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The Benefits And Challenges Of Remote Work

The shift to remote work has exhibited both benefits and drawbacks. So, what are the most common trade-offs?

Photo: Marly Broudie. CEO of SocialEyes Communications Inc. | Courtesy Photo

In the wake of 2020, a year of world-shifting events, principally the Covid-19 global health crisis––remote work, and virtual recruitment have become the new normal. In today’s technology-driven world, remote work has equipped businesses with increased opportunities to modernize, improve performance and design flexible work offerings.

The pandemic has normalized remote work and impacted the way we communicate and connect with clients, colleagues, and staff. The rise in cloud-based programs and teleconference software usage has aided businesses in transition all over the world.

The shift to remote work has exhibited both benefits and drawbacks. So, what are the most common trade-offs?


Remote Work Benefits


1. Flexibility

Flexible work cultures have become an attractive element when seeking to hire new talent. Research shows that offering flexibility at work (either hours or location) leads to increased employee loyalty and productivity. Offering work-from-home (WFH) opportunities decrease office space needs and can become a profitable strategy to create healthier, engaged, and loyal employees.


2. Productivity

Remote work increases available office hours to an employee’s day. If one employee has a 1.5-hour commute each way, that is 3 hours a day in commuting, 15 hours per week, 780 hours per year. That is 32.5 days per year spent in transit – hours that could be utilized more effectively.


3. No distance limits

When you are not limited by a specific local area, you are able to recruit top talent from a variety of jurisdictions which is an opportunity to find top talent with specialized skill sets.


Remote Work Obstacles


1. Interaction

Distance and lack of face-to-face interaction can create a sense of individualism and distant relations between team members. It is much harder to build relationships, team build, and establish rapport without in-person interaction. Getting a virtual team to engage in productive brainstorming can be challenging. There is nothing quite like sitting in a room, throwing out ideas, building on one another’s thoughts.


2. Management

It can be challenging to monitor work, output, deliverables, and accountability without becoming a micro-manager. When employees work remotely, it is more difficult to ensure everyone is working on designated projects––when they are supposed to be.


3. Inclusivity and Camaraderie

Task management tools and online chats are not enough to establish close relationships and effective, cohesive teams. It is important for any business to have a strong team who can communicate with one another, grow with one another, incentivize one another and collaborate. Collaboration will always be a strong component of a successful team and business.


Create a productive remote workforce

There are quite a number of merits and challenges with remote work. A productive remote workforce must become adaptable and flexible. Implement processes such as weekly team meetings, monthly relationship-building practices, and effective task management and collaboration app (e.g., Asana or Monday.com). Trust, communication, dedication, and work ethic must be core and shared company values. Ultimately, for remote work to be effective and productive, systems and processes need to be put in place.


Marly Broudie is the CEO of SocialEyes Communications Inc., a Digital Marketing and Business Development firm located in Toronto, Ontario. Marly launched SocialEyes Communications to help businesses and professionals broaden their opportunities through the power of social media and digital marketing. Her goal-oriented approach and ability to help clients develop a vision to drive growth is her fuel for success, and consequently, the success of her clients.


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