Which Method of Working Remotely is Best For You?

For better or for worse, the year 2020 has brought on significant lifestyle changes. As we enter the final quarter of the year, we can reflect on the many changes we’ve made regarding how we work and where we work. At the height of the global pandemic many of us were forced to work remotely, a drastic change from our quick paced commuter lives. With those changes we found that there are real benefits to working remotely. Not only is it a viable option, but it can also be an effective one.

Pixeldust isn’t new to the remote working lifestyle. Our European branch based in Madrid, Spain has been working from home as well as coworking over the last couple of years. These are two contrasting approaches to working remotely, but what are the differences and which one is best for you and your team?

WORKING FROM HOME (WFH)

Most of us now regardless of industry, have learned to work from home over this past year. This is the go-to option for many freelancers and solopreneurs. The biggest advantage of working from home is that it gives you the most flexibility. Working from home gives you the ability to work however you’d like, whether it’s in your pajamas, on the couch, or in the home office wearing a tailored suit. 

Arguably the biggest advantage of WFH is the amount of time you save. By working from home you don’t have to deal with the rush and chaos of commuting which can help reduce stress, especially if you already have a busy day ahead of you. 

You’ll almost always be on time for virtual meetings and still have time to eat breakfast. Coffee breaks and lunch breaks can be much shorter and can be done from the comfort of your living room.  Another big advantage is that you’ll save money. Instead of buying coffee on your way into work you’ll have time to make it at home. You won’t be eating out as much either and can avoid the peer pressure of going out to lunch with colleagues. And you’ll be saving money on gas or public transportation since your commute is nonexistent. A little savings go a long way and your wallet will thank you. Of course, ditching the office and working from home isn’t all rosy. There are several not so obvious issues that come with it. Whenever you commute to work it helps you mentally prepare for the day ahead. Entering your workplace gets your mind into work mode and can help get those creative juices flowing.

Distractions are another big downside to WFH, you’re surrounded by your roommates, the dishes, your partner, or the dog — the list could go on. It takes some good organization and work ethic to be able to avoid these and stay focused.

Virtual meetings may also be considered a drawback depending on your personality and communication preferences.  Since you won’t be bumping into your boss or coworkers in the office kitchen, you’ll have to make the extra effort to communicate and set up meetings to make sure you and your colleagues are on the same page. 

Another disadvantage is that you may form unhealthy work/life balance habits if you don’t keep yourself in check. You might find yourself working for longer periods of time and unable to disconnect from work mode. For this reason, psychologists highly recommend not working in your bedroom as it may affect your quality of sleep.

Overall, WFH is a great option especially in times of COVID. The ability to fully customize your work environment and save some money while you’re at it makes it an attractive choice. With some self-discipline and adjustments to style of communication you can make yourself a solid remote working environment.

COWORKING

Before the pandemic, coworking was the hip new thing to do for freelancers and startups. With many cowork spaces including free coffee with memberships and sleek modern designs to inspire their clients, it’s easy to see the appeal. The biggest difference however, is that cowork spaces build communities. By hosting events, happy hours, and offering the chance to network with others, this is especially effective when companies attend and participate in these events as a team.

Being able to work in a space with your colleagues as well as the chance to connect with other coworkers from different industries allows you to get multiple perspectives on work and collaboration. Sometimes asking an outsider what they think about the latest project you’re working on can lead to more of those “aha!” moments that keep companies evolving.

In the video production industry we often find ourselves working with people across different time zones. Sometimes you may have to travel to other cities or even other countries for projects. Some international coworking memberships like CroissantApp, WeWork, and others allow you to check-in to any of their available coworking offices around the world allowing for a great amount of flexibility wherever you are. 

Unlike WFH, coworking gives you an office to commute to which helps kickstart your brain into productive working mode. It also allows you to separate “work” time from personal time making work/life balance easier.

However, not all coworking spaces and communities are equal. Some offices may have dreary office lighting while others may be brighter and decorated to inspire. Also, communities vary from office to office and it may take some time to find the right coworking space for you and your team. 

 Another drawback might be cost. Depending on your needs, you may opt for a “hot-desk” which is usually the cheapest option and available on a first come first serve basis. However, if you have a fair sized team and require  space for more equipment, you might choose to go for a private room in a cowork space which tends to be pricier. 

Since the pandemic began, coworking has lost much of its popularity, but coworking spaces are adjusting their office spaces and adapting.  

Many spaces are taking precautions by installing plexiglass dividers between desks, distributing hand sanitizer, and asking coworkers to wear masks when moving about.  As more cowork spaces adjust to the new normal you can expect to see and hear more about them. 

WFH and coworking are two effective options that allow for a great amount of flexibility. Those that like to have full control of their environment may find WFH as the more attractive option while the more socially inclined might find coworking more pleasant. 

Ultimately, deciding what’s best for you will depend on evaluating what works best for your needs, comfort level, and finding a balance between productivity and team communication while ensuring a safe work environment for you and your colleagues.