In recent years, especially during the pandemic, remote work has become more common and normalized globally. Whether you work fully remote, hybrid, or in the office, one thing we know for sure is that the work still must be done. 

With that said, there are advantages and disadvantages to working remotely vs in-office. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons that come with remote work. 

Pros

Productivity

As humans, we get easily distracted no matter where we are. Sometimes, our goal is to just minimize those distractions. Working from home can limit those distractions, but it’s subjective. If you have kids, animals, or loud roommates, maybe you’re more distracted.

Either way, if you’re working from home, you know there’s less interaction, such as small talk in the break room. Ultimately, the ideal remote situation comes with little distractions, promoting productivity. 

Custom Work Environment 

One of my favorite things about working from home is that I can customize my home office however I want. Have I spent too much money and time exploring the home office accessories on Amazon? Sure, but I’m always comfortable at my desk. 

That being said, if you’re working from home, I would highly recommend investing in a raising desk. Halfway through my workday, I move my desk to the “stand-up” position, which saves me from back pain. 

Money-Saving

Since remote workers don’t need to drive to work, there’s no commute time, nor gas required. I find myself saving hundreds of dollars in gas a month. 

Also, my kitchen is a short walk away, so I don’t need to pack a lunch or spend money at a restaurant, although I do sometimes cheat with Uber Eats — oops.

Better work-life balance

Being a full-time student working 25+ hours a week, it can be very difficult to find a healthy work-life balance. Working from home gives me the ability to set mental and physical boundaries between work, school, and leisure time. 

Cons

Communication Barriers

There are going to be communication gaps with remote work. While there are plenty of applications that promote collaboration, such as Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, there are still going to be communication barriers. 

Some organizations are better at communicating with remote workers than others, but it’s a challenge that requires lots of time and effort. 

FOMO

Let’s be honest, loneliness is no fun. There are days where I wish I was in-office, interacting with co-workers. Relationship building is a key component for any company. Thankfully, I work for a marketing firm that practices effective communication and relationship-building activities. This may be as simple as a Halloween party via Zoom, costumes required. 

While I do feel more productive working remotely, I would much rather prefer a hybrid environment where I can still have those meaningful interactions. 

Inconsistent Routine

I’ve found it increasingly difficult to stick to a routine. I enjoy waking up early, making a big breakfast, and having a cup of coffee before I sit down at my computer. But that’s not always the case. I often decide to sleep in an extra 20 minutes, leaving me with just enough time to get ready and grab a muffin from my kitchen. 

If I were to commute to work each day, I would have the drive time to finish at least my first cup of coffee, and there wouldn’t be an option to sleep an extra 20 minutes. 

Need for Scenery

As a college student, living in college student housing, my home office is a section in my bedroom. 

Us remote workers sometimes need a change of scenery, which might mean moving my desk to the other side of my room or finding a new location to work for the day. 

Which is better?

Having the ability to work remotely or in-office is truly a blessing and a really good problem to have. But which is better? Well, it depends. If you want to work somewhere that is too far to commute, but offers remote work, then absolutely. On the flip side, if you find the cons of remote work heavily outweigh the benefits, then maybe in-office work is better for you. 

About the Author:

Victor Carter will be graduating in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising & Public Relations and a minor in Writing. He currently serves as the VP of Professional Development on the GVPRSSA executive board. Additionally, Victor is a Marketing Coordinator at a Marketing Firm in Knoxville, TN, BS+Co.