Thanks to current technological capabilities, the workplace is no longer limited to a single physical space for some industries. Computers, smartphones, mobile hotspots, and ever-increasing internet speeds allow for faster communication between team members located almost anywhere on the globe. More and more organizations are adopting a flexible working arrangement for its employees. In fact, the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau reported the amount of home-based workers grew to 13.4 million workers in America. These employees worked at least one or more days from home each week.
Fans of remote work love touting the benefits of working from home, citing the benefits of flexibility and a supposed productivity boost. On opposing sides of the debate, some workers find remote work to be socially isolating in addition to stifling to creativity. Both sides have convincing studies and anecdotes to back up the benefits or limitations of working remotely. In light of recent headlines, there is one certainty: working from home will become a normality for some workers around the world. We in the Public Relations industry feel tremendously lucky to work in a field that allows workers have the flexibility of deciding working arrangements go best with their needs as well as the needs of the workplace.
Here we weigh the pros and cons of working from home for those within the PR industry.
Studies have found that workers’ output and satisfaction increased, and turnover rates decreased after transitioning to remote working arrangements. Advocates of working from home say there are less distractions when working remotely. Another study points to increased productivity along with lower levels of work-related stress in employees who chose to work from home.
Limiting distractions can be paramount for those requiring quiet environments in order to focus on the task at hand. Some of our teammates find loud workplaces difficult to write copy when there are too many distractions. The office allows for opportunities for co-workers to mingle and collaborate, which is great for morale in small doses, but after several interruptions, your creative process suffers. No one wants to be the joy kill in the office who tells everyone in the office to pipe down, which is one reason working from home might be a potential tactic to employ. Working from home helps put the worker in control of their surroundings.
Those who don’t quite agree with the hype of working from home believe that removing yourself from the office for too long and for too often list potential drawbacks too.
PR thrives on collaboration and communication. Some of the best ideas at 4media group have begun with a tap on the shoulder followed by “Hey, what do you think about this…?”. Moments later, ideas are bouncing back and forth fueled by creative momentum. This process is still possible with the strategic use of tech tools. Take advantage of mobile communication platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams to spur spontaneous collaboration. Arrange a video chat with team members for a roundtable discussion. As mentioned earlier, many workspaces are now capable of existing in both a physical and virtual setting. Use this to your advantage!
A Happy Medium:
Find a balance that works best for you, but make sure it nets the best outcome for the agency too (this is a business after all). Some days, you may find that you’re better off working from home, but working in isolation too much can leave you out of touch with the rest of your team. The team members at 4mediagroup ensure they’re maintaining constant communication through phone, messaging apps, and video chats. 4media group’s embrace of modern work-place tech and rapid communication is part of what strengthens our organization. With employees working across several time zones around the globe, there’s a good chance that by the time someone in our U.S. office is wrapping-up the loose ends on a client’s project, another teammate is starting their morning continuing their share of the project in our U.K. office. From Satellite Media Tours and broadcast production to market research and focus groups, we have professionals able to help crush your challenges from almost anywhere in the world! Contact us to learn more!