The impact of remote work on personal and professional development

Posted in Business and entrepreneurship.

Within the aftermath of the pandemic, life has been returning to normal with a few changes owing to our collective experiences necessitated by the pandemic. Particularly of note is how the pandemic revolutionised the way that we work. Remote work has become a norm in many industries. What was once a consequence of pandemic laws has become a normal part of the post-pandemic society. While remote work has its own challenges, it continues to evolve and does offer several benefits for personal and professional development.

Remote work comes with its own set of challenges that require a different approach to on-site work. This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of remote work as it pertains to one’s personal life and their professional development.

The upsides…

Remote work provides a sort of freedom of work that allows employees to adjust their working preferences in a way that promotes their own way of life. There are several advantages of remote working that allows it to remain a part of industries even now.

Increased flexibility. One of the most significant benefits of remote working is increased flexibility. Employees who work remotely have greater control over their work schedules. It is easier to adapt work schedules around a personal life like this (within limits of course). This allows employees to better balance their work and personal responsibilities. Remote work also removes the need to commute, freeing up time for more productive activities. As a result, remote work has been shown to reduce stress levels.

Improved work-life balance. While the increased flexibility does lead to the possibility of a better work-life balance, the benefits of a proper balance cannot be understated. A better work-life balance is correlated with higher job satisfaction. Furthermore, some company cultures can be too strong. Oftentimes, an employee’s personal life can get entangled with a company. Remote work allows employees to draw a line between work and life (though we’ll see later on that the opposite is sometimes true as well).

Enhanced creativity. Again owing to increased flexibility, remote working can enhance creative thinking. Yes, an orderly and familiar environment like the workplace is great for focusing and getting things done, but new environments allow for different kinds of thinking. The confines of an orderly office actually limit creativity. Remote working adds a touch of chaos that can spark innovation. The comfort of one’s own place also encourages creative thinking.

The downsides…

Remote work comes with challenges that can interfere with productivity and a separation between work and home. What can be seen as upsides from one angle can in fact be downsides depending on the person.

Disconnection from work. Remote work can isolate employees from their colleagues and the workplace. A disconnection from their work can lead to decreased motivation and thus productivity. Furthermore, an employee that is not fully informed on the happenings within the workplace can lag behind on work company developments.

Blurred work-life boundaries What can serve as an advantage – flexibility – can also serve as a detriment. The ability to work whenever one wants to allows employees to blur the lines between work and a personal life. An easily accessible work computer in the same place that an employee relaxes can prevent a definitive boundary between work and life and lead to burnout, or even the inability to separate oneself from work. As a result, remote work can interfere with a good work-life balance. On the flip side, personal life and rest can overtake work productivity as well.

Technical issues. When in the workplace, technical support is usually easy to reach. Remote work creates some distance between support and an employee. The issue worsens when the remote work setup does not use standardised work software or hardware.

The advantages and disadvantages of remote working will be different for everyone just owing to how they prefer to work, how much supervision they prefer, and how much self-management they can handle. If remote work is necessary though, there are ways to mitigate the challenges.