Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become more common than ever. While some employees are or will soon be back in the office, many companies have chosen to continue remote and hybrid work. In fact, 74% of companies plan to permanently shift to more remote work post-pandemic.
Some benefits of remote work include increased productivity, reduced stress, and better work-life balance. This may be due to increased flexibility, which employees report to be the best perk of working from home. Remote work also saves time and money, so it's no wonder why companies will continue to offer this option.
Sounds great, right? Depending on your work preferences, remote work may not be as great as you think. Ask yourself these questions to determine if working from home is right for you.
Can your type of work be completed at home?
Employees opt for remote work because most of their job is done on a computer or through the phone. If you want to work in a field such as sales, technology, or customer service, you may consider working from home. However, if you want a job that requires physical work, you may not be eligible to go remote.
How much do you value face-to-face connection?
Whether you're an introvert and extrovert, we all need human interaction. It can be difficult to bond with your colleagues online, making work lonely and unengaging. On the other hand, you may feel more productive working at home, as do 65% of remote employees.
Do you have strong self-discipline?
Although many remote employees report higher productivity, it’s important to evaluate your own self-discipline. Do you have strong time management skills? Are you able to work remotely without distraction? Can you keep yourself motivated? If you said no to any of these questions, it may be time to improve these soft skills before going remote.
Can you grow without in-person experience?
There are endless online learning opportunities, but you may find that hands-on experience better benefits your professional growth. Remote employees fear a lack of visibility when it comes to their work; is it being noticed as much at home as it would be in the office? If you are seeking advancement in your company, in-person work may better suit your needs.
Will you be affected by collaboration/communication difficulties?
Collaboration and communication were the top struggles for remote workers in 2020, and it continues to be a concern. This may be due to the asynchronous nature of remote work. Do you consider yourself highly team-oriented? You may value in-person work more than you think, as communicating with your colleagues is more efficient in the office.
Can you maintain balance between work and home?
This year, remote workers reported that “not being able to unplug” was the biggest struggle with working remotely. Many remote employees work longer than the typical eight-hour workday, intruding on work-life balance. If this is a concern for you, working in the office can separate the two.
Some of these questions may require more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’—they will prompt you to think about how you work best. Keep these questions in mind to determine if you’re ready for remote work.