Opportunities to work remotely have increased dramatically. As employers reckon with the trend towards dangling the carrot of flexibility to entice talented people, the possibilities for remote work continues to dominate the recruiting and retention discussion at all sorts of companies. People with physical limitations, caregivers, folks who live far out from their offices who want to minimize super-commutes are just some of the groups who may want to work from home or elsewhere. Some common jobs that can be done remotely include Virtual Assistant, Onboarding Guide, Online English Teacher, IT Support and more. It’s a great option for many people, but there are pros and cons to consider.  

Pros:

Save money on lunches, coffee, commuting and parking.

Save time going to and from work, shortening the work week.

Attend to medical appointments, exercise, wellness and family obligations with less stress.

Concentration, comfort and quiet.

Master new tools like Slack and Zoom. 

It’s a new twist on social engagement, where you work harder to connect with people because they aren’t right down the hall.

Cons:

You might still be in you PJs at 2 p.m. (maybe for some people, that’s a pro).

Missing out on in-person camaraderie and water-cooler catch-ups.

If you don’t sit comfortably at a desk, but instead work on a bed or a couch this can cause ergonomic problems.

It could be harder to be part of company culture.

It may be difficult to stop working because you there’s no separation between work and home. 

Of course, remote work may not be all or nothing. You may attend weekly, monthly or quarterly meetings or offsites. Or maybe if you live close to your company headquarters you go in to an office a few days a week. There’s also the chance of co-working in a place with other remote workers.

When you consider what might work for you, it’s important to ask yourself who you are.

Are you disciplined enough to get it all done without the whir of office energy?

Is it more important to you that you see other people every day or would you rather hang out with your dog? Is telephone contact on a regular basis enough for you to feel connection as long as you see your co-workers  once in awhile? Maybe you have such an active social life outside of work that you just want to get it done so you can get out there and do other things with people you care about. As with other choices you make, knowing what you value most is the key. 

Read more about remote work in the Amava Post.