Remote Work in 2023. Pros And Cons.

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Remote Work in 2023. Pros And Cons.

Do you currently have a remote team or are you considering offering remote work options to your employees? The ‘’game and the play rules’’ are different than those of office work. By gaining a thorough understanding of the pros and cons of remote work, you’ll be able to leverage its advantages and proactively address any potential drawbacks.

Let’s look at the potential advantages and disadvantages of remote work.

But first, I want to specify that, as you know, remote work is not possible for all types of jobs. For instance, production workers have to be on-site because they need to use or handled machinery. Similarly, a hospital staff have to be there for the hospital to function. Jobs that can be done remotely are, for example, those in the fields of IT, sales, marketing, and customer services.

If you have both types of jobs in your company, you may want to consider if it’s good for your company to have two groups – those who work at the workplace at those who work remotely. These could create separation because of the different conditions they have in your company. 

So, let’s explore the pros and cons of remote work.

1. Impact on company costs

Costs savings from workspace, equipment, utilities

In case the employees work fully remotely, you can save costs with office spaces and utilities, office supplies and equipment. 

However, even if these kinds of costs may reduce, the company has to invest in technologies and equipment that create the proper conditions for the employees to work remotely. Depending on the jobs, they have to provide safe communication tools, software and programs that enable and facilitate work outside the office. So, the whole infrastructure has to be dedicated to this kind of work. 

In conclusion, these kinds of costs may or not be lower, depending on how much an employer invests in the tools and resources that are used by remote employees.

Costs savings from less absenteeism and sick leaves

Another potential source of cost savings is lower absenteeism and sick leaves, which lead to higher productivity. Studies show that those who work remotely take fewer sick leaves.

The downside of this is that their productivity may decrease during and after these times, as they push themselves when they need to rest. Therefore, to maintain a balance between work time, health, and long-term productivity, companies have to establish clear policies and allow employees to take time off to recover from illnesses, even if these are not very acute.

2. Effects on productivity

It can enhance productivity

Studies show that the employees who were able to work from home increased their performances by at least 22%.

This is because they can focus more on their activities by having less distractions. Also, they can create working conditions that are suitable for them. In an office, they have to adapt for example to the temperature that is set there, they may hear disturbing noises from other colleagues, and they have to work in the spaces that are assigned to them. At home, or wherever they choose to work, they can control these elements to fit their needs and have less stress. 

It can decrease productivity

When the employees don’t have the proper conditions at home to work, they can have a higher level of stress than at the office.

Also, when the employees don’t have the proper conditions to interact with each other, collaborate, or exchange ideas and get the moral support they need, their productivity can decrease. 

3. Effects on employee well-being

It can increase employee well-being

Due to more flexibility

Remote work enables more flexibility for the employees. They can take breaks when they need them, they can organize their daily work to a greater extent.

Another example, some employees may prefer to take long lunch breaks while others may opt for short ones. Or, some of them may choose to start work at 7.00 a.m. while others may do so at 10.00 a.m. 

Due to better work-life balance

They can fit their personal stuff into their day without taking a day off, which they would need to do if they worked in an office. For example, they can schedule a medical appointment at any time of the day and adjust their working hours accordingly.

Due to less stress

Another element that contributes to employee well-being is less stress at home than at the office. As mentioned before, working conditions play an important role. 

It can decrease employee well-being

Although remote work can increase employee well-being, the opposite effect can also happen.

If employees lack social support, clear boundaries between their private and work time, resources to use for work or adequate equipment, their well-being can be negatively affected.

For instance, some employees may still be in the learning process and may not be in a phase where they can work fully independently. If the company does not have clear procedures for these situations, these employees will not be able to perform well on their own at home. When working at the office, they could ask for help from others. Creating intentional programs for these people, such as mentorship programs where they have a designated more senior colleague to help them, will make things easier for them. Also, the company will avoid work blocks, low performance, discouragement, and losing employees who feel they cannot make it in their jobs.

In general, creating open lines of communication for everyone so that they can reach any team member, ask questions, ask for a colleague’s advice, or simply chat about personal matters will make a big difference. Encourage them to use the communication tools you provide by using them yourself. Some of them may be more reserved and need encouragement to ask for help and communicate more often.

4. Effects on employees relationships and company culture

The lack of in-person interactions between employees impacts their relationships

Fewer opportunities to interact

On one hand, there are fewer opportunities for employees to interact with each other, resulting in a smaller network where employees primarily connect with colleagues who share common tasks or collaborations.

