Remote work reached its peak during the pandemic and over the last couple of years, the desire to work virtually has remained high. However, companies are calling employees back to the office and we are seeing a battle between what both sides want.
According to an article and recent survey from McKinsey, “When people have the chance to work flexibly, 87 percent of them take it. This dynamic is widespread across demographics, occupations, and geographies. The flexible working world was born of a frenzied reaction to a sudden crisis but has remained a desirable job feature for millions. This represents a tectonic shift in where, when, and how Americans want to work and are working.”
It seems remote work is here to stay, so below are some pros and cons that may help companies and employees determine what is right for them.
- Cost Reduction: Companies save money on overhead expenses such as office space, equipment, food, and rent. Employees save on gas and parking fees but more importantly reduce their commute time and get back valuable hours each day.
- Bigger Talent Pool: Hiring managers can broaden their search for the best talent without being locked in a geographic location. The pool of candidates increases dramatically when a zip code isn’t important. For employees or candidates, they can do the same and look at opportunities across the country (or world) to find the best job.
- Balance: The work-life blend benefits employers because people are refreshed, more engaged, and less likely to quit from burnout. Employees feel valued because companies understand their needs and appreciate they have a life outside of work.
- Socialization: While Zoom and other virtual communication platforms have bridged the gap, some companies (and employees) miss the socialization of being in an office. The collaboration, communication, and relationship building can feel different when working remotely, with some employees feeling more isolated from their team.
- Separation of Work & Home: It can be challenging to separate work and personal life as a remote employee. Often the worlds overlap, and people may find it easier to be in an office during “work” hours and at home during “off” hours.
- Overworking: When there is no dedicated time in an office, employees may feel the need to overwork to prove themselves. Since they are not physically onsite, they rationalize working longer hours and being on-call 24/7 so as not to lose the benefit of working from home.
Whatever side you fall on, remote work – either a partial/hybrid situation or fully virtual – will likely be part of our future.