The Pros and Cons of Remote Work (For Companies)

By: | Updated: March 12, 2021

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It should also include reasons Companies are moving to remote work, mention ways to find remote work jobs, and explain the pros and cons (the reasons) people decide to become Remote Workers. This way we cover why Companies and why People become Remote Workers.

Post Overview

  • Worker Pros
    • Reasons why people want to become remote workers.
  • Worker Cons
    • Reasons why people do not want to become remote workers.
  • Company Pros
    • Reasons why companies want people to work remotely.
  • Company Cons
    • Reasons why companies might not want to support remote workers.

Pros and Cons of Remote Work (For Companies)

Remote Work also has benefits for companies. Knowing the pros and cons from a company’s perspective can be useful for: 

  • Understanding why they are asking you to work remotely
  • Negotiating with your manager to let you work remotely 
  • And make sure that working remotely is a win for both you and your employer

For a company to maximize the benefits of remote work there are 5 principles to keep in mind:

First, it is important to keep in mind that not every job can be done remotely.

Global Workplace Analytics has been studying remote work, and they estimate that 56% of the US workforce has a job that is compatible with remote work — at least partially.

But remote work is becoming more common, before the COVID pandemic only 3.6% of the US workforce worked at home half-time or more (GWA).

However, it is estimated that by the end of 2021, 25% to 30% of the US workforce will work from home multiple days a week (GWA).

Second, When a company moves to remote work, they are allowing choice; but not for the sake of choice.

Instead they are enabling workers to choose what they think is best for the organization. This is a major step in re-architecting work to become more dynamic. As work becomes more dynamic it creates opportunities to unleash workers’ dynamic potential. 

Third, when a company adopts remote work it can be very difficult to reverse  — especially if you hire people across many different locations.

For example if 20% of your team works in other cities, and you want to back to in-person — if people aren’t willing to relocate; do you fire them?

This isn’t a problem; instead it is a reason to move intentionally and confidently. If you decide to enable remote work, embrace it fully. 

Fourth, technology and work are inextricably linked.

Remote Work puts an emphasis on workplace collaboration tools. Adopting Remote Work tends to require re-tooling, but these new tools often facilitate better collaboration, learning, and productivity for both onsite and remote workers.

For example, if you have teams working across multiple time zones, you need a learning management system instead of a “go-to-person” — but this will increase productivity for all workers. 

Fifth, remote work enables companies to embed employee well-being into work. It allows people to integrate their life and their work. This tends to lead to higher levels of engagement (Gallup).  

Benefits of Companies Adopting Remote Work

Here are some of the benefits of adopting remote work.  

First, Employees love being able to work remotely. It is a major benefit.

79% of the US workforce want to remote workly, 36% would choose remote work over a pay raise, and 61% said they would be willing to give up some pay in exchange for being allowed to work remotely (GWA). As more of your team works remotely, you can reduce your office expenses.

An example is office hoteling. Hoteling is when workers don’t have permanent desks onsite. Instead they use an available desk when onsite, and keep their permanent primary workspace in their home offices.

Global Workplace Analytics estimates that a typical employer can save $11,000 per year for every person that works remotely half of the time. And it isn’t just office space, the savings include: security, utilities, cleaning, coffee, and other things people need to be productive. 

Tip: Want to see how much you could save by going remote? Use GWA’s ROI Calculator

We are competing in a near full-employment economy. COVID has impacted some sectors, but the majority of businesses are finding it harder to find qualified employees.

COVID is a short term problem, but a tight-labor market is going to be around for a long time. Technology isn’t replacing people, but instead making people more productive and increasing the returns to specialization: this is just going to make it harder and harder to find the employees you need — especially if you are tied to a specific location. 

While enabling remote work can save money, increase productivity, and help you hire the best people; it isn’t without issues. Here are some of the things to consider, and tips on how to mitigate potential problems.

Downsides of Companies Adopting Remote Work

Remote Work is a micro-managers dream. You can track everything, and the focus becomes outcomes. However, leadership becomes more difficult.

How do you create a sense of teamwork and comradery? How do you make your people feel like they work somewhere special instead of a homogenous corporation? These challenges require a lot of intentional effort and creativity from managers. 

Tip: Overemphasis your willingness to help — especially for new people and junior employees. Make it explicit that you want to ask questions, troubleshoot, or “duck” something out. Remember you used to be able to walk around and just “notice” who was stuck — when your team is remote you can’t see the shy junior employee quietly freaking out because they made a mistake and are stuck. 

Workforce planning has to become more analytical and intentional.

One of the reasons that remote workers struggle with career advancement is because they aren’t aware of opportunities, or they aren’t top of mind when managers are making new plans.

As someone that cares deeply about Diversity, Inclusion and Equity it is important to take an intentional approach to workforce planning. 

Tip: Software powered by Artificial Intelligence — e.g. faethm.ai and Ibbaka.com —  is helping managers inventory their people’s skills, identifying who needs additional training, and who is ready for new training. And, tools such as gloat.com are creating “talent marketplaces” that allow companies to democratize career development, identify skills, and help make sure that remote. 

Another challenge is that remote work can exasperate wealth and income inequality.

In the office everyone works in the same environment. However, what happens when you turn a camera on in everyone’s home? It highlights differences, even between people making the same salary.

But this is beyond aesthetics, working from home can benefit those with nicer, larger, quieter, and more stable homes. Where people with less stable, quiet, small, and less kept homes can be at a disadvantage. 

Tip: Managers should  take an active role in helping people with infrasture, technology and Internet issues. Internet providers tend to install better infrastructure in better neighborhoods — so people with better homes get access to better Internet connections Internet access is essential to success in Remote Work: consistently laggy video calls are a great way to get left out. 

Security and Tech Support are two more issues that arise when companies scale their teams to work remotely.

2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, reported that 78% of respondents mentioned technology, internet, and home workspace as top challenges in making remote sustainable.

Remote work often require re-tooling. Plus, employees are now responsible for their own troubleshooting and cybersecurity — something that most long term corporate employees might not be used to. 

Tip: If your team is technologically savvy they might not have any technology issues, however other teams should budget time and resources to make sure that employees get the technical support they need to remote work effectively. 

Some companies have designed their tools and infrastructure to be remote first.

When purchasing technology they select hardware and software that will work both in office and remotely. These companies tend to be the most productive and can quickly move between remote and on site.

Wrapping Up

This training course will prepare you to maximize the benefits of remote work for both yourself and your company. You will also learn how to avoid bad habits and pitfalls that can make remote work unnecessarily challenging.

Our goal is to help you learn from our experiences, and develop a plan and the habits to make working remotely a fulfilling experience. 

Potential Slide Content: 

2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, top factors in making remote work sustainable: 

  • 39%: Introducing digital collaboration platforms 
  • 36%: Allowing for personal choice in determining how work gets done 
  • 31% Establishing new scheduling and meeting norms 
  • 24%: Investing in team leader training 
  • 23%: Providing home access to the internet and needed technologies 
  • 16%: Reconfiguring the physical workspace at home
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by Brett Helling
Brett has been starting, growing, and monetizing websites since 2014. While in college, he began to learn about digital marketing. After graduating, he continued to build a diverse portfolio of websites while working a full time job. After years of building the portfolio on the side, he made the jump to run his websites full time.