The pandemic allowed, and in many instances, forced businesses to implement a change from office work to remote work. This was a welcome change for many personnel. Hey, who doesn’t want to work from home in their PJs?
Working from home is not a new concept, but it was usually authorized for C-Level, Sales, Service, Design, and Consultancy personnel, to name a few. But due to social distancing, it became a reality for most office personnel.
This change, seemingly a win-win for most, came with difficulties. Businesses, as well as personnel, quickly realized they were not prepared for remote work, and it wasn’t as simple as turning on a pc at home. Fortunately, Marcus Paint Company had invested in remote work capabilities well before the pandemic due to the nature of our business and the locations of our Sales and Service personnel. In short, we had a working plan to build upon when requiring other positions to work remotely.
Advantages of remote work
Better work-life balance
Working from home eliminates commutes, enabling more time with loved ones. On days when employees aren’t required to attend video meetings, they can dress any way they choose – yes, including pajamas. This greater sense of comfort and better work-life balance led to less stress.
Remote work means employees can work from anywhere — not just their homes. It is also an attractive benefit that enables employers to draw from a deeper candidate pool in the hiring process.
Control over your office environment
Working from home means creating an office space that works for you. If you want a more ergonomic chair, music playing at a particular volume, or a hotter or cooler temperature. You can make your home office into whatever you want.
Disadvantages of remote work
Loss of work-life balance
Though a better work-life balance is sometimes an advantage, some employees find the opposite true. Some find that work bleeds over into their home lives more and more. The line between work life and home life can become blurred when the workplace is inside the home, which can lead to burnout and lower morale.
Distractions at home / Isolation
Distractions at home can detract from an employee’s focus on their work. Remote work — especially for those who live alone — can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Even if an employee has their own office in a physical office building, they see others in the hallway, elevator, and parking lot throughout the day.
Cybersecurity concerns / Internet Access
Security is always at the top of a business’s list of priorities. But it becomes critical when an organization must accommodate remote working arrangements. A company’s potential security loopholes increase when factoring in antivirus software, firewalls, and VPN configurations for employees’ home internet connections.
No one’s internet connection is completely stable at every possible second. Electricity and internet outages aside, connections can vary in speed and reliability over the course of a day.
While remote work isn’t without its challenges, it tends to have fewer interruptions, less noise, and more efficient meetings, increasing productivity. You can control your environment and don’t have to worry about co-workers asking you a quick question, socializing when you grab a coffee, or offending someone by putting your headphones on to escape office chatter. Remote work allows for more obtainable boundary settings that may be used when returning to an office setting.
While there is a move by some companies to bring employees back into the office, many are weighing how they can navigate through the new norm of remote workers and the desire of many new hires to work remotely. Presently there isn’t a one size fits all solution in this post-pandemic world.
At Marcus Paint Company, we have a mix of in-office, remote (typically positions that worked remotely pre-pandemic), and flex schedules.