Remote work has been a hot topic for years, but it has truly taken the spotlight since the start of the pandemic. As companies worldwide were forced to adjust to the new reality, remote work quickly became a norm for many employees. It has changed the way we work, and for some, it has brought a new level of flexibility and work-life balance they never thought possible. As someone working remotely as part of a global team, I’ve personally experienced the benefits of remote flexible work arrangements.
Let me give you some context. I joined Jarvis in the summer of 2022 as part of the team located in Bosnia. Before that, I worked an office-based 9-5. My day-to-day life has changed significantly as a result of previously going into an office every day to now working fully remote.
Here I share my experience of what this transition was like and give you a glimpse into the world of remote flexible work as a marketer in the tech consulting industry. I also share my thoughts on how this shift has impacted individuals, as well as teams and organizations.
An Important Disclaimer
My journey to remote work has opened up a whole new perspective on what a healthy workplace looks like. But, let’s be clear: my experience is shaped by more than just working remotely. #TeamJarvis has taken “people-first culture” to the next level, making it hard to separate the effect of our culture from the inherent benefits of remote work. However, I do believe (or at least want to) that organizations with global teams and trust as one of their core values share similar characteristics.
That being said, let’s get started!
Benefits Of Flexible Work Arrangements
1. Flexibility Creating Greater Work-Life Balance
One of the biggest advantages of working remotely is pretty straightforward: the flexibility it offers. No longer do I have to worry about sacrificing my personal life for work or vice versa. I can now adjust both my work and life schedules to fit each other. This could be needing to take care of a sick child or attending a meeting with my baby by my side (and trust me when I say I’ve done this numerous times!). The global team at Jarvis truly understands and practices the art of empathy!
The empathy within our team extends beyond emergency situations. For example, I block off one hour of my calendar every day for putting my baby to bed. During this time, the team knows I don’t take any meetings. There is widespread respect for my routine (well, technically, my baby’s routine – all parents out there surely understand how important it is), and it helps lessen the stress about balancing work and personal life.
Whether you are working remotely in marketing or any other field, having flexibility in your day-to-day work life makes a significant difference in your overall work-life balance. If you’re on a remote team with flexible working hours, be sure to respect other people’s schedules. It greatly impacts team morale and reduces emotional exhaustion, psychological distress and work-family conflict.
2. Location Independence Contributing To Greater Quality Time
Remote work also allows for location independence. And let me tell you, there are days when I wake up and appreciate that I don’t need to get dressed up and commute to an office. As a result, some days, I work from the comfort of my bed, while others I work in more scenic locations. I’ve even been able to work in other parts of the country with no impact on productivity. Flexible work enables me to visit my parents more often without taking time off. It’s almost like I’m living a quasi-digital nomad lifestyle where I can travel parts of the world while effectively building my career.
3. Small Conveniences That Make A Big Difference
While the bigger advantages of remote flexible work are great, it’s the little things that add up and make a difference. For example, I no longer have huge piles of laundry to do on the weekends. Thus, weekends can be spent doing activities I truly enjoy. Whether it’s chilling at home, hiking, or having a board game night, being able to stay on top of life throughout the week helps me feel more rejuvenated after the weekend. My family also enjoys more home-cooked family lunches; I can put the ingredients in a pot/stove during the day and by the time it’s time for lunch, the food is also ready.
Working remotely in marketing previously seemed like an unrealistic work setup. There was a notion that marketing relies heavily on in-office collaboration. It’s been outstanding to uncover unanticipated benefits of working remotely including greater work-life balance, less burnout, and overall increased productivity despite not sharing the same physical space with my team.
Are there any downsides to remote flexible work?
Nothing in life is black and white – there are a lot of greys in between. The flexibility of working remotely with a global team comes with its own set of challenges.
1. Different Time Zones
When you work remotely as part of a global team, you are destined to collaborate with people in different time zones. Knowing this, you must be willing to adjust your work schedule. For me, this has meant having meetings in the afternoons or even late into the evening. I’ve had to adapt my daily schedule to ensure I can meet with team members when needed. At Javis, we utilize asynchronous communication using Slack so people can respond during their working hours.
2. No Physical Separation Between Work And Life
Another challenge of melding work and personal life together is creating mental separation between the two when you don’t have physical separation. Working in an office can inherently make it easier to log off at the end of the day and not come back until the next. However, when your work computer is at home with you, it’s easy to work well into the night. This can be a good thing as you can have more flexibility, but it’s important to be cautious about overworking yourself. What I’ve found is that I have a new peak of productivity in the evenings. After putting my kid to bed and logging off from my mum duties, I enjoy going back and putting more focused time in.
This is the reality for many people around the world. Microsoft’s research showed that work days are now divided into three slots of productive work: one in the mornings, another after lunch, and a third in the evenings. The research found that a triple-peak day helps reduce stress levels as people “have the ability to do what they need to do in the moment and still have time to work later on.”
3. Missing Out On The Benefits Of An Office Environment
The last challenge of working fully remote is the absence of a shared physical office. Remote workers often miss out on the opportunity to engage in casual conversations with their colleagues and build relationships through daily interactions. This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from the team. It’s important to consider how to build team cohesion when you don’t share an office and have fewer opportunities for casual conversations. Additionally, working from home can limit the opportunities for networking and professional development. In an office setting, employees have the chance to interact with individuals from different departments and learn about different aspects of the company.
Conclusion: Is Remote Flexible Work A Game-Changer in the Workplace?
Yes! And I cannot stress this enough. Sure, there are challenges. Can they lead to burnout? Yes. But so can a 9-5 job.
What is important is having options and choosing what works best for you. If you prefer having clear barriers between work and personal life, and having times of the day when you are completely off, then a 9-5 job might suit you better. However, if you prefer the freedom of organizing your work around your life, and not the other way around, then a flexible workplace might suit you better. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to have the freedom of choice.
For me, the pros of remote flexible work greatly outweigh the challenges. The past 6 months have been a game-changer and I couldn’t be happier about it. The work-life balance it provides is unbeatable, and it has allowed me to be a more productive, happier, and fulfilled employee. Sure, some days are more challenging than others. But with good organizational skills, it’s definitely manageable.
If you haven’t tried remote flexible work yet, I highly recommend giving it a shot. It might just surprise you and revolutionize your work-life too!
As a Marketing Lead at Jarvis, Aida works on developing marketing projects with a strong focus on telling Jarvis’ inspiring story. She is passionate about communications in all shapes, forms, and colors.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE:
Jarvis is a leading IT consulting firm headquartered in Canada that provides total talent solutions with ongoing partnerships across North America’s top financial institutions, cutting-edge startups, and major technology companies.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE:
Stay In The Loop
Like what you read? Enter your information below to be notified about valuable content, upcoming events, and other trending tech information.