Remote work – is it for you?

25-09-2019

From home, from a coffee house or from travel to the farthest corners of the world. Remote work is currently one of the most popular benefits in job offers. According to research, employees are willing to accept up to 8% lower pay in exchange for the opportunity to work from anywhere (WHA).

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This situation took on a new meaning at the time when millennials – the digital generation, i.e. people born after 1980 entered the labor market. The current 20 and 30-year-olds value experience more than material stuff. That is why the possibility of remote work, which allows high mobility and autonomy in action, becomes so valuable nowadays.

Advantages and disadvantages of remote work

Opinions on remote work are divided due to the doubts of employers regarding the effectiveness of employees performing their duties outside the workplace. However, companies are introducing various tools to control the work results of people working remotely. Depending on the size of the company and the possibility of verification, sometimes such cooperation is based on trust. Larger companies, in turn, have at their disposal various methods of monitoring the performance of tasks – from reports sent by employees to the automatic monitoring of business computers. An advantage for employers is undoubtedly the fact that enabling an employee to work in such a system can be a saving – most of the companies in this situation do not cover the fees for Internet connection or the cost of renting a coworking space.

Also from the employees point of view, remote work, in addition to many advantages, also has a number of minuses, among which are:

  • lack of ability to cut off professional duties after working hours;
  • loneliness resulting from a lack of colleagues on a daily basis and communication problems;
  • difficulty concentrating at home and more distractions; 
  • time differences (when working from a different time zone);
  • maintaining the right level of motivation or a good internet connection.

As experts note, remote work is no longer just a new way of performing duties, it is also a new way of life.

Being able to work from anywhere in the world can also mean… savings for you! Trips to countries where the cost of living is lower than where you are employed are becoming very popular among freelancers. There are even dedicated websites publishing information on countries popular among the digital nomads. On such sites you can find a list of cities and countries with information on average monthly expenses in a given place, the possible quality of internet connection, scale of the security, entertainment possibilities or finally – the overall assessment of a given location in the ranking created by nomads for nomads (people working remotely from these places). This way – whenever you want, you can check how much you could spend with current earnings while living in Lisbon, Seoul or Buenos Aires.

Remote work – for whom?

Interestingly – despite the fact that the WHA system allows you to work from anywhere, the Buffer report (State of Remote Work, 2019) shows that 84% ​​of people deciding on such an employment system prefer work from home. 8% of people work from coworking spaces, 4% from cafes, 0.5% from libraries, and 3% from other places (hotels, trips etc.).

Obviously remote work does not apply to all professions. Among those where it’s possible, we can mention for example the IT sector or positions related to marketing, media, graphic design, translations or e-commerce. This dependency, of course, results from the possibility of performing official duties using mobile equipment – for example, in situations where a phone or a computer is enough to work. Those devices can be easily moved from one place to another so our work does not require physical presence in the workplace. While results of your work are immaterial it can be delivered to the employer via electronic communication.

Legal issues

Remote work in accordance with the law is divided into two categories: occasional and permanent. The first one occurs when we have to stay at home, for example, we are waiting for a technician to visit. Once agreed with the employer, it is admissible and completely legal. In turn, in the case of permanent remote work, this issue should be included in the contract.