Questions To Consider Before Sticking With Remote Work
The COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of work around the world. By the end of 2020, a reported 71% of Americans were working from home and among those surveyed, more than half (54%) stated that they would like to continue working remotely even when the pandemic subsided. Now, almost 18 months after initial stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines were set into place, many companies are letting employees decide for themselves whether they will return to the office or continue with remote work.
If you’ve found yourself needing to make this decision but still unsure about whether or not indefinite remote work is right for you, take a look at the questions below to help determine your future.
Does your current job have a remote work option?
First and foremost, before you make the decision to work from home, you need to be sure that your company is offering remote work as an option. While many companies are adjusting their previous work models to include a remote or hybrid option, others haven't been so willing. If you’re set on remote work but your company isn’t meeting your expectations, it could be time to look elsewhere for a job that will accommodate your needs. In comparison, if your current position does allow remote work, take a closer look at their policy to make sure you agree with all of the included terms and conditions.
What was your previous experience with remote work like?
Take a step back and reflect on your time as a remote employee throughout the past year and a half. While everyone around you was also working from home, it may have been easy to fall into the status quo and accept an online workplace and virtual meetings as your “new normal.” However, now that you have the option to choose whether or not you want to continue with this structure, you may realize it won’t work for you in the long run. You may have enjoyed no commute, staying in your sweatpants, and working on your own schedule, but when you take a closer look, think realistically about your daily routine. If you realize in retrospect your motivation and productivity have gone down, you’re easily distracted, or you count down the hours until you can get away from your screen, remote work might not be the right fit for you after all.
Will you easily be able to switch to hybrid or in-person work if needed?
Remote work fits into your current situation now, but what if your circumstances were to change? Would you be able to easily switch to a hybrid or in-person structure if you needed to? For example, as a part of their “new vision for work,” HubSpot announced workers will be able to choose between what they call @home, @work, and @flex work, but the decision will need to be made before the employee’s start date and they will only have the option to switch their arrangements once per year. Before choosing a 100% remote option, take a closer look at your company’s policy and decide whether or not you will be able to make any changes if needed. If you decide you would still like the option to come into the office as you see fit, be sure to clarify whether or not you will have the option to do so.
Will you be receiving the same compensation as before?
LinkedIn users recently weighed in on our poll asking what they would “sacrifice” in order to keep working remotely and an overwhelming majority expressed that they would not be giving up anything just to keep working remotely. Regardless, many companies such as Google and Facebook have already begun implementing plans to decrease remote employees’ salaries if that employee’s location significantly differs from the company’s. In other words, if an employee were to move from the large city where the company is based to a suburb where the cost of living is lower, that employee’s salary would be decreased to better fit their new location and thus save money for employees willing to work from the office or at least those willing to stay in the area.
On the other hand, Reddit has announced they will not be changing employee compensations regardless of where employees reside. This means the idea of changing compensation based on an employee’s location isn’t necessarily a world-wide decision, but it is a very real possibility to consider when making the switch to full-time remote work. Therefore, you need to plan ahead and take note of whether or not this is the case for your office.
Will you be able to build relationships the same?
Building relationships with your co-workers while working from home isn’t impossible, but it is certainly different than how you would do it in person. In the office, it may be easier to strike up a conversation with those around you about new opportunities or even topics outside of work through everyday water cooler chats, lunch breaks, or even just downtime at your desk.
As a remote worker, it’s especially important that you are able to assimilate into your company’s culture and participate in relevant conversations in order to stay motivated and feel a sense of belonging within your organization. Therefore, while working remotely, you need to be willing to put yourself out there and maybe step out of your comfort zone in order to connect with others -- especially if there are new employees that you haven't had the chance to meet in person.
Whether these questions helped solidify your desire for remote work or you’re now counting down the days until you can return to the office, our team of experienced recruiters is here to help you find the perfect role! Take the first step and contact Nexus today for a personalized recruitment experience or check out our list of available jobs.