Before the pandemic, remote work was a privilege reserved for the fortunate few. These days, however, it's practically the norm -- at least for the time being.
Many companies made the shift to remote work early in 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak first erupted. And now, two years later, many still have that arrangement in place, largely due to safety concerns.
Still, many employers have plans to bring workers back to the office once it's more feasible. So if you've gotten used to working remotely and want to keep doing it, you may want to seek out a position that lends to that setup even once the pandemic improves.
In a recent Monster.com survey, 57% of job seekers said they're looking for remote work. But while there are benefits to working remotely on a long-term basis, there are some drawbacks to consider as well.
The upside of being fully remote
It's easy to see why remote work is so appealing, as there are numerous benefits involved.
1. You can save money on commuting costs
Working from home means not having to pay for a bus, train, parking spot, or fuel for your vehicle. The result? Less spending and more money in your savings account.
2. You may be able to limit your exposure to COVID-19
We don't know how long COVID-19 will continue to be a problem or how long it will result in changing quarantine measures. But if you work remotely, you'll have one less source of exposure to worry about.
3. You may get more flexibility in your schedule
Working remotely doesn't necessarily mean getting to set your own hours. In fact, you may have to stick to a preset schedule. But you may get more general flexibility by being at home, such as being able to throw dinner in the oven at 4:30 p.m. rather than having to wait until you get home from the office at 6 p.m. to get it started.
The downside to being fully remote
Though working remotely has its perks, there are drawbacks to be aware of.
1. You might feel isolated
If you live alone and don't have a large social network, working remotely could lead to feelings of isolation. And that could negatively affect your mental health.
2. You might get easily distracted at home
Working remotely could mean falling victim to a host of distractions, whether it's your TV, your nagging laundry pile, or your yappy dog who constantly wants to be taken out for a walk. Too many distractions, however, could lead to poor performance on your part. That could make it more difficult to snag raises or get promoted. And in a more extreme situation, it could put your job at risk.
3. You might struggle to advance professionally
When you work in an office, you can observe your peers and learn from them. That's harder to do in a remote environment, and that could make it difficult to grow your job skills. Similarly, by working remotely, you could end up missing out on face time with management, making it harder to climb the ladder.
Is remote work right for you?
It's easy to see why remote work is so desirable. But before you decide that a fully remote job is best for you, be sure to look at the big picture. You may come to the realization that a partially remote scenario is actually a better fit.
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