Subscribe for 50% off

Remote Work Is Here to Stay: Are You Ready for the New Way of Life?

The pandemic caused employees across a wide range of industries to start working remotely. Here's how to make the new normal work for you.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Remote work has been around for ages, but the pandemic made it far more accessible to people from a wide variety of backgrounds and industries. While in-person office work will probably always be a staple, it's worth noting that by 2025, most workers will work at least five days a month from home and that 84 percent of current remote workers prefer working from home.

If you're contemplating going remote, it's crucial to balance the highs and lows of remote work.

Related: Survey Reveals 4 Transformational Remote Work Trends

Advantages of remote work

When you're considering remote work, it's helpful to look at the positives and prioritize what's important to you personally and professionally:

  • Lack of a daily commute. Approximately 78 percent of people dislike commuting to the office, and by avoiding a lengthy journey, you can kickstart your day sooner and use your spare time for other parts of your routine.
  • No geographical restrictions. You can work from anywhere and, in many cases, any time you want to. The remote-work model also does away with the traditional 9 to 5 workday, allowing people to be digital nomads.
  • Less expense overall. You're not only saving cash by not going into the office, but you're also saving money by not purchasing business clothing, daily lunches and happy-hour drinks when socializing after work.
  • Fewer interruptions. You save time spent previously socializing in the office, and you can better focus on the tasks at hand when working remotely.
  • Increased fitness. You may have had an excuse not to work out and focus on wellness when going to the office daily, but working remotely or from home gives you additional opportunities to stay fit. Use the extra time saved from commuting to focus on exercise. You're also able to steer clear of sick co-workers and ensure that others are not exposed to you if you're ill.
  • Better prioritization of what's important. With regained commute time, you can spend extra time with your friends and family and be more involved in their lives. You could also use the spare time to focus on new opportunities, including personal development, side hustles and creative projects.

Related: 3 Trends That Will Define Remote Work in 2021

Disadvantages of remote work

While working remotely has a lot of upsides, there are a few disadvantages that you should consider when wondering if you should make the switch:

  • Technology dependency. When you explore remote-work opportunities, you must be aware that you're relying entirely on computers, smartphones and other business communication channels to stay in contact and complete your work. Tech issues can sometimes hinder your ability to perform.
  • Lack of visibility for career development. While technology allows us to do almost everything these days, there's no replacing interaction with co-workers and clients in person, either for work, everyday chats or post-work drinks. Conversations like these build the foundation for your network and increase your visibility in the office when you're angling for that promotion. One way to mitigate this is to regularly visit the office and be transparent about your desired career trajectory.
  • You'll need discipline to get work accomplished. Working remotely (especially from home) takes a lot of self-control, as other distractions may force you to become unmotivated and lose focus. Being mindful about creating a sustainable and easy-to-follow schedule can help. Additionally, creating an environment that leads to increased productivity and engagement works wonders.
  • Your work-life balance will be tenuous. When you're working from home, it's essential to separate your workspace from your living space clearly, or they can blend, and you'll find yourself working all the time. Understanding your deliverables and their due dates and sticking to a reasonable schedule will allow you to maintain that boundary and reduce your chance of burnout.

Related: Pros and Cons of Remote Work: Will Your Employees Adapt?

The statistics show that the demand for remote work is burgeoning, not just a trend. Covid-19 has reshaped the landscape of work and made remote office work a lot more accessible, allowing employees to be productive and contribute to business growth while staying connected. For some, remote work is necessary, but does not replace time spent at the office. For many folks, remote work will become a new way of life.

More companies are offering more remote opportunities to ensure that employees can have a work-life balance, with 74 percent of companies planning to shift employees to remote work after the pandemic ends permanently. Still, while you're considering a remote job, it's essential to consider the advantages and disadvantages so you can prioritize the important things in your life and avoid burnout.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks