How Remote Work Has Changed Personal Development
Sofia Medina is an SEO Marketing Specialist and does Content Marketing at Porch. She is passionate about music, sports, wellness, and creativity. Her hobbies include singing, graphic design, and spending time with her family and friends.
If you’re not already familiar with the new wave of remote work that’s been happening, you may have been living under a rock for the last couple of years. Or at least at the very tippy-top of a mountain with no contact with the outside world. That’s how widespread remote work has become, with data scientists at Ladders concluding that high-paying jobs have moved from less than 4% remote before the pandemic to over 15% now. There are definitely still some companies holding onto out-moded mentalities around working from home, but most authorities agree that it’s here to stay — here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of the new work-world order.
Benefits of remote work on a personal level
Without a doubt, working from home offers some hefty benefits that we can all enjoy. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of this new arrangement, it’s hard not to agree with some of the biggest upsides that remote work brings to the corporate world.
Here are some of the best things about working from home:
Work-life balance *can* be easier than ever to achieve. Without the constant oversight of micromanaging bosses, epically long (and expensive) commutes and the urge to arrive early and stay late just to be seen, work-life balance is much more within reach than before the pandemic. Of course, there are always opportunities to use that newfound time just to work longer hours, but more on that later.
Working from home allows us to focus more on health and well-being than before. Taking breaks can now look like a quick stretching session on your office floor or a walk outside instead of hovering in the kitchen to grab your fifth cup of coffee. Travel is easier than ever before, with online platforms making it simple to stay connected from anywhere.
Improved overall productivity in work and life is something that we can all agree is an excellent benefit of working from home. There is nothing like actively participating in a meeting while putting on laundry or taking the dog for a walk!
Disadvantages of remote work on a personal level
No doubt working from home has its potential drawbacks, too. Even if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool introvert who did an internal happy dance at work from home orders, you’ve probably noticed some, shall we say, less-than-healthy side effects.
With no reason to leave our homes and move around, defaulting to a sedentary lifestyle is easier. Now, we have to intentionally exercise to stay healthy. Not only that, but screen time is higher than ever before, especially during the pandemic.
Introvert or extrovert, some level of social interaction is healthy for us all, and staying home all day, every day, can be detrimental to your mental health if you don’t make a mindful effort to get some social interaction in.
Working from home allows us to focus more on health and well-being than before.
You’ll need to keep an eye on burnout when you’re working from home differently than before. While it used to be obvious when you were overworking yourself from the time spent out of your home, now that line is much less clear, so you need to be careful to monitor the time you spend working.
Remote work and companies
Many companies have done a stellar job of pivoting to the world of working from home, coming up with creative solutions to replace in-person socializing with things like virtual team-building events and happy hours. Online collaboration platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams have come a long way in the past few years, creating online spaces for companies to mimic the traditional office environment while their employees sit in the comfort of their homes.
There’s no question that it’s a whole new world. We can expect to continue to see new and innovative ways for companies to foster healthy and productive work environments for their remote and in-office employees.
The future of remote work
Remote work isn’t going anywhere. As younger generations move into leadership roles, we can expect to see an increase in remote work and hybrid schedules. With this comes a restructuring of the classic office space. Instead of a traditional desk and cubicle setup, picture something more like a shared workspace without dedicated cubicles. This might seem impersonal at first, but it will allow companies to provide workspaces for their people who want to come into the office without committing to the expense of an office with dedicated space for every employee all the time.
Whether you’re all for working from home or wish we could time-travel back three years ago, there’s no question that times are changing. We can all move forward in happy harmony with a healthy eye on the potential pitfalls of remote work and emphasis on all of the great things like better work-life balance and overall well-being.