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Working from Home or Office-Based?

HR Human Resource

Working from home is becoming a rising trend for a variety of reasons. In fact a recent Federation of Small Business report claims half of all Scottish businesses are “based at home”. So it seems traditional office-based working is losing its place to remote working.

Being free to choose the hours you want to devote to work per day is an important advantage that urges many people to turn to remote working. But working in a virtual setting requires a particular set of skills to confront the challenges involved.

Personal Traits that Make Virtual Work Effective

According to a recent research, people who can perform excellently in interdependent work relationships are more likely to become ideal virtual workers. It is best to be able to share goals and responsibilities, and be self-reliant and self-motivated at the same time.

Personal work style also helps distinguish remote workers. People that either like or do not mind ambiguity in their responsibilities tend to excel when working from home or virtual setting. On the contrary, it would be more burdensome for people who like to be provided with concrete instructions (and regimented schedules) to keep a virtual job.

Working from home requires independent thought to a significant extent, as well as being able to take initiatives, when necessary, and waiting for instructions, in order to do a task can be a struggle in virtual work settings.

Other than that, a set of strong communication skills is also key. Those that tend to be “lone wolves” meaning they lack adaptation skills, are most likely better suited to traditional office-based working, because communication is vital when collaborating remotely.

No one can deny the fact that people working from home can be particularly successful in their job. But of course, not everybody is well-suited for working virtually.

Major Difficulties when Working from Home

We’ve all read an email and not known for sure whether the tone is serious or sarcastic – working in a shared office environment offers, among others, the ability to read nonverbal cues that people working remotely could misinterpret. This could be a significant setback when trying to get the job done efficiently and fast.

Difficulty in building trusting working relationships is another issue reported by 81% of the 30,000 people working virtually surveyed. This can be overcome through regular contact, whether that be telephone, email, skype or private chatrooms/forums.

It becomes apparent that, when it comes to management, managing conflict and decision-making is definitely more challenged when working from home but certainly not impossible.

All in all, so long as a remote worker has the correct mindset and is properly briefed, knowing exactly what the tasks entail then there should be minimal risk and results as successful as any other worker in the team.