Remote Working: Pros & Cons

In April, 2022, Airbnb told its employees that they could choose to permanently work remotely, just like Zillow and PwC. In contrast, some major tech companies are asking their employees to return to the office. Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk tolhis employees to “return to the office or to leave the company”. What kinds of changes our working model will go through still remains blurry. For the past two years, the remote working model has triggered a lot of discussions around how we work. This blog will guide you through both employees and employers’ pros and cons on remote-working.

For Employees:

Pro1: Cost Reduction

There is no wonder that employees prefer working from home concerning their living expenses. People spend less money on commuting, office clothes, work lunches, coffees and other expenses. They also have the opportunity to seek cheaper houses. Some are searching to move from expensive larger cities like San Francisco and New York to smaller cheaper ones.

Pro2: Work-life balance

As long as these employees can skip commutes and dress casually when processing their work, they feel happier and become more productive. They do not need to work overtime in the office, at the cost of their personal happiness. This might be a win-win for both employees and their companies, as they produce more when they get a better work-life balance.

Con1: (With Mentors) Lack of mentorship opportunities and support

For employees, remote working also brings new problems. In a virtual working environment, mentors spend less time mentoring newcomers to the office. This has confused many young people, who have to spend a lot of time deciphering enigmatic emails and emojis on Slack. They feel unsure about their jobs. Situation gets worse when their mentors already behave distantly in the face-to-face workplace.

Con2: (With Co-Workers) Lack of a chance to bond

Although the office culture has been challenged through the pandemic, many workers miss the opportunities of randomly chatting with their colleagues, participating in activities organized by their company and even guessing over the meaning of inside jokes popularized among senior workers. People start to feel detached when they face their camera-off co-workers in the zoom meeting, especially for those who never got the chance to work in-person. Zoom meetings are not enough for employees to come together and bond.

For Executives:

Pro1: Employees are getting more productive

The long-time pervasive myth that employees were less productive at home is questioned by the two-year bunk experiment of remote working. Company leaders are happy to see that their workers are getting more productive when they rid themselves of annoying commutes, expensive costs and even unsuitable workplace culture.

Con1: Companies need to figure out the best working mode

Not all executives are satisfied with the virtual working model. Some consider that working from home impedes the decision-making process and that employees lack spontaneous learning and creativity. Also, it is not easy to train their new employees through Zoom meetings. The apprenticeship model sometimes fails in the virtual setting.

Remote working influences not only employees and employers, but also many other aspects. In New York City, as fewer and fewer office workers go to the office, the decline in fees spent on public transit cuts down the income for commuter railroads. The vacancy in Manhattan offices also devastates small businesses like coffee shops and the city’s real estate-reliant tax base. What is your opinion on remote-working? Do you prefer to have face-to-face communications with your colleagues and boss?