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Working remotely: The pro's and con's

Here at Method, we all enjoy working in each others company. We come together occasionally to share ideas and inspiration, day-to-day, however, we choose to work remotely, valuing space and time alone, to create and design. There are so many benefits to working remotely, but also limitations which need to be considered when deciding if a shared office space or a solo desk is right for yourself and your team.

Pro's -

Allowing a worker to sit down and complete a task without distractions and interruptions, lone working boosts productivity. Completing tasks more efficiently, driven by independence and working to your own schedule allows for workers to prioritise and complete tasks at a rate which they can dictate, most frequently to the companies benefit with regards to time efficiency.

Remote workers genuinely feel happier, more trusted, valuing freedom and the flexibility their working arrangement allows them. Happier workers are more likely to exhibit loyalty, promote their company favourably and invest themselves in tasks more diligently.

Communication and relationships within the company can improve exponentially. Where tensions and clashes of personality in the office can inhibit your own or team members experience of their working day, when working remotely non-verbal cues are absent from conversations, subtleties which can be misread and trigger conflict. By using group chat software such as Slack and Google Hangout, conversations are clear, to the point, leaving much less room for misinterpretation. Clarity is critical when working remotely, questions can be asked on the shared chat, not emailed to one busy manager only to be missed and then resented by the sender. This is a strong feature of the working remotely arrangement.

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Cons -

Organisation is key to a productive working day. The office space is a shared environment where colleagues store and share documents, assets and equipment. When located at home, aside from technology the company provides, self-efficiency is entirely managed by the employee. If organisation fails, so does the working structure and job satisfaction of the lone worker.

Motivation is a crucial driver of productivity. Some employees rely on brainstorming ideas, socialising with colleagues and checking in regularly with management to feel as though they are doing a good job and affirming their sense of achievement within the team. Lone workers require a more resilient attitude. Self-motivation is integral to work remotely. Finding ways to keep the creative juices flowing, knowing when to take a break or perhaps working occasionally from a café, to be around people as opposed to alone, will all allow for those dips in energy and inspiration to be boosted back up.

Troubleshooting is a far more complex issue to tackle when working alone. Independent thought and confidence are critical here. Anticipating what can cause problems, understanding how to overcome obstacles and then identifying solutions allow you or your employee to progress and evolve. A sense of responsibility and freedom is experienced, which entrusts the remote worker with the opportunity to make impactful decisions and work collaboratively with management. This also provides opportunities for the company to identify influential leaders and incentivise productive problem-solving.

More and more businesses are opting in favour of remote working environments for their company. Reducing overheads and offering greater flexibility in everyone's working day, the opportunities are boundless but these do need to be carefully contrasted against the complications which can arise as a result of multiple brains working at different times from respective locations. At Method this set up performs so well for us, our one piece of advice, throw one hell of a staff party every so often to inject jokes, energy and personality into the group chats!

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