Advancements in telecommunications and technological innovations around the world have enabled the remote working system to take a more permanent place in our lives.
These developments have brought a contemporary perspective to the way people do business nowadays. But first, we need to understand exactly what it means to work remotely or how to work remotely.
What Is Remote Working?
The remote working model means that employees can carry out their working activities successfully from wherever they are, without the necessity to go to the office.
Employees, including team leaders and managers, work ‘remotely’, away from the actual physical office environment.
There are some employees who prefer this working model, but there are also others who prefer to work in the office, the traditional way of working. Each of these work practices has its own advantages and disadvantages.
But which working model is better? One should compare both working methods before making up one’s own mind.
Which Working Model Is Better? Remote Working vs. Office
The office working model that we have been used to for years is gradually shifting to the remote working model.
Although there are still many people who prefer to work in the office, the number of people working remotely is increasing day by day.
For companies that offer both opportunities to their employees, it is very crucial to determine the distinctions between working in the office and working remotely. Hence, by learning the aspects of both working methods, employees can prefer the method that suits them best.
Let’s take a look at the apparent differences between in-office and remote work. Which working model is better?
What Is Office/On-site Work?
Working in the office means that the employee goes to the place where the company is located during the scheduled working hours and days which are determined by the company itself.
Pros of Working In An Office
- Communication and interacting with coworkers is easy.
- There is less distraction.
- There is a shared corporate culture.
- Easy access to tools and supplies in the company
- Most employees are familiar with this work environment, in contrast to remote working.
- More motivated teamwork
Cons of Working In An Offıce
- Higher general expenses
- Reduced productivity
- Distracting behavior of colleagues
- Locational problems in accessing talented employees
- Heightened stress and anxiety
- Less individuality
- More likely to be exposed to diseases
We have discussed above what is an in-office working, and the pros and cons of this working method. In order to better compare the two working methods and make a more accurate decision, let’s list the pros and cons of remote working.
Can Remote Working Replace Office?
Companies offer options for in-office, hybrid or remote working. The pros and cons of these working options must be evaluated comprehensively.
It is very important for people to choose the most suitable working method for their own lifestyles and personal abilities. By doing so, the balance between work and personal life can be optimized.
However, it still remains a question whether remote working can completely replace working from the office. The answer to this question will be given by future time and new technologies.
The Advantages of Remote Working
- Remote working offers individuals a flexible and balanced lifestyle. Individuals are able to shape the work and private life balance based on their own preferences.
- Thanks to the flexibility of working hours, individuals can devote more time to their interests and personal activities. They can use the time it takes to be in the workplace in a way that is more beneficial to them.
- Remote working is less polluting and beneficial to the environment. It reduces the amount of harmful gasses emitted by the vehicle used by employees on their way to the office.
- The technological benefits of remote working result in substantial savings in paper waste. It reduces the need for stationery and office supplies used in the office environment.
- Remote working can result in higher productivity for both employees and employers. It minimizes the stress associated with the work and office environment and improves the work performance of employees.
The Disadvantages of Remote Working
- Remote working provides flexibility in working hours we know that, but in some cases this flexibility can also lead to inefficient use of working hours and willingness to work less.
- The comfort of being at home can disrupt the work-flow process. The employee might not be able to maintain the sense of seriousness of the work environment and this may lower the remote worker’s job performance.
- There can be many distractions in the household environment, particularly for remote workers who work from their houses.
- Remote working may also become a personal problem for employees. Being together with your colleagues in an office environment provides motivation, while being alone in a home environment can reduce this motivation.
How to Manage Remote Workers?
For companies, managing remote workers can sometimes become a challenging task.
It can be hard to manage and maintain a balance between office-based, remote or hybrid employees.
For executives in particular, here are a few suggestions to help them successfully accomplish this challenging task.
Quit Location Limitations
It is essential that managers give employees who choose to work remotely the freedom to choose the location where they work.
It should not be a problem whether a talented employee works in the office or remotely, so long as they perform their job efficiently.
Some companies require their employees to reside in the same city where the office is located, although this can create difficulties for employees even if they work remotely.
Leave Time Management to Remote Workers
Employees should be given the opportunity to manage their time as they prefer. They should be able to set their working hours according to their own schedule or daily routines.
By allowing employees the freedom to choose when they work, it gives them the chance to be more productive no matter what time of the day it is.
Naturally, it is normal to set a specific time and day for projects, meetings or events that take place within the company. In these circumstances, it is important to create suitable conditions for the team.
However, you should allow your remote workers to set their own work schedules – in general, their own work patterns.
They will determine the most suitable and productive periods of time for themselves. This will help them avoid the stress of catching up on work during working hours.
Organize Online Gathering Events
It should be ensured that remote workers do not feel lonely and isolated in their work processes. This situation causes employees to have difficulty in their workload and decreases their work motivation.
Therefore, organizing online activities and meetings is crucial to help them acquire this motivation.
Once you provide them with that incentive, you also demonstrate that they are not alone but that their colleagues in the team are also going through similar experiences.
These activities help employees to recognize their personalities other than their “employee” identity. Moreover, it increases contact between employees and improves their bonds. This contributes to the strengthening of team spirit, which also increases work efficiency.
Highlight the Work Done
Executives are expected to treat their office-based and remote employees in an equal manner.
They should take into account that the work performed in the office is done with the same effort and labor as when working remotely. It should not be assumed that the remote worker has a lighter workload.
They perform the same workload in the same amount of time, whether they work from home or remotely. Remote workers are to be appreciated for the tasks they perform at the same level as those working in the office.
Be Clear About the Expectations
It is quite important to specify what the company expects from the employee in the organizational sense and likewise what the employee expects from the company and its managers.
In the remote working method, individuals have their own distinctive working methods. It is important to pay attention to each employee’s own method.
Specifying what the company expects from an employee and especially from a remote employee within the framework of the company’s rules, principles and expectations helps to reduce problems caused by poor communication to a minimum.
Open communication with remote working employees is an essential factor at this point.
How to Make Remote Working More Effective?
The number of companies adopting remote working is increasing and this way of working is becoming more and more accepted. It is very important for companies to fulfill this new type of working process in the best way and to get the highest efficiency from this process.
In particular, companies need to adopt methods that differ from traditional working principles. They need to follow a working method that is suitable for both themselves and their employees.
Especially company executives might be in need of some tips on how they can make the working process of their remote employees more effective.
Here are a few of them:
Ensure That Your Employees Are Properly Equipped
Remote workers do not have access to in-office equipment like in-office workers. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure your remote workers have the necessary equipment wherever they are.
This will help them in their work processes and they won’t feel the lack of not being in the office. By making their work easier, your work will be accomplished more efficiently in a shorter period of time.
Besides, provide them with the equipment they might need to attend team meetings in addition to fulfilling their work responsibilities. Alternatively, if you are unable to provide these equipment, support them to do so.
Establish open communication with your remote team based on mutual trust. Be clear about your mutual work-oriented expectations, both as managers and as employees.
Such trust will strengthen the team spirit and help you to be more successful in your work as a company.
An executive who knows what they want and an employee who knows what they need to do will deliver better quality work.
Optimize Your Procedures
Keep your business processes as compact, optimized and unified as you can.
Having multiple workloads on various platforms can both make it difficult for you to keep track of work and can also reduce productivity as a distracting factor for employees.
With OCTAPULL’s OctaSales application, you can run all your business and business processes from a single platform. You will increase your productivity by saving your time and money for your company.
Check it out for detailed information.
Create A Clear Picture of Roles and Responsibilities
In order to avoid any disruptions in the workflow, determine which of your employees will take on which role and responsibility, rather than directly taking on the workload.
Creating such a roadmap will also facilitate their work processes. An employee who knows what to do will work more efficiently and effectively in line with the work.
Along with the occasional “loneliness” of remote working, remote workers may need reassurance that they are not alone. It would be advisable for companies to remind their remote workers that they are not alone in this work process.
Being involved in social activities not only individually but also as a team will help them to lessen this feeling.
You, as the managers of your company, can organize cultural and social activities that are appropriate to the organizational structure of your company in order to support and motivate your employees.
Regularly Check In
Checking in with your employees at regular time intervals will make it easier for you to support them when they need or want to consult you on a particular work-related issue.
Tracking the work progress of your employees will increase productivity. It will help you detect and prevent any disruptions in the workflow in advance. You will also make sure that your team is working towards the same direction.
Mental and Psychological Effects of Remote Working
Remote working, which has become a new normal in our lives as we have mentioned before, has brought about many changes in business life.
Moreover, it has affected the working patterns and methods of employees as well as professional practices.
These changes may seem on the surface, they have brought about a big difference in the lifestyles of employees. The mental and psychological impact of this new way of working on employees is also a prominent issue in this context.
Although the remote working method sounds like an easier and more accessible working option, the situation is not that simple. It has its own challenges.
Employees who prefer this working method, affect their psychology significantly with the ways and methods they adopt while working remotely.
For instance, the socialization and interaction offered by the office environment is not present in the remote working method, people who work remotely from home have to spend almost all their work days alone and isolated.
Similarly, they have to stare at a computer screen for long periods of time throughout the day, which is physically and mentally challenging. Many factors like these cases lead to mental and psychological strain on employees.
To put it in a nutshell, we can list the mental and psychological challenges that remote working brings to employees as follows:
- Burnout Syndrome
It is possible to reduce and minimize these effects. Based on the mental and psychological problems they experience, we have a few suggestions to help remote workers feel better:
Consider co-working spaces: Employees who are working at home or in their local environment can consider co-working spaces when they feel lonely.
This could be a coffee shop, a library or a shared office space. Being in contact with the people in that environment will also help the remote worker to feel better.
Make time for your hobbies: During your breaks at work or after working hours, spending time on your hobbies and interests can be a solution to reduce the feeling of loneliness.
