Is Remote Work Right for You? – Review of Remote Office Benefits and Drawbacks
On average, people will spend just over 250 working days in the office in 2022. The same workplace, day in and day out. Thankfully, remote work are changing our dated views on office life. Maybe you're working in Melbourne today and Bali tomorrow!
In this article, we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of remote office and how you can best prepare yourself for remote work.
What Does Remote Office Mean?
“Remote” means situated far from; distant. A remote office is therefore a workplace that is far away from the company for which a remote worker works.
A remote office can either be location-independent or situated in a fixed environment.
To name a few examples, remote work could mean:
- Working from your home office
- Working on the train from Stuttgart to Berlin
- Working in a café in Bali
As a rule, remote work requires a laptop, a smartphone, and a reliable Internet connection. Communication then takes place online, for example using project management tools, video meetings, or messenger services.
There are various forms of remote work, such as working remotely some (but not all) of the time. We will focus here on remote work as practiced by digital nomads, among others.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages for Employees?
Dreaming of working on the beach on an island sounds tempting, but it should be well thought out. The advantages and disadvantages of a remote office make this clear.
Advantages of Remote Work
Sand in your laptop keyboard? Working on the beach is not quite as ideal as maybe you'd imagined. But remote work still has its advantages.
1. Here today, there tomorrow
Every day the same old groundhog greets you – that's how some people feel when they have to work at the same place every day. With a location-independent remote office, on the other hand, it never gets boring.
You decide whether you prefer to work from home, a co-working space, or a coffee shop. Plus, you are not tied to a specific country or city.
2. Commuting? No thanks.
Commuting for an hour in the morning and playing the same routine back in the evening after work? You can skip this repeat scenario by working remotely. In the end, it's up to you to decide where you want to work, and decide on how long you'd like your "commute" to be!
3. It's affordable
Remote work also means being able to save costs. For this, you simply choose a country that has a lower cost of living than Germany or Switzerland, for example.
What tastes better to you? A latte macchiato for over four euros on a cold, wet November day, or the same drink for half the price, with tanned skin included on sunny days? No wonder there are some particularly popular locations around the world where digital nomads feel at home.
4. Work when you want
The remote office is flexible, even when it comes to working hours. Based on your company's remote policy and your role. many time you are able to decide when you sit down in front of the laptop and how you allocate your own time.
But beware: Time management is a must – otherwise you may always be chasing your deadlines (or worse, missing them). The same applies to too much work! After all, stress is a burnout trigger.
5. Feeling good is doable
The Institute for Applied Social Science (Infas) showed that 84% of German employees consider it important to feel good at work. However, only 65% are satisfied.
How high the well-being factor is at work depends on very different factors. For example, do you have to squeeze into a certain type of clothing, is the office not at all inviting, or does a particular colleague create a disruptive atmosphere? Remote office solves these problems.
Remember, you choose your working environment here!
Disadvantages of Remote Work
Prepare yourself for the following disadvantages:
1. "Alone, alone"
As a digital nomad, while it can be very easy to socialize with like-minded people around the world, it's just as easy to feel alone. If you work exclusively from home, it's especially isolating. You're not in a social environment and can only interact with colleagues or clients digitally. In addition, frequently changing locations and traveling around the world can lead to having to part ways with recently friends and connections.
Co-working spaces can provide a remedy. Here, digital nomads or remote workers have the opportunity to get to know each other in a like-minded environment and exchange ideas.
2. Do you have a question? You often have to wait for an answer
A quick question that you can quickly ask your colleague one table over requires a bit more effort when working remotely and often involves a delay. This can be quite inconvenient – so much so that it may very well stall an important task. Overall, the flow of information is limited when it comes to remote work.
3. A difficult climb
Unfortunately, as a remote worker, your visibility to superiors is severely limited. If you are not part of a whole team, it is difficult to even be noticed by the boss (this is especially challenging in larger organizations). The chances of promotion are correspondingly limited.
4. More easily replaceable
The remote office lacks personal contact with clients and teams. This makes you easier to replace, often with cheaper competition. Therefore, see it as a challenge to impress with your performance and be remembered.
Our salary negotiation tips will help you stay at a good salary level.
Digital Nomads & Remote Work
How many people are already working as digital nomads?
There are no precise figures on how many digital nomads there currently are.
Some say there are 500,000, others 4.8 million, and yet others claim that there are more than 35.0 million digital nomads worldwide.
Which jobs are best suited for remote office?
Any job that requires no more than a laptop, smartphone, and internet is generally suitable for remote office. Note that for many, the workplace is in a different time zone and therefore direct customer service is not always possible during the usual hours between 8am and 5pm.
For example, some of the most popular jobs include:
- Virtual Assistant
- Online Marketer
- Language Translator
- Web Designer
For a full list, see our article on What Is Remote Work & How To Implement It Successfully In Your Company.
Which Locations are Most Popular for Digital Nomads?
Where do digital nomads prefer to hang out? If you find the idea of working from a remote office enticing, you may already be in one of these places in the near future:
- Bali, Indonesia
- Penang, Malaysia
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Porto, Portugal
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Medellín, Colombia
- Gran Canaria, Las Palmas
- Vancouver, Canada
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Singapore, Singapore
- Tbilisi, Georgia
- Sofia, Bulgaria
Making Remote Work a Reality
If you decide to work remotely, you design your own workplace. The world is thus open to you, so to speak. Many professions, mainly in the IT and marketing sectors, are ideal professionals for those who would like to work remotely.