Remote work ceased to be a utopia that many of us longed for just a couple of years ago, and became a mandatory reality for thousands of companies and employees around the world.
But how good is remote work? Will we ever crowd the Polanco subway again at 8 am? Will the gorditas of the Sevilla metro still be there? Will our eco bike card still be valid? Is the home office here to stay? Everything seems to indicate yes.
It’s funny how often the things that do us good happen only when the alternatives run out, right? In other words, if it were not for the enormous level of the health emergency that we are experiencing worldwide, and the obligation to stay at home despite everything, the office work schedule would remain the same, at least in Mexico, we would be a few years away from making work from home an almost universal reality.
Of course, there are many productive sectors for which the activities must necessarily be face-to-face; for the digital realm however, telecommuting is almost like getting on Tron’s CCP, a dream come true. Digital has become 100% digital!
But hey, beyond the human need that drives us to be physically close, socialize with office colleagues and the Friday visits to the Perro Negro pizzas, or craft beers. The reality is that there are very few things that remote work allows us to miss.
The question is, is it really good for us to work from home? Has our quality of life changed? How much time do we spend daily in front of the computer? Will we ever go back to the office?
What is going on with remote work?
The home office came to the working life of our country without even being clear about what it was going to deal with, and both its legal implications and many other details that are even currently maintained in legislation, are a good example of the capacity of employees and companies to adapt and evolve to new realities. Almost always, evolution happens out of necessity.
The advantages of remote work that we can immediately list are widely known:
- Economic savings: Both in transportation, food, clothing and other things. The savings in these expenses is reflected directly in our pocket.
- Saving time: For many people, the travel time to the office can mean up to 50% of the working day over the time they spend in the office. A day of 8 working hours plus 4 hours of transportation is frankly… complicated.
- Balance between the professional entity and the staff: One of the main problems that office work implies is the complication for employees to develop in their personal sphere, both in the family environment and in other spheres that are so important to any person, for your emotional well-being as the job itself.
- Greater efficiency: Did you know that working at home makes you 13% more efficient on average? A scientific article published by the National Bureau of Economic Research confirms this; not only that, you are 9% more committed and your burnout is 50% less.
- Greater security: In addition to that, working from home is much more difficult for a health reason to prevent you from your daily activities, especially the “job risk” that involves moving daily from home to the office and back.
The advantages of remote work are for a wide range of reasons, and the cons seem to be especially small. At BBS we recently completed our first year of working from home. And there is no better way to find out how we live it, than consulting from within.
How do we experience remote work at BBS?
Although with a long history in the digital sector, and a great diversity of work schemes, like thousands of agencies in the country, the health emergency of 2020 forced us at BBS to withdraw and quickly adapt our work dynamics to the new reality. We did it? Well yes! And with greater efficiency than we would have expected.
Josué González is currently the Content Manager of BBS. His experience with us began as a community manager in 2020. For him, the avalanche of the “new normal” came a few months after joining the agency and, as for everyone, it was equally surprising.
“Initially it was complicated because despite the activity we carry out, we are used to going out, and cutting that routine can easily turn into anxiety problems or things like that. The first thing I did to solve it was to adapt my room to a work space where I could feel comfortable”.
After several months installed in his room/office, Josué was able to adapt well to his new rhythm of life and balance his professional participation within BBS and with his personal life. Months after doing so, Josué temporarily moved to the state of Guanajuato where, in addition to a change of scenery, he took the opportunity to spend time with his grandparents.
“For me, the ease that our work dynamics and technology provides us to be close to our family in far away places, is impressive. Living in contact with nature, in a small town, also makes my creativity reach its full potential. It suits me very well.”
The change in routine for Josué had many positive things, but it also implied an adjustment process where not all were advantages.
“In the disadvantages that I see from working from home, I think that initially there is an imbalance that is noticeable in the lack of communication between teams. The ease that the immediacy of having your teammates a few meters away gives you and being able to solve things faster is no longer there, so you have to learn to compensate for it in different ways.”
Although there is currently evidence based on extensive research that confirms Josué’s testimony, the complications of working from home as a current labor scheme are reduced to simple symptoms of adaptation and adjustments in the internal communication of a team.
Remote work is a reality that, on the one hand, we were forced to adapt thanks to the magnitude of the health contingency, but on the other hand, perhaps it should have become a reality at work years ago. Will it be a dynamic that is here to stay? At BBS we know it’s a yes.