6 Pros and Cons of Permanently Transitioning Your Team to Remote Work
There was a time when it would have been unthinkable for employers to transition massive numbers of their workers to working remotely.
13:59 24 September 2020
This has changed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis; as the lockdowns began, many business leaders concluded that working from home was better than entirely shuttering operations. They made an effort to empower workers to work from home to the greatest extent possible.
Now business executives are trying to determine how to move forward in the wake of the virus. One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to enable their companies to remain profitable despite the recent economic downturn and all the remaining challenges brought about by the Coronavirus. Many are evaluating when to bring workers back to the office, or whether they should do so at all. The following are 6 pros and cons of permanently transitioning your staff to doing remote work:
1. Pro: Reduced Overhead Expenses for Office Space
Office space is expensive to own or rent and also to maintain. If a significant number of your employees transition permanently to remote work, you’d have the option to reduce this overhead by moving to smaller, less expensive quarters. If this is a decision that makes sense for your particular business, it could be a smart way to increase profitability.
2. Con: Increased Information Security Challenges and Their Associated Costs
Working remotely brings with it a set of challenges relating to information security. It’s important to address these challenges up front, which can mean making a substantial investment in equipment and security measures. Failure to do this is likely to result in even greater costs, because cyber criminals began exploiting remote work as soon as it became obvious that large numbers of people were working remotely.
Some cybersecurity experts recommend that remote workers use a virtual private network (VPN) as a means to increase security when working remotely. Several VPN options include Hidemyass, Surfshark and ExpressVPN; if you’re considering the use of a VPN for your business, check out a HideMyAss VPN review at this link.
While this is sound advice overall, it isn’t foolproof, as VPNs are also vulnerable to attacks from hackers and criminals. If you’re using a VPN, it is particularly important to make sure that all your devices for remote work are appropriately hardened and updated with the latest software patches.
3. Pro: Commute-Free Workdays Free Up Time
Time is the most precious of assets. Many workers consider a lengthy commute to work as being a complete waste of time, and they resent it. Eliminating the commute can lead to a daily boost in your employee’s work-life balance, allowing them more time to focus on higher priority activities rather than sitting in traffic jams.
4. Con: Remote Work Requires Self-Starters
A worker’s home environment provides endless distractions that can derail their workday. They might have kids, pets and a spouse at home, not to mention ringing phones and housework that needs to be done. Not everyone can be trusted to actually get your company’s work done under these circumstances. It takes a determined self-starter, and even then, there are no productivity guarantees. You will most likely need to invest a sizable amount of effort in keeping your remote workers on track.
5. Pro: Massive Reduction of Office Politics
Office politics are a daily reality when your entire team is working together under one roof. This might still be an issue when you’re all working remotely, but even so, you’re likely to enjoy a noticeable reduction in petty day-to-day dramas.
6. Con: It’s Challenging to Supervise Remote Workers
Many people prefer to be given some autonomy when working, and nobody likes being micromanaged. So from that standpoint, working remotely has its upsides. However, even your star performers will need guidance, encouragement and some measure of supervision – and it can be challenging to give them this when you are not working closely with them. It’s far easier to supervise people when you’re sharing office space.
These are some of the main considerations to be aware of when you make the decision whether to reopen your company’s office space or to keep your employees working remotely. Both options have their pros and cons, but one option is likely to make more sense for your team given your employees’ unique set of strengths and weaknesses.