Are you one of the people who ‘’go to work’’? Most people probably are, as having an office where all of your staff can do their tasks is still a prevalent practice in companies. Despite the fact that ‘’work’’ is for many associated with the action of going to work, some say that work doesn’t really happen at work, which was also the topic of one of this year’s infoShare speeches. Michael from Nozbe presented us with his “No office” approach. And indeed, work does not have to be a place to go. But is working 100% remotely healthy for the team? Let’s look at some pros and cons.
A sofa and a laptop will do
When thinking about the advantages of working remotely, this one is definitely crucial: you can work from virtually any place on earth. It may be your living room, a public library, a cafe, or even a beach on Bali. You name it. With the rise of collaboration and team communication tools, getting things done from many different places in the world is not a problem anymore.
How does the place matter, you could ask? Well, it does to some. First of all, you may organize your workspace just the way you need. You have all the needed things around, you feel comfy on your own chair, drinking coffee from your favorite mug.
When working remotely, you can also manage your day however you wish. That’s a definite benefit, especially when you’ve got things to take care of and, let’s face it, every other office, just as yours, closes around 5 o’clock. Running errands may not be the easiest thing to do when you’ve got a typical 9-to-5 working day. Many people appreciate this kind of flexibility, or sometimes even take it for granted. One of my colleagues once told me a story of an HR department getting shocked as one of the programmers whom they intended to hire stated he has no intention of showing up at the office. Because he runs. See, when the weather is nice outside, he’ll go for a run, and then catch up on his tasks later that day. And this may be no big deal to some companies, but some employers may get shivers when hearing such a bold statement.
Time management above all
You just have to learn it. There comes a moment when you realize you’ve messed something up, the deadline is to close, the work hasn’t been done, you’ve underestimated something. And that’s a great lesson. You’ll most probably learn it no matter where you work, but if you have ever tried working from home, you’ll see how your skill set is expanding. You’ll soon get better at estimating the time needed for task completion, diving projects into small, more achievable chunks, reviewing your work, and, in general, being self-reliant. At the office, the temptation to ask for advice or help is sometimes insurmountable. At home, you’ll look for solutions instead. That doesn’t mean you will have to become a jack of all trades (and as the saying continues: master of none…) but you will definitely develop the capacity for self-management and be able to control your tasks.
There is one thing that I have noticed in almost all of the people I know who work solely remotely: they have some entrepreneurial spirit, even if they are not businessmen of any sort. They are focused on productivity, know their constraints, and constantly go forward. This doesn’t mean that those working in an office can’t be entrepreneurs, but the need for skills like self-management may be smaller. Plus, time-wasters. How productive are you at work, really? There’s a coffee break, lunch break, a phone call that has to be answered, emails to be checked, social media updates to be seen, news to be read… In general, the office doesn’t give you +100 points in productivity but quite the contrary: you’ll do everything else but work. In 2016, the team of Scoro gathered some data and put up an infographic that shows we waste about 40% of our working time. Which means that 2 out of 5 days in a week are totally unproductive. Now think about all these things that you could do in this much time…