Over the last years, remote work has emerged as a transformative trend, providing flexibility and efficiency to employees and employers. However, this potentially innovative opportunity may have a significant social impact (whether positive or negative) when considering a cost/benefit analysis.
Remote work offers remarkable advantages: does not require daily movements towards the office and, such employees save time and money. Furthermore, it enables better work-life balance, benefiting mental health and employees well-being. Companies can also benefit, since their ability to attract talent is not constrained by geographical boundaries.
Nevertheless, remote work widespread adoption can affect how people live in society, interact, communicate, and build relationships. In-person collaboration fosters more effective and spontaneous communication, promotes quicker sharing of ideias and innovation, and increases cooperation (in online meetings interruptions or waitin moments lead to loss of reasoning). The absence of these moments can harm creativity and team cohesion.
Remote work can also enhance digital inequality, if employees do not have equal access to reliable technology and internet. Thus, an increase in social disparities through equity upon access and work methods is a possibility, as well as, the way to develop individual skills.I
n summary, remote work offers an opportunity to societal change, but it enables some social quandaries. To maximise benefits and minimise negative impacts, it is essential to find a balance between flexibility offered by remote work and the importance of social interactions regarding individual and collective well-being.