can get to know each other better. With a better understanding of each other’s personalities and needs, employees can work harmoniously and, thus, hugely benefiting your organization.
Increased talent pool
With the option of remote working, employers can hire people from any part of the country or the world based on their talent. Thus, the organization is not limited to a talent pool of nearby employees. This can help increase the productivity of the organizations as they can find and hire employees according to their specific requirements. However, managing schedules can become cumbersome with remote employees. A monthly schedule should be planned in advance to avoid any miscommunications, in case of such employees.
The decision to allow employees to work remotely or onsite should be decided by considering the needs and requirements of the employees as well as the organization. Remote working and onsite collaboration both have their benefits, as well as cons. A mutual understanding should be reached between the parties involved to maximize productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.