Remote Working

68 videos, 3 hours and 33 minutes

Course Content

Advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and challenges

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Now working at home or remote working is nothing new. I have been doing it for years. But since the pandemic came in a lot more people are doing it. Now there are advantages and there are disadvantages. Some of the advantages for the employee might well be a disadvantage for the employer. So what we are going to do is have a look at some of the advantages of working from home and then we are going to look at some of the disadvantages of working from home. Now, the advantages for the employee are that there is no travel time, you can literally get up in the morning, and you are basically at work. So if you are travelling into a major city on the trains, it may well have taken you an hour or so to get to work. Whereas now it can take you less than a minute and you are in your office, you are sat here you are working. So not only is the travel time, but also the other advantage is the cost. You have no fuel costs, you have no parking charges, so it can work well. So really good advantage would be the actual physical cost of it. Also quality of life. As an employee, you can work around your private life to a certain extent, if your employees are happy, depending on what you are doing. If you are working on customer support, you may well still have to work from 9:00 to 5:00 or whatever the hours are and that is set in stone.

Whereas if you are working on projects, where you are not directly customer focused, it may well be that you could start very early in the morning and finish mid afternoon. Or you may well be able to take a break in the day, which a lot of companies are doing and has found that a lot easier because if they are looking at childcare and things like that, they can work their work around their childcare or any other commitments they have. So as long as they are getting the work done, that is the most important thing. Then the other big advantage is if we are not travelling to work so much, then that is obviously better for the environment, less fuel being burnt, less parking congestion and exhaust fumes going into town.

Then the advantages and I am sure if you look through the advantages for you, it is going to be extra ones on that list, gives you more flexibility, some people say they could work a lot harder at home than they can in the office because there is less distractions, whereas other people will then use that as a disadvantage. So, one of the key disadvantages people are saying is they have trouble motivating themselves, there is too much distraction working at home. So bringing yourself into a separate room that works really, really well. The other thing is that they have got family, there may well be the kids are in the house at the same time, the pets, they get visitors or family coming around to see them. They know they are working at home. So therefore they come and see you. So you do need to be fairly strict with your family and say that, "When I am working, I am working." Now, it is a lot more accepted now. I have been on loads and loads of Zoom meetings and someone's kids would come in the background or the dog barks or whatever, that is not a major problem, but it can be a big problem. So distraction is one of the key disadvantages and also motivating people to work.

Now one of the other advantages can be that you get a lot more work done. But the disadvantages can be sometimes you work too long an hour. Sometimes it is harder to take breaks because you get focused on your work, which is great for getting things done, it might be a good thing. But also for your health, you do need to remember to take breaks regularly. One disadvantage can be if you are a people person and you like to see people. Now you can find people out when you are working from home, you can have video meetings with them but it can be a quite lonely world working from home, especially if you live on your own, it may well be that all you do is your work and you do not actually physically see anybody anymore. But you got to remember that there are people out there, you can call people, you can have video meetings.

And that is one key thing that you can do. If you are just talking in the office, if you have got a phone system that allows it or using Zoom, then instead of just talking to someone, have a video meeting, why not? At least it means you are actually seeing somebody and you are seeing people you know, and your colleagues and it can make you feel a little bit less isolated in your work. Other disadvantage can be it is easy not to work, easy to find distractions. And maybe from an employer point of view, they may not get so much productivity out of people. It is often harder to track people in what they are doing. It is not your employer checking up on you, but it is making sure that they get the most out of you. And if you have got spare time and someone else is working at a too high capacity, then they can move that work across to you. So you do need to be honest and open with your employer on where you are with your workload to make sure that you have got enough work to do, but also that you have not got too much work to do.

Now, if you are working from home, then you still need to have meetings. Now you can do meetings through Zoom or Teams. And they work very well. We have run them quite a lot and we are involved in quite a lot. But when you are actually face to face with someone, it is sometimes a lot easier to become more involved with the meeting. So if you are having meetings with your employer or groups or team meetings, then you need to keep involved. And this can be a bit of a disadvantage because people will just sit there, because they are in their little bubble at home in their workplace and it is sometimes harder to actually interact with the meeting. So you do need to make a lot more effort when working from home, to interact with people. And also to make sure that when the company has a meeting you need to attend, you need to make sure you are fully involved in that meeting, exactly the same as if you were there.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Remote Working LO 1.1.1