While the pandemic took a toll on nearly every aspect of life and work, one area that got a big boost was telecommuting. If you could work from home, chances were you did – and for a long time. Since then, a PwC survey found that 72% of workers who worked remotely during the pandemic would like to continue working remotely.
While remote work certainly has its benefits, it’s not right for everyone in the long run. For instance, it can impact:
- When you work from home, there are a range of distractions that can pull you away from the task at hand or interrupt your focus. In the office, on the other hand, you can often simply roll up your sleeves and get to work in a quiet, professional space.
- If your job requires collaboration, this kind of interaction is often best in person. While Zoom and other online meeting spaces were a lifesaver during the pandemic, these aren’t always ideal going forward. When you’re able to see and talk to those you work with, in person, you’ll find it easier to communicate, innovate and create
- Face it. Working from home can get lonely. When you go into the office, though, you’re around your other team members, building relationships that improve your quality of life overall.
- It’s easier to have an office life and a home life that are separate and distinct when you work in an outside office. Working from home blurs these boundaries, making it difficult to stay organized and maintain a healthy work life balance.
That said, for some people, some jobs and some companies, remote work makes sense. They can build teams of people from all over the world, increasing diversity and innovation. They can also offer workers the flexibility they need to set their own schedule, attracting talented individuals who want this perk.
The question is: is remote work right for you in the long run? If you’re looking for a new job, or are considering whether or not to head back into the office in person, there are some different considerations to keep in mind. Here’s a look at a few of them to help you make the best choice for you and your career.
Think about your work habits and personality.
Remote work might be more convenient at times. However, is it the right fit for your personality, the nature of the work you do, and your habits? You might be extremely self-directed and have the kind of job where working independently makes sense. But if you have a hard time staying motivated and need the buzz and energy of an office setting, then it’s time to make a move back where you belong.
Identify an ideal day for you.
How do you work best? If your ideal day includes brainstorming, collaborating and sharing ideas, then being in the office is a better fit for you. It’s likely where you get your energy and where you feel more productive. If, however, working in relative quiet and checking tasks off your list without interruption is your best day, then working from home is the place to be for you.
Consider how you like to be managed.
If you prefer a hands-off style and check-ins once in a while, then remote work can deliver. However, if you need more feedback, like to touch base with your boss in person, and enjoy being a part of a close-knit team, then working in the office is likely a better match for your personality and work needs.
Take work-life balance into account.
If you’ve worked from home during the pandemic and struggled to keep a clear boundary between work and home life, then perhaps it’s time to head back into the office. The same is true if working from home is triggering a tendency for workaholism and burnout.
On the other hand, perhaps virtual work has actually enhanced your life and enabled you to achieve a better balance. Everyone has a different situation in their personal life and it’s important to take this into account when you’re considering virtual work.
Keep in mind, there’s no right or wrong way to work. However, the pandemic has brought to light the fact that remote work and hybrid schedules are no longer just trend, but a viable work option for many employers and workers.
At the same time, though, it’s not for everyone. For many people, being in the office is where they thrive and how they reach their productivity goals. So, before you make your next career move, make sure you think through what’s the best fit for you.
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