The Pros and Cons of Remote Work

Is Remote Work the Right Choice for You? by Sylvia Dahlby with permission from
Is Remote Work the Right Choice for You? by Sylvia Dahlby with permission from

Selecting to work remotely versus onsite at your employer should not be a decision made in haste. It takes a bit of introspection along with consideration of your lifestyle and workstyle. At first blush, working remotely may seem like a no-brainer, but there are, potentially, as many cons as there are pros.

Q: What factors do I need to consider?

Not everyone is self-motivated enough to work from home, or you may not feel comfortable working alone with little or no supervision. While the Internet, office intranets, and technology like teleconferencing support interaction and collaboration with remote coworkers, you may need in-person mentoring, or on-the-job training, or simply prefer the inter-office comradery and on-site visibility necessary to learn the business and foster career advancement opportunities. You may also need to be physically present if you manage others. There are many factors like these where you might want to consider working from home only part of the time, perhaps just one or two days a week, and spend more time in the office to better build and nurture professional relationships.

Q: What skills do I need to work from home?

You must be good at your job and already possess whatever skills are needed in your profession to succeed. You’ll need to be comfortable with technology to work remotely and communicate effectively with your associates, whether they’re in the next town or halfway around the World. In addition to proficiency in your job, working from home requires a lot of “soft skills” like dependability, responsibility, and ability to inspire confidence and trustworthiness in your management and co-workers.

Q: What else should I know about working from home?

Don’t try telework if you think working from home will enable you to look after your children or elderly parents/grandparents. While working from home can provide more flexibility and work/life balance, you will likely have regular hours that require you to be at your desk and available for coworkers, vendors or clients via email, phone or online. It takes discipline to stay focused on the job, a lot more so than when you’re physically in an office environment. It’s advisable to have a dedicated office space in your home, preferably with its own door so you can shut out the background noise, interruptions from family members, and focus on your job. Not everyone can limit the distractions that often happen when you work at home.

If possible, ask around. Find people who have a similar job to yours and get their insight on what it’s like to be a remote worker. Ask about the pros and cons, then determine if these align with your natural work style or if there will be potential obstacles to impede your performance.

Remote work is not a choice for everyone. Some people are very social and are more productive in an onsite workplace environment versus working remotely from home. So, before you jump to make the decision, please consider the points in this article and think objectively about your workstyle and what motivates you about your job.

Originally posted March 1, 2018 on 

BYLINE: Sylvia Dahlby, Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Hawaii Chapter), an early adopter of working from home, and Rainmaker at SmartSearch applicant tracking software.

About SmartSearch

Since 1986, Advanced Personnel Systems, Inc. leads the way in the development and deployment of quality talent management and recruiting solutions. For over three decades APS, Inc., makers of SmartSearch talent acquisition and staffing management software, has been creating applicant tracking systems to streamline sourcing, recruiting and hiring in one easy-to-use solution. We help our clients recruit at the speed of life and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing recruitment landscape.

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