The COVID-19 pandemic thrust most of the global workforce into a remote work setting. This led many people to work from home for the first time. And they liked it.
Even as social distancing restrictions eased, many companies chose to continue the work-from-home setup to appease employees who enjoyed how this new setup offered a better work-life balance. In Q4 of 2021, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report found that 36% of middle-market companies still have employees (who weren’t remote pre-pandemic) working remotely.
But is remote work right for you? We’ll look at some current remote work trends and benefits and drawbacks of the new phenomenon to help you figure out what your future workspace should look like.
What Are the Current Remote Work Trends?
One thing is certain about remote work: it’s here to stay. Here are some recent remote work statistics that illustrate that point:
- 1 in 3 respondents said they would quit their job if remote work were no longer an option (GitLab).
- Remote work has grown 159% since 2009 (Global Workplace Analytics).
- 57% of employees who’ve gone back to the office prefer working at home full-time (Owl Labs).
- 94% of respondents want to work remotely at least part-time for the rest of their career, including 99% of people working remotely before the COVID-19 pandemic (Buffer).
- “73% of all departments will have remote workers” by 2028 (Upwork).
Why Do So Many People Prefer to Work from Home?
It’s clear that working from home is suitable for most employees, but what’s so great about it? Here are some benefits many people use to justify their preference for working from home.
- No commute time: According to a survey by FlexJobs, telecommuting was the number one benefit people cited as a reason to switch to remote work. Between this and other time-saving benefits of remote work, some estimate it saves you 51 minutes a day.
- Fewer distractions: There are plenty of distractions in the office, whether it’s the latest workplace gossip, a friendly conversation with your desk mate, or the snacks in the breakroom. While some may argue that home life can be just as distracting while working remotely, a recent survey found that 77% of respondents felt more productive when working from home.
- Better work-life balance: Another study found that people who work at least one day at home are 24% more likely to feel happier and more productive in their roles. Ideally, your company’s core values support a happy and healthy work-life balance; remote work can help augment that feeling.
- More independence: In most work environments, you can work pretty flexible hours as long as you complete your tasks. This may mean taking longer lunches, starting work earlier or later than you usually would in an office setting, or even taking your work outdoors or wherever else life takes you (provided you have a reliable internet connection).
When Shouldn’t You Work from Home?
As great as working from home sounds, there are plenty of times when working from home isn’t the best option. Here are some reasons you may consider not working remotely.
- Not having a dedicated workspace: Some people don’t have the space for a remote office because of the square footage of their living space or because they have to share that space with roommates and relatives. Working in the office offers a separate area where you can work without being interrupted by another person’s life.
- Preferring personal connections: A certain coworker camaraderie is missing when working from home. If you’re entirely extroverted and get your energy from sharing a workspace at the office, you may find remote work isolating and tiring.
- Setting clear work-life boundaries: While many employees feel like they can achieve a better work-life balance with remote work, that doesn’t mean it’s easier to do so. Some people find it difficult to establish clear boundaries between their work and home life when their work computer sits just a few feet away from the dinner table.
- Not working a job that’s conducive to remote work: Some jobs require your physical presence. No matter how accessible remote work is to the rest of the workforce, your position may not be conducive to a remote environment.
Is Working from Home Right for Me?
The benefits and drawbacks we’ve discussed may have already been enough to help you determine whether or not working from home is right for you. But if you’re still on the fence, it’s time to do a self-audit. Here are some qualities you should consider to determine whether remote work is right for you.
- Can you communicate well? Remote work requires crystal clear communication, particularly written communication through email and instant messaging services. You won’t be able to rely on non-verbal cues, like body language and tone, to convey your message for the majority of your interactions (outside of video calls). If you think you can explain yourself clearly through writing, you should be ok.
- Are you self-motivated? No one likes working under the constant gaze of a manager. But when that gaze isn’t there, do you still feel motivated to finish your work? Or do you need some fire under your seat to get that work done? Remote work is best suited for those who are self-motivated. Fortunately, this is a skill anyone can develop.
- Do you have a dedicated workspace at home? If you have a home office or desk in the corner of your living room, you’re probably all set. But if you have to use your closet to have private meetings, it may be more trouble than it’s worth.
Consider Hybrid Work
You don’t have to be full-time remote—many companies offer a hybrid work schedule that allows their employees to work from home only a few days out of the week. Thus, you can reap the benefits of working remotely and in an office.
Find the Right Opportunity
Hopefully, these remote work trends have helped you gauge the current work environment as you look for a new job. But remember: the right job opportunity is just as important as the setting.
If you’re looking for remote work opportunities, make sure you’re signing up for a job that gives you a path toward future career goals. A job at ClearSource BPO can do just that.
Contact us today to learn more about our job opportunities and what a career with ClearSource BPO could mean for you.