The times have changed. The way business dealings are done, teams are led, and tasks are rolled out have changed as well. Throughout these years, the ethics of work and the style has changed too. What do we mean by both of these statements? Let us explain. If you go back a decade or so, the idea of working from home was alien. There was a lot of why’s and what’s associated with freelancing or offsite work. It was considered an absolute dishonour to the code of conduct to work from home and not be in the office or client’s site all day long. However, more and more employers these days are allowing their employees to take the chance of working offsite. The latter is also opening to work freelance or full-time home-based employees, so they can have their routine and rhythm in which they work. Both are liberal with the idea of working from the comfort of home if the tasks and deadlines are being met. In fact, a pool of new jobs has been created that demand working from home.
So, how did we come here and what’s the way to go? Is offsite working beneficial for the company or going through the mainstream onsite team functioning is the solution for better productivity and results. Even though years and years have passed since offsite working came into focus, but this has become the debate of the time. Let’s dig into the pros and cons of these completely different working styles to find out.
ADVANTAGES OF OFFSITE WORK
Now that we are onto the topic, let’s begin with the benefits of offsite work.
We are living in a new era of technology. More and more tech devices and software are making their way into the mainstream. This means that various aspects of our life can now easily be controlled and empowered by technology. Life is becoming a lot easier and productive. If we apply this digital boom to the offsite working, we see a very relaxed, albeit working pattern. Due to new technological advancements, it has become convenient to track productivity and manage employees who are not working on site. What we mean to explain here is that, with the project management tools available, it isn’t difficult for the companies to train, manage and get in touch with their employees similar to the way they do onsite.
Work Anywhere & Everywhere
Just as the tech is taking over, the remote lifestyle is too. People are now interested in developing a digital nomad lifestyle. So, why shouldn’t they? It isn’t hard anymore. With offsite working, a person can work anywhere and everywhere. They can work at any time and any place. So, the job hours aren’t restricted to the 9-5 desk days anymore. A person might not be sitting at the office working, but they can be vacationing at the Maldives and working all along. How awesome is that!
Be Connected Always!
We have already told you how strong of a role technology has played in giving birth to offsite working and communications. This technology has also resulted in video conferencing and other such tools, which means that the chances the employee and employer will always be connected are near to a hundred percent. The communication is taking place all the time, and that churns out more valuable tasks than onsite working. Believe us; this is no exploitation of the employee either. He decides to work at whatever time of the day he wants and get connected to you at that point as well. Emails, IMO, WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and a million other such apps will keep you connected throughout the day.
Why wouldn’t one want to build a remote team, and why wouldn’t someone want to work in one? When someone opts for an offsite setup, they are saving themselves expenses, electricity bills, team budget, gadgets, etc. This means that the humongous amount that goes into providing an employee with the work tools is saved. One can invest the similar in creating and managing a robust offsite system. That is a lot more valuable in the long run. The need for housekeeping staff would be no more, and a smaller team will help you save a lot of expenses.
Work In Comfort
It doesn’t matter if you are an employee or an employer, the prospect of working from the comfort of your home can outdo any other point mentioned in the list of the advantages. You can quickly look after your kids, house, and be there while working the best you do. The idea that employees are entirely focused on their task in office only is bogus. If it were up to the people who work offsite, they would tell you this work from home comfort gives them more creativity and love for work.
DISADVANTAGES OF OFFSITE WORK
We know the advantages already, so let’s look into some disadvantages of offsite work.
Risk Of Error
When you or your employees for that matter are working offsite, there are high chances that there would be errors. Sometimes these errors might end up causing you deep troubles. No matter how good the communication stream is and how solid your conversation and response rate is, the offsite working will always have a risk of errors attached to it. It is still better to meet and clear out the deliverable and other details associated with the project, so to avoid any conflicts.
Slower Business Dealings
Another major setback of offsite work is the more gradual implementation of business solutions and business dealings. In the stances where a majority part of the team is working offsite, it becomes really difficult to come together and decide certain business practices and decisions that have to be implemented. Hence, companies sometimes have to bear the loss. Even if the loss, monetary or intellectual, isn’t on the table, the frequency in which the entire team can connect is low. This means the one dealing them all might end up losing a lot of time and his efforts in joining everyone together.
