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The pros and cons of remote work

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You might find the following list funny. We find it is very serious once you get past the wording. If you're a remote professional, digital nomad or freelancer, you've undoubtedly come across some of the points in this article.

The pros

🌡 😓 ☀️ You don’t have fight anyone over the thermostat.

Your home/office, your rules. If you're hot, you turn the heat down. Feeling cold? You turn it up.

You can open a window and nobody bats an eye because they're allergic to some spring flower.

👖 Pants are optional.

The great thing about remote work is that nobody cares. There's no office dress code you have to respect, none of that. As long as you get your work done in a timely manner, you can do it while wearing Speedos and a shower cap.

🧺 You can set your washing machine while going for a break.

If you work from your home, you can do some of your chores when you take a break. Just don't mix work with chores because that's an area you don't want to get into.

😴 🛏 You’re always within 10 meters of your next nap.

One of the reasons I love spending time with my kids every afternoon after I pick them up is that I can go for a nap with them.

Because my sleep has gotten fragmented over the years, and I usually go to bed after 12:00 AM, and wake up between 6:30-7:00AM, the afternoon naps are amazing.

They help my body take the "extra beating" I'm giving it, by working from 6:00PM until later in the evening.

🚙🏡 You get to finish work and finish your commute at the same time.

When you're done working, you're also done commuting. Assuming you work from home, or you have an office space close by — mine is at a 5 minutes walk distance from my home — when you finish your work, you don't have to travel for 45 minutes to get home.

💰🚇 Saving money by not wasting on commute.

It's quite simple. If you commute less often, you can take that money and directed towards other things. And you get to pollute the planet less. How about that?

The cons

As with anything in life, remote work also has its cons. Here are a couple I experienced myself and some mitigation strategies.

🗣 Longer feedback cycles.

If there is little to no timezone overlap, then information tends to take longer to propagate. Remote work relies heavily on asynchronous communication and allowing people to reply on their own time/terms. That sometimes can be a downside.

This is why timezone overlap is important. When you need to have a synchronous discussion, you can just do it.

👯 Less social connections (not always bad).

You might not be the socialite who's desperate about having tons of connections with people. So this might not affect you. But you still want to be mindful that you might not have that many real interactions.

Most of your communication will happen online, so if you're someone who depends on having others around, you might want to opt for a co-working space or working from a coffeeshop from time to time.

🚶Isolation

This is especially impactful in the case of extroverts. As an extrovert, myself, here are my two cents.

I love being around people and I dread feeling isolated. So what I do is I hit the coffeeshop a couple of days per week. I even do it daily if I feel like it.

Whenever I have to plan something, or do some repetitive tasks such as emails or some other tasks, I go to the coffeeshop. I get to talk to people, that way, and the buzz of the shop doesn't cover my thoughts.

🤳🕴🕺Distractions, distractions, distractions.

Yes! There are far more distractions at home or at the coffeeshop than at the office. For starters, your bed is not next to you, while you're at the office. You don't have your kids running around asking you to play with them all the time.

But this downside can be mitigated by either having a dedicated room in your home, where you work from, or a dedicated office nearby, or at a co-working space.

This will also help you get over your loneliness.

👥 Time zone issues

This taps into the "longer feedback cycles" part. The bigger the timezone gap, the smaller overlap, the more you will struggle with communication.

Indeed, remote work should happen asynchronously, but there are times when you actually need to get someone on the phone and run them through something. It might help you save days worth of back-and-forth.

We recommend a minimum of 2 hours of timezone overlap. 4 hours is best and the rest is just excess.

If there's no way for you to get to a decent timezone overlap, you will probably have to shift your schedule from time to time, to compensate for the timezone gap.

What are your pros and cons? Tweet at us — @weremoteeu.

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