Stay in touch with your colleagues: In a remote working model, you may prefer video conferencing with your colleagues. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to meet when everyone is in front of their screens.
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When working remotely, many factors such as being at home all the time, being away from socializing or getting lost in the workload can cause you to become even more stressed.
However, moving, exercising or meditating can help you to reduce this stress.
Besides that, a good sleep and a good diet will also help you to balance this stress load.
It is advisable for employees who experience burnout syndrome while working remotely to take short breaks to rest between working hours.
In addition, focusing more on their personal life during off-hours and focusing on their interests will also help them to feel better.
The idea that you will not be able to fulfill your responsibilities can be quite challenging when working remotely. Creating and implementing a regular work plan to deal with these responsibilities will help you to reduce anxiety and stress.
It can also be helpful to be in contact with a colleague who can supervise your work duties and help you keep track of the process.
Pressure doesn’t only have to come from your workplace, your manager or your boss. Your family members may also feel that you need to make time for them while you are working from home.
Make sure you are on the same page with your family members, friends or people who tell you that you don’t have time for them about your work hours and working patterns.
Let them know what time your shift starts and ends and let them know that you will be busy with work during these working hours, you will not be able to spare time for them. Hence, they will respect these boundaries.
Time Management While Working Remotely
Time is an essential component in business life. When working remotely, it is even more.
It is essential to make the right use of this component while balancing work and daily life. So, how can we manage time effectively while working remotely?
Benefits of Using Time Effectively When Working Remotely
It helps you minimize the stress factor by completing and delivering work on time. As a result, your work efficiency will increase as well.
It also plays an important role in balancing your work and private life. It helps you have time for your loved ones and personal interests.
The Consequences of Not Using Time Effectively When Working Remotely
You may face some unfavorable consequences as a result of not using your time effectively when working remotely.
- Since you generally work at a desk, you may not be able to meet the physical activities your body needs such as walking and stretching. Moving less during the day can make you feel even more exhausted and drained.
- Not being able to manage time properly may result in not being able to deliver the task on time, which in turn can cause you to feel more stressed.
- Spending most of the time in front of the computer may prevent social interaction with people. This may also cause you to feel lonely.
- If you neglect physical activities, spend time with yourself, take breaks and communicate with people while planning your time, you may experience a feeling of anxiety.
You can take various trainings and use different techniques and tools to manage your time properly.
How to Manage Your Time While Working Remotely?
In order to maintain a balanced work and personal life, you may need to use your time efficiently. Factors such as discipline, environmental factors and work situation affect time management.
In time management, setting our priorities is a very important factor. You can use some techniques to determine this order of importance.
For instance, the Warren Buffet 5/25 technique, which allows you to identify the 25 tasks you need to do and then choose the 5 most important from among them and focus only on them.
Another example is the Eisenhower Matrix, which suggests that you do your urgent and important work right away, and plan your non-urgent but important work to be done later,
to eliminate non-urgent and unimportant tasks.
Applications for Time Management When Working Remotely
Applications such as video conferencing tools are very effective in helping employees. These applications not only help to manage time well, but also ease the work process.
Thereby, they provide great benefits for both employees and companies. Saving time also leads to financial savings.
Here are a few apps that serve this purpose well, helping remote workers to manage their time more efficiently and more effectively.
OCTAPULL, the leading video conferencing platform, is one of these applications.
By using OCTAPULL’s OctaMeet and OctaSales products, you can plan and conduct meetings with your business team and your colleagues with minimal effort and use your time effectively while conducting your remote business.
Forest and Pomodoro are two useful apps that can help you focus. Forest allows you to set a time and work without touching your phone, while Pomodoro increases focus by taking a 5-minute break after 25 minutes.
After four Pomodoro’s, you can take a 15-20 minute rest break. These apps can help you strengthen your focus and make it easier to complete tasks.
With all these techniques, you can evaluate the essential components for a more effective working routine and create your own personal time management route.
Video Conferencing Applications for Remote Working
When working remotely, time management is a crucial factor in maintaining a high-quality workflow.
The most effective and simple way to gather employees, teams together and to organize meetings, interviews online is to use video conferencing applications as part of this process.
Video conferencing applications provide great benefits in this time management process and also facilitate the business process.
Here are the most commonly used applications for time management while working remotely. You may have heard of at least a few of these apps.
- Microsoft Team
- Google Workspace
It is important to make sure that one-on-one and group calls can be conducted properly when choosing a video conferencing application for work in remote work.
OCTAPULL’s OctaMeet, one of the leading video conferencing applications, offers both daily and professional video conferencing solutions for employees and companies that prefer remote working.
In terms of the advantages and disadvantages of remote working, it is not surprising that this new working model has become our new normal.
Although there are still companies and employees who prefer the office working model in the business field, the number of those who prefer to work remotely together is climbing to the top.
Now, the question of whether remote working can completely replace the office working model seems to follow the future developments ahead.