The pros and cons of the new normal

If there is one thing pretty much the whole world has in common this year, it’s knowing a thing or two about remote working. Whether you did it for two months during the initial part of lockdown, or whether you’re still working remotely, most of us have been there and got the T-shirt.

It is true – remote working is more than likely a growing trend that will last. Over the last couple of years – even before the COVID-19 pandemic – online learning, for one, grew drastically with millennials seeking flexible time. Working remotely has its perks, but there are also some disadvantages to working from home. Still, it seems to be the new normal that we all need to adapt to whether we like it or not.

Pros of working remotely

  • Flexibility: Working from home is said to be less stressful for many, eliminating those dreaded hours in traffic. It also allows working parents to be more available at home.
  • Better work-life balance: Many people seem to feel that working from home allows them to divide and utilise their time more wisely. Without the daily commute, they can start their day earlier. It might also be easier to squeeze in a doctor’s appointment or fetching the kids from school.

This ties in with more independence for employees too, which in turn leads to better job satisfaction and a reduced employee turnover.

  • Increased productivity:
    Many say that they are more productive when they work from home, as there are fewer distractions, office politics, and face-to-face meetings. Still, working from home is something that requires a lot of self-discipline, so it might only work for some people.
  • Reduced costs:
    By working from home, you spend less on fuel, food, and parking, which means you inevitably save money in the long run.

  • Benefits for society:
    In the end, the more people work from home, the less traffic, which means a reduced carbon footprint that ultimately helps fight climate change.

Cons of working remotely

  • Missing human connection:
    Many people have stressed the fact that they feel isolated when working from home for long periods of time. Sometimes, the camaraderie of an office is one of the main motivators for employees, and without it, it is easy to feel lost.
  • Unplugging:
    One of the main challenges of working from home is to unplug from work. Some people find it very difficult to separate their careers and their personal lives, which means work is home and home is work. People also tend to work longer hours, because they have some extra time on hand that they normally would have used to commute.
  • Declined mental health:
    People have found the COVID-19 pandemic rather stressful for many reasons and this has had a major impact on their mental health. According to a study done by Twingate, 45% of employees have more meetings than before and 40% have experienced mental exhaustion from video calls.
  • Cyber safety:
    According to the same study,59% of employees felt less cyber-secure at home and over 1 in 10 employees had their video calls hacked while working remotely.

These are but a few finds when it comes to the pros and cons of working remotely and it’s surely only the tip of the iceberg, considering the fact that most of us might be working from home for the foreseeable future. So, as with all things in life, the challenge lies in how we manage it.

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