Remote Working vs. Flexible Working: Which is best for you?
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We all want to escape the 9-to-5 strict work schedule once in a while, and many would enjoy some permanent changes in an otherwise boring day at the office. If you're struggling with making the decision of whether you should or should not choose to work remotely or ask for some flexibility in your current workplace, our lists of pros and cons should guide you in the right direction.
The Pros and Cons of Flexible Working
You don't have to make the jump yet and go towards remote working. Try having a discussion with your manager about converting your position into more of a flexible working role. According to Forbes, flexible working is exactly what it sounds like— continuing to work as a team but having more fluidity in location or even time. Do you think it's the best route for you?
More flexible schedule
When you agree to set your own working hours with the employer, you can finish the tasks from home, a coworking space, a cafe, or leave the office when your work is done. Such flexibility will allow you to meet other needs, finish your personal obligations and improve life-work balance in general.
Feeling included in decision-making
Flexibility in the workplace empowers team members (and yourself) so everyone feels more included in the decision-making and the schedule. Feeling more in control of your or your team's time makes them more productive and keeps everyone aware of different workings of different cogs in the business.
Boosts the productivity
More control is not the only reason why employees with flexible schedule are more productive. When employers allow their workers to take a break when they feel they need it, this reduces burnout and overload.
Face-to-face team interaction
When employees are given a chance to set their own schedule, they hardly meet in person. In departments that require a lot of teamwork, this can cause many problems or require more reliance on communication apps like Google hangouts or Slack. It's an important consideration, especially if you prefer having face-to-face conversations.
There are many employees who will take this flexibility for granted and see it as an invitation to do something else instead of work. Some employees simply lack time organization skills, focus, and cannot work if they don’t have a strict schedule to follow.
Pros and Cons of Remote Working
Remote work is the so-called ‘branch of flexible work’ in the sense that you don’t have to commute to a workspace every day, or even meet the employer regularly. Remote work has grown exponentially, especially with Millennials. According to The Wall Street Journal, 64% Millennials reported working remotely and credit the flexibility to their productivity.
Improved work-life balance
Working from a remote location, either from home, a coworking space, or a coffee shop, also brings flexibility to the worker, even more so. When you don’t have to visit an office at all or meet with the boss to discuss work, you can create your schedule (and choose convenient locations!) in a way that it fits your personal life and allows you to finish your tasks in time.
Being stuck in an office, sitting at a desk eight hours a day is hard. Office workers rarely have a balanced, healthy meal, and simply grab a quick bite during the short break. Remote work means that you can choose when and what to eat, and how long to work before you take a break.
Save time and money
Without having to ever commute to work or opting for spaces closer to home, employees are saving money and time they’d otherwise spend on traveling.
‘You wouldn’t believe the number of people who prefer to work from home instead of the office,’ Bethany Simpson, a recruiter at Aussie Writings, said. ‘People enjoy the flexibility it offers, and spend the time they would otherwise spend on traveling on finishing their tasks.’
Increased opportunities for work
This goes both ways for the employer and the employee. Employers enjoy a massive increase in talent pool, and employees have many opportunities considering that they can work remotely for people in other cities, countries, and even continents. Digital nomads are on the rise as a functional, easy lifestyle.
Lack of in-person communication
As we said, some remote workers might even meet their bosses or team members. Direct communication is very rare for remote workers, especially when their employers and teammates live in a different time zone. You'll only rely on apps like Skype, Google Hangouts, or Slack to keep up communication. And will have to schedule meetings or calls with more consideration.
Troubles with organization and discipline
Having your schedule set by someone else is motivating, and so is being in an office where you go specifically to work. Working purely remotely, you will have to manage your time and keep yourself motivated to keep up with deadlines and projects.
Work and personal is hard to separate
When you're schedule is flexible and your office can be anywhere, even your home, you must have strict lines to separate work and personal life. This is much easier to do when the physical space and timing is different, like with using coworking spaces.
There are many distractions inside an office, but this is nothing compared to those at home or when you don't have a steady location to always work in. Still, this is easily solvable – all you have to do is remove all distractions before you get to work, and find a cafe or coworking space that allows you to remain focused to the work.
Both remote and flexible work have become very popular, but when it comes to choosing, it is all up to your preference.