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The Pros and Cons of Remote Working

September 13, 2017

11:30 am

With many people embracing remote working and supporting the freelance economy, companies need to weight the pros and cons of having people in and out of an office setting and figure out what works best for their operations. Remote jobs may be convenient and interesting but it comes with their fair share of challenges.

The Benefits of In-Office Jobs?

People who are currently doing cubicle jobs enjoy a guaranteed salary. Some jobs even come with added benefits such as a car, mortgage, and probably medical insurance. This could be one of the numerous reasons why many people would rather continue working in-office versus remote. For people who have never done remote jobs it’s hard for them to understand what freelancers go through. It is, however important to note that both remote and in-office options come with pros and cons. The advantages for in-office include:

Experience

The office is an ideal place to learn new things every day. Working in an office provides individuals with an opportunity to broaden their experience even as they strive to remain ahead of their peers.

Time Management

Working hours in offices are fixed. This instills discipline in individuals and sharpens their time management skills. In-office employees have no choice but to keep time and stick to a laid down schedule in order to remain valuable. An office environment can also provide structure that some employees need.

Networking

Perhaps the most advantageous aspect of working in an office is gaining exposure. Being able to interact with different people from different social settings gives individuals a chance to broaden their knowledge as well as grow the company. It is also ideal as it enables them to raise their profile and market their reputation.

Read more about the digital nomad lifestyle

Is Remote Working All Glitter?

While many people may want to make it seem like a glamorous industry it is important to understand that nothing good comes without challenges. Additionally, few people in this industry are willing to point out the challenges or even come up with effective ways of conquering them.

As Scot Hanselman writes in his blog “Being remote is wonderful and it sucks.” Here are some things that you might want to know about this lifestyle choice.

Remote Working is not Easy

Just like any other career, beginning as a remote worker is difficult. The fact is that many players in the industry want to employ experienced people. More often than not, remote workers have to go for months and even years trying to carve a niche for themselves. In many cases, this will include writing articles for no fee to demonstrate to clients just how competent they are. This can be frustrating. Additionally, freelancing involves bidding for jobs and this only does not guarantee one the job. Regardless of a remote worker’s qualification, they always have to go through vetting which is also quite tedious. Only the persistent individuals tend to survive longer in this industry.

Loneliness Could Set In

Neither remote workers commute to work nor do they have to spend the whole day confined in a cubicle. They also have the freedom to manage and plan for their time accordingly. However enticing this may seem, freelancers spend their working days all alone which can be depressing. When expounding on loneliness as a remote worker, Ellie Martin wrote:

“The truth is that freelancing requires fortitude. You must be able to stay on task without a boss looking over your shoulder and remain happy with diminished socialization.”

Individuals can opt to work from restaurants or even parks in order to beat loneliness and prevent adverse effects on their mental health.

Remote Working is not a Guaranteed Full-Time Job

Nothing prepares a remote worker for the prolonged bouts of lack of work that are bound to happen. This industry is unpredictable. Landing one project is not a guarantee that the next one shall come soon. As a matter of fact, many freelancers spend months without landing either a repeat client or even a new one. These uncertainty causes pay disparities which are stressing especially for non-established individuals who have not yet saved enough.

And Then the Cubicles

Working in an office is probably one of the highest contributors to a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting on an office chair for prolonged hours encourages laziness and can cause strain on the back and neck. Apart from this, one is likely to strain their eyes which can even cause vision damage. Additionally, chances of getting enough salary are low especially for people working in small startup companies. Having to interact with coworkers on a daily basis is likely to cause relationship strain between employees.

The world is developing fast and however we look at it, cubicle and remote jobs will always be available. Choosing between the two depends on an individual’s satisfaction and liking. It is not easy to single out any of the two options as the winner since both come with advantages and disadvantages. Again, what appeals to one individual may not appeal to the other. While some people do not mind loneliness and flexibility in freelancing, others perform better when working as a team. The diversity of the job market currently enables people to choose between in office jobs, contracts, or freelancing. Individuals can even choose to multitask as they try to identify their level ground. Eventually,

“If the work is challenging, the projects are advancing your career, and if the money is meeting your financial needs, there’s no real advantage to taking one route over another — other than going with what works for you.” said, Kathleen Mullaney of Career Guidance

Read our Guide to Remote Work at TechCo

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Hira Saeed is a Tech Geek Girl who is a writer by passion and Social media & PR consultant by profession. Her experience ranges from remote jobs, startup entrepreneurship and consultancy to event management and senior-level marketing positions. Hira is also a public speaker and columnist who shares her views on AI and chatbots on VentureBeat.

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