The Covid-19 pandemic forced many businesses to adopt remote work models. For some, this was a temporary adjustment. However, many business owners have recognized the benefits of this approach, and have therefore decided to embrace remote work permanently.
There’s no universal answer to the question of whether a permanent remote work model is “right” for a business. Remote work is ideal for some businesses but not for others.
For example, perhaps you own a personal injury law firm. In recent months, it’s likely your employees have been working from home much more often than usual. You may be wondering whether you should allow them to continue doing so in the future.
No article can make this decision for you. You need to consider the specifics of your circumstances to determine whether you should adopt a permanent remote work model. However, the following points can help you weigh some of the pros and cons of this idea.
Pro: Remote workers may be more productive
Before the pandemic, many naturally assumed that a business’ productivity would suffer when employees were permitted to work from home instead of coming to an office every day. Without a supervisor nearby to monitor them, wouldn’t workers be less inclined to focus on their duties?
This is an understandable assumption to make. That said, research indicates remote workers are no less productive than office workers. In fact, they may even be more productive. Being able to work from home gives employees more time to spend focusing on their own interests and families. This can boost engagement, which in turn boosts productivity.
Con: Remote work can have long-term negative impacts on emotional wellbeing
Because remote work models were fairly uncommon until very recently, the research we have to determine the impacts of these models on employee productivity, engagement, and general wellbeing is somewhat limited.
However, current research does indicate that remote work models have mixed effects. On the one hand, they tend to promote higher levels of employee engagement and, to some extent, satisfaction. On the other hand, when compared to non-remote workers, remote employees report experiencing loneliness, sadness, and anxiety more often.
Again, it’s too early to tell conclusively, but it appears that remote work may yield short-term satisfaction, but could have long-term consequences. Keep this in mind when deciding whether permanent remote work is right for your personal injury law firm.
Pro: Remote workers have more time
You don’t need to be told that working at a law firm can be very demanding. The tasks your employees must complete on a day-to-day basis likely take up much of their time.
Naturally, when employees are able to work from home, they don’t have to commute, and thus have more time to devote to such tasks. This can theoretically help your firm better serve your clients.
Con: Clients have less interaction with employees
In certain lines of work, face-to-face interaction between employees and customers is essential because it helps customers feel more comfortable. When a client has the opportunity to directly meet with their attorney and the firm’s employees regularly, they’ll be more likely to trust those at the firm.
That may change if your firm adopts a permanent remote work policy. Luckily, if you have a positive relationship with some of your former or current clients, you can simply ask them how they feel about this issue. They may provide valuable insights.
Once more, none of this is meant to convince you to embrace remote work policies or do away with them once they’re no longer necessary. It’s still essential to consider how your specific firm might adapt to such a dramatic change. This article can merely help you begin making this decision.