Remote work is a type of work that is quite common today, but has been around for many years, that type of work has some advantages and disadvantages like all other type of works and to apply it, we can use different technologies.
I have some experience of working remotely and for one, its good to be far from the confusion of the big city.
Remote Work can be associated to Work at Home most of the times, but the remote work consists of working outside the collective workplace of the office and most of the times the work is done at home, but it can also be made in a personal office. Due to Covid-19 many companies were forced to adopt this type of work and many of them must adapt the way they work. But remote work didn’t start due the Covid-19. In history we have an example of remote work on the XVI century when a servant was obliged to give part of his crops to the feudal lord but the term remote work emerged on the 70s when the oil crisis started and some of the workers functions started to be done from home.
Nowadays remote work is done by a lot of medium-sized corporations. They adopt this type of work to reduce costs such as infrastructure, for example. This can be a solution to solve economic problems but some companies must check with caution if this type of model can be applied in the market in which the company operates an if they have employees with adaptive skills for this type of work. Its not a matter of only giving a laptop to the employee and telling him to start working from home. A majority of employees need to have training before starting to work out of the office.
We can say that remote work can be a flexible type of work because it provides a flexible place, time and contracts. Its definition is based on the relation between the distance and the performance of the remote activities and the work done in fixed installations of the corporate offices.
Remote work provides a lot of challenges when it comes to teamwork, despite of the flexible place, time and contracts, for a good team work all of the team must have a previously aligned work schedule to be able to help each other in case of need.
Technologies used in remote work
Usually workers are connected to the office network to be able to work safely and privately and avoid sharing confidential information. For this purpose, VPNs is normally used. VPN (virtual private network), is a secured communications channel implemented over shared or public channels, to connect remote users and machines to a private network.
To have a good teamwork connection the workers must communicate with each other frequently. To do that a lot of communication technologies can be used like Microsoft Teams, slack etc.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are some advantages and disadvantages of working remotely. Some of them for the workers and others for the companies.
- Greater choice when it comes to talent (all over the world);
- Employees can keep all the payment and benefits;
- Save traveling time and costs;
- Higher productivity with fewer office interruptions;
- Higher autonomy;
- Employees have the workplace to their liking;
- It is easier to have employees with disabilities;
- Company working hours can be extended;
- Office can be smaller, meaning, less costs
- Less suitable for work with specialized equipment;
- Less brainstorming among employees;
- Employee electricity bills can increase;
- Some employees may be less productive;
- Some employees may feel isolated;
- It is harder to build a good teamwork;
- Its a bit more difficult to schedule meetings and coordinate the work;
- Sometimes it could be more difficult to evaluate employees
Remote Work Experience
I will talk a little about my experience as a remote worker. Since I started working at worldIT I started as a remote worker. The headquarters of worldIT are in Lisbon and I am in Vila Real, about 400km away. In my opinion, the distance from Lisbon does not make me less productive compared to a colleague who is in Lisbon. Ive always been able to do my job and probably the most difficulty thing on being far from the headquarters is the connection that is created with the rest of my colleagues.
Still as time advances it was also possible to build a good connection, and I think that despite of the distance sometimes it is almost not even noticed and the work is always going well. A greater effort is needed to communicate and to help each other, but it is always possible. With Covid-19 everyone had to go home, that is, the whole company started to work remotely, which for me is already commonplace, for the rest of the team it was something new, but I think that everyone was able to adapt and that now, with more tools and processes in place it became even easier to work remotely!