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Price(per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user+$16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan:$30 for 5 users+$5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user+$8From $2.20 per user$5.99 per user per month
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Timecard management
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Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
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Remote work is not a new concept. Almost everyone worked from home before the Industrial Revolution. Skilled people used to set up shops at their homes and sold the goods that they made right on their porches.

The Industrial Revolution brought the need for the creation of factories. Later, the need for larger offices, corporate headquarters, and cubicles grew exponentially. The development of technology and the internet paved the way for remote work as we know it today.

But as remote work is slowly becoming the new norm, many people see only the positive sides of it. Yet it’s understandable to ask yourself: does remote work increase productivity?

In this post, we will be taking a look at some of the most significant drawbacks of remote work and what you can do to avoid them.

Networking Is Harder for Remote Workers

If you work from home, you might not be able to stay on top of everything that is happening in your industry. Remote work will likely take you out of this circle. Plus, since you are physically away from your peers, it might be a bit harder for you to stay involved with them and their professional lives.

If this is happening to you, you need to make an effort to stay connected with your peers and industry. As much as you can, talk to the other people from your line of work. Go to events and connect with people. Check out your local coworking spaces, they usually organize networking events, seminars, and brief courses - it’s a great opportunity to meet with like-minded people from the industry.

Remote Work Can Be Lonely

Whether an extrovert or an introvert, remote work can get lonely after a while. For most people who are just starting to work remotely, the lack of socialization may feel strange at first.

As much as being alone can do wonders for one's productivity, constant isolation can also affect it in a negative way.

If you are feeling lonely, and are missing socializing with people, instead of working from your home, go to a coffee shop. Many local coffee shops around the world have turned into unofficial offices for remote workers.

If you are running a company with many remote workers and are afraid that your employees are feeling lonely and disconnected from their colleagues, you should organize company events for some or all of your employees to attend.

Self-Direction Is Necessary

Remote work requires a certain degree of self-discipline. For remote workers to be successful at what they do, most of the time, they need to be self-starters and proactive. Because they cannot just ask their manager for directions, remote workers need to be able to work most of the time independently.

Being an independent worker does not equal working alone; it just means that even in a collaborative environment, each remote employee needs to be on top of what they are doing.

Work-Life Balance Can Blur

Working in a traditional office makes it easier to differentiate between your work life and your home time, as most of the time, you are done with your work as soon as you leave the office.

If you work and live in the same space, differentiating the two can be harder. It becomes much more challenging to differentiate between ‘work time’ and ‘home time’ since the two are now deeply connected.

As well as all the distractions you’ll face at home, from screaming children to ever-present pets, you’ll also have a hard time disconnecting from work.

Unwinding after a stressful day is not easy when you cannot just leave everything at the office. To separate your work from your home life, you need to give yourself proper time off. That means no emails, no checking your computer, and no work-related tasks.

Because employees can’t simply ‘check out’ from work at the end of the day, overworking becomes a very real possibility. Extending work days into the evening rather than clocking out for the day and enjoying time off.

In addition to shutting off from work by setting clear boundaries and work hours, make sure you often leave your home after you are done with work. Just take a walk around your neighborhood. It will help your head relax and unwind.

Remote Work Is a Skill

Remote workers need to excel at communication. They also need to be resourceful with what they have. As a remote worker, you need to be disciplined and have a strong work ethic. If you are hiring remote workers, you need to be skilled in all of this. Your life will be much easier when you can trust your employees.

However, just saying that your remote employees will do their tasks does not mean that they will. As a remote manager, you need to know how to monitor staff working from home correctly. Most remote companies rely on employee monitoring software like Insightful to help them with that.

Knowing how to monitor staff working from home will help you determine whether or not your remote employees are as resourceful and self-disciplined as you need them to be.

Cultural Disconnect

These days, it’s not uncommon for businesses to cater to both in-office and remote teams. What this means is you have a clear divide in your workforce between those who get together in the office to work and those who work from home.

The danger here is that there can be a cultural disconnect.

As a remote worker, you already have to contend with feelings of isolation as a result of being in your own pod - separate from your coworkers. Add in the potential FOMO (fear of missing out) that might come with knowing your in-office coworkers are having a different work experience, and it can become a cause of stress.

To make sure you’re not missing out on the good stuff, do your best to engage with coworkers virtually. Hop on casual Zoom calls, participate in any team-based activities, and converse in Slack channels.

Maintaining Physical Health

An often overlooked aspect of remote work is the sedentary lifestyle it can promote.

Granted, the average office doesn’t provide plenty of opportunities for movement and can involve a lot of sitting, but working from home means you won’t have a commute to and from your workplace.

As a result, you could go the whole work week without leaving your house, in theory. There are no stairs to climb, office buildings to walk through, or bus stops to walk to.

This can be hugely detrimental to physical health, let alone productivity.

To mitigate this common remote work problem, invest in workspace ergonomics to reduce the strain on your body - especially if your company provides a stipend.

Also, make sure you incorporate movement into your day as much as possible. Walk around the block to replace your commutes, if necessary, and get up and move about frequently.

The Secrets of Remote Work

Hopefully, this post has given you a more realistic view of what it is actually like to work remotely.

To go full circle: does remote work increase productivity?

It certainly can - provided you have the right conditions for getting the most out of the remote work environment.

If you are considering making the switch to remote work, know that the only way to tell whether or not you will be successful in remote work is to try it.

Just like anything else worthy in life, being successful in remote work will take lots of effort, focus, and discipline.

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