Pitfalls of working remotely
Covid has done the inevitable, and working remotely has become a norm. Working remotely helped employees reduce the daily commute to work, better quality time with family, and above all, saving financially.
Remote working is long in the making. Even before Covid all the technological enablers were in place, Covid accelerated the adoption.
IT companies started to realize employees working remotely have saved their bottom line. They don't need to provide office space, infra cost, and others. All these savings translate into positive changes to their financial statement.
However, people need to watch out for some of the shortcomings. We need to be aware of a few fallacies.
For managers, who don't work face to face with their subordinates, one of the unfortunate outcomes is objectification. People who work remotely may be degraded to an object.
I have experienced firsthand how managers use two divergent yardsticks when dealing with teams. People with whom they work closely and face to face get better treatment than others. Managers tend to give high weightage to the opinion shared by people in proximity.
Out of sight and out of mind
Many opportunities for career growth come during the spur of the moment. Opportunities are discussed during the water cooler talk, on the office floor, or over a couple of drinks and in close proximity. Being out of sight is out of mind. Remote workers tend to lose on this.
Hiring and firing may be easier.
It is going to be easy to fire a remote person than a person you see face to face. Since the human connection is degraded, it will be easy to let people go.
Blurring between professional and personnel
Before Covid, the division between the house and office was clear. Once you are out of the office, you can switch minds to home and family. Now it is impossible to draw a line between office and home; it just blurred.
Move to remote
One of the biggest pitfalls of remote working is it can be moved anywhere in the world. Once this model is perfected, it can be shifted to any remote destination where the cost of labor is cheap.
Today it is tough to foresee, people who are working remotely for long will get a chance to become a CEO and lead a company, only time will tell.