No Urgent Meetings
With offsite, there is no concept of urgent meetings. Well, not as such. Team conversations and meetings can always be carried out through online meeting portals, but the timing of the employees’ availability will always vary. Hence, the urgent meetings cannot be carried out in minutes like they can be, when working onsite. Though it has been improving with time, it is still there.
We have discussed offsite working in the entirety. Now, let’s dig into the advantages and disadvantages of onsite working, so you have something to compare to.
ADVANTAGES OF ONSITE WORKING
Some of the benefits include:
As cliché as it might sound, teamwork makes the dreams work. When working onsite, the strong bond and connection between the team are apparent. When all the people are spending time together, working on a similar project, striving towards one goal – the spirit of teamwork is intense. This means they will all be focused on making sure they sit together to come up with the best strategies and ideas to carry their work forward.
Moreover, when working together, people develop bonds and friendships. There is also competitiveness as well. Hence, both of these combine to give a healthy, productive work atmosphere.
Motivation & Productivity
While productivity is one thing that is argued far and wide, motivation is one thing that cannot be doubted. When working onsite, as mentioned above, the employees are there to boost each other’s morale. The teammates help each other at times when one is stuck and can’t find out the solution to a certain problem. This can never be found when working offsite since everyone is about their own business.
When working onsite, direct control is immediate. There is a problem? Call in the relevant people to solve it. Have a significant decision to make? Gather the team around and take the votes, and so on. The direct control involved in onsite working makes it easier sometimes to solve even the biggest of problems. It won’t be a hassle to coordinate with all the teams around the office to come together for a quick discussion. It would be just as easy as sending in an employee around the departments or circulating an official notification. This can be done offsite too, but you all know that’s time-consuming.
Sometimes there will be tasks that would require utmost confidentiality and secrecy. The pitches, proposals, and project presentations to clients; they all need the immediate team to be there and discuss the relevant details in private. When the staff isn’t working onsite, sometimes issues like these become almost impossible to solve. The onsite working makes sure the company software is installed that maintains secrecy, do not allow certain documents or information to be downloaded or copied. Those clients that would require being secretive about their work won’t ever face any issues if the team is working onsite.
No Digital Disruption
As much as technology and the digital boom has made our lives easier, it has caused enough noise as well. With offsite working, it isn’t exactly easy to monitor what your employees are doing. They might have their laptop switched on intending to work, but they can flip over to social channels every now and then. With onsite working, you don’t have to face such situations. The employees know the excessive use of digital tools can lead them to being rebuked by higher management.
DISADVANTAGES OF ONSITE WORKING
Let’s explore the negative side of onsite working.
Having your own complete, furnished physical space where all your team comes together to work isn’t exactly cheap. From electricity bills to refreshment expenses, stationery, work stations, and a lot more, there would be a great deal of investment in just running the office. The office expenses aside, the staff and the helping staff also cost bucks. You’d also need to hire people to keep accounts of the expenses incurred. So, this is something serious to be pondered over by people with a tight budget.
Strict Business Works
Even though the world is moving rapidly and now working after office hours has become a thing, but that simply violates fundamental employee rights. When someone is dedicating a significant share of their day working on site, it isn’t a possibility for them to tend to the immediate business needs when home. Hence, this is one of the biggest setbacks for all those businesses who might need help or two from employees at odd hours or hours throughout the day.
As much as it is a benefit for onsite working, it is a disadvantage as well. While the employees can be monitored, and the lead can know what their particular subordinate is doing at the time, tracking efficiency isn’t possible. Most of the time, energy isn’t only low because of the onsite working, but the lack of offsite job does that too.
What’s the bottom line? Who is the clear winner here? Well, this might be a conclusion, but we won’t be jumping to conclusions here. Both onsite and offsite working have their pros and cons. While the world is moving fast, it hasn’t adopted an offsite job in its true essence. But, if you notice the patterns worldwide, more and more big and small companies are now looking for professional advice to opt for offsite employees or freelancers who can go onsite for them in case of client meetings and issues.
Over the year or so, the opportunities to work from home have increased, and companies are now training employees to work from wherever they want. They are hiring more freelancers to do the work for them. We believe this trend is only going to amplify in the future. However, be sure that onsite working isn’t going anywhere. No matter how many advancements we have at the moment, the traditional working style is definitely here to stay for an excellent time to come.