Why is this a disadvantage? Sometimes, work friendships form between colleagues who work in different departments, who don’t have to work together, because they don’t have conflictual interests. These relationships are often more relaxed and impact how the employee feels in the company. It can be harder for an employee whit strong friendships to leave the company than for one who doesn’t get along with colleagues.

Virtual connections are less powerful than physical ones

Looking at virtual connections from another angle, these are less powerful than physical connections. Do you agree? Compare an online meeting that you had with someone to an in-person meeting with the same person. What are the differences?

Physical connections are more natural and authentic than online ones

Even the fact that we see ourselves on the screen can change our reactions and facial expressions. Or the fact that the meeting is being recorded may change our behaviour. Who knows who will see us in that discussion and form an impression about us or make decisions about us? So, we may become more restrictive and thoughtful in our behaviour to protect ourselves.

This can be both a good and bad thing at the same time. It’s good if the person who is more thoughtful about the impression he or she may leave on others is controlling behaviours or attitudes that are inappropriate. Transparency plays a controlling role in this case. Behaviours such as bullying, raised tone, or unfair decisions are less likely to occur in these circumstances. 

However, it can also be a negative thing if we become inauthentic. We may have more courage to express our opinions and give feedback in a smaller group where we know the members, than if we know that this information can be accessed by people who may react poorly.

With the new AI tools that are now available for businesses to record even the physical meetings and generate reports and summaries, such as those created by Microsoft, what we say can be used anytime. This forces us to become more responsible, but at the same time, it may take away our authenticity and change the whole way we communicate.

We no longer only think about how to communicate certain things to John and Sara, for example, but we are also thinking about how what we say will be perceived by people who have access to our meeting conversation. The audience becomes broader, and are more factors to take into consideration. Our communication is not focused only on John and Sara, but also on the people who have access to it.

Not only John and Sara, but also others who were not involved or fully informed of the situation discussed, can give us feedback on our communication. There may have been unrecorded or spontaneous  conversations that explained different choices, views, and actions or different stages of the situation. Thus, misunderstandings can occur.  

Creating a sense of connection and team spirit is harder

The employees may feel more detached from the company, and the group identity can be weaker.

Although you may try informal and fun virtual meetings to replace the spontaneous conversations that would have taken place between your team members at the office (such as coffee chats, lunch meetings, and bump-up chats), these are not the same as in-person interactions. You can’t replace spontaneity and in-person interactions with scheduled meetings.

To create a sense of connection and being part of a team, I recommend having in-person meetings or events. You could combine formal meetings with team-building activities that allow the employees to interact in an informal manner, such as playing games or different sports and spending a few days together. Even if you can do this only twice a year, it will make a significant difference.

Another way to proceed is to combine remote work with work at the office if your team members’ locations allow them to do so. You could have one or two days at the office and the rest of the week working remotely.

5. Effects on employee retention

It can decrease employee retention

On one hand, because the employees feel more detached from their employers and co-workers, their loyalty can decrease. According to a survey by Front, 42% of remote employees feel less connected to their company’s culture and 25% feel less connected to their co-workers.

It can increase employee retention

On the other hand, remote work can improve employee retention. As mentioned before, benefits like flexibility, autonomy, and more work-life balance, less stress, and increased productivity, can lead to a higher appreciation of their job. 

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 62% of employees feel more productive when working remotely and 57% say they are less stressed.

Therefore, the effect of remote work on employee retention may depend on how well employers manage the challenges and opportunities of remote work. 

6. Remote work effects on talent pool

Access to a wider talent pool

Due to remote work, you can hire people from different locations, expanding your search area and enabling you to consider candidates who were previously inaccessible. With a larger pool of candidates, you can make better selections without compromising on candidates profiles.

At the same time, your team members have access to more hiring opportunities

In these conditions, what you offer to an employee is not only compared with what other companies in the same town offer, but also with what companies around the world are offering. 

Key Points:

We talked about remote work effects on:
1. Company’s Cost
2. Productivity
3. Employee well-being
4. Employees relationships and company’s culture
5. Employee retention
6. Talent pool

Let me know what are your thoughts about remote work. If you have questions about this post I’ll be happy to answer them at:

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Also, check the online program below. You can increase your employee motivation on your own, just following some simple steps and guidelines.


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