Remote vs. Virtual Work – Pros & Cons

By  //  August 28, 2023

The changing style of working from the office, operating from a remote location, or working from home has become a reality for a wide majority of knowledgeable employees.

Remote working is considered to be location-based work. It refers to being physically aside from leadership, co-workers, and company office space.

On the other hand, virtual working is more of collaboration, communicating, and interacting in a virtual space.

The method of remote vs virtual working has been growing and eventually creates a haze for group meetings or the absence of teamwork.

The covid-19 pandemic has further facilitated people to either work remotely or operate virtually. In less than ten years, several digital, service, and knowledge workers will function either way.

What Does Remote Working Mean?

In remote working, the style does not presume the employee’s presence in a physical office set-up. Remote professionals can work from any desired location, country, or part of the world.

Moreover, remote working has been increasing in recent years but specifically accelerated by the outbreak of the global pandemic in 2020.

Remote working supported by technological advancements manifests a perspective shift in management and human resources.

The global companies that offer remote working conditions chiefly operate as customer service, software engineers, marketing, accounting, and sales management. Some of the companies using global remote workforce are:

  • Shopify, the multichannel and cloud-based platform, which designs set-ups and manages stores across the sales channel.
  • Zapier is a remote company constantly recruiting for full-time sales, customer service, and marketing roles.
  • GitLab, a DevOps platform, enables remote professionals to function tasks in projects and source code management towards security and monitoring.

The significant aspect of remote working has brought the workforce and its employers to build strong relationships. Instead of measuring the number of hours spent inside the working space, it measures the KPI and goals set for the employee.

What Does Virtual Working Mean?

The concept of virtual work depicts individuals working from home offices using integrated or modern technology and meeting company goals and objectives.

Virtual workspace allows the employees and management to remain connected through a private network or via intranet and internet with one another through Skype, cloud computing programs, phone calls, and several other options of virtual interaction.

With the rise of virtual working or teleworking, there has been an increase in the number of employees who work one day at home and relies on the remote working facility.

Companies such as Flex Jobs offer both working from home and working from the physical workspace. As per the research, four million employees in America work from home at least one day a week and spend a minimum of time working remotely.

To know more about virtual working, you can check out Real Wealth Business and understand how it worksout for different businesses.

Some of the tools that assist in making up a virtual workplace are-

  • Project management applications like Basecamp and Trello.
  • Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA) assisting in the manager’s calendar set-up, slot traveling booking, and placing online purchases for the company.
  • Cloud computing includes tools such as Google Suits and DropBox, allowing managers and employees to align work virtually.

Remote Work Pros 

Given below are some of the remote working advantages which will help your workforce to achieve effective work performance—

1. Better Work-Life Balance

The remote working facility does not require facing bumper traffic daily while enabling one to take up any hobby or spend more time with family.

Although the employee can focus more on work, it can give them some free time and generate higher productivity.

2. Remote Working Best Suits Self-Motivated Employees

As per the research, employee productivity during remote working is considered high. Moreover, remote working exhibits a higher self-motivation, accountability, and responsibility rate.

Therefore, the Zoom application recently added a feature that could mimic expressions to relieve employee fatigue.

Eventually, these traits make it much less reason for employees to play hermit during working hours.

3. Improved Employee Experience

With less daily commute, fewer coffee breaks, and long hours of staying away from family and friends, remote working has been assisting employees in improving their well-being and experience.

Offering full employee experience can generate a culture of efficiency and high performance where the employees would feel motivated to succeed and improve work performance.

4. Increased Productivity 

Unlike the employee who visits the office every day, remotely working employees are comparatively fresh and positive in the morning when they start working.

For instance, the sales department of Shopify it had generated a stock value of 2750% since 2016 only by operating remotely.

Remote Work Cons

Given below are some of the remote working cons which will help your workforce and company to avoid the redundant situation—

1. Lack of access to information

With a physical onboarding process, it might be easier for the employees to locate and find information that must be managed at work.

With the long duration of remote working, the number eventually increases since the workforce is more on their own and is unable to manage meetings or assist colleagues.

2. Decrease Rate of Collaboration 

In remote working, employees are less likely to meet one another or communicate randomly during lunch breaks. Since communication seems irrelevant from a distance, it eventually hampers communication and team collaboration.

Furthermore, remote team working strictly restricts conversation to work and with no informal chats if it makes the team members feel confined in reaching out for any challenge or issue that might affect their work.

Virtual Work Pros 

Given below are some of the virtual working advantages which will help your workforce to achieve effective work performance-

1. Increased Productivity

Virtual working is further linked to working from home, where employees benefit from a flexible working schedule. This permits them to work around significant other tasks, such as doctor appointments.

With virtual working, employees can schedule their breaks and other related routines.

2. Improved Employee Retention Rates

Employers do not have to fret about relocation costs in the virtual workplace. However, this allows the company to retain its valued employees, and they do not have to stress about replacing them every time it relocates.

3. Cost Saving

With the traditional setup, the office usually spends thousands on maintenance costs and office space. For instance, the office can avoid making payments of:

  • Regular cleaning services.
  • Food and cafeteria expenses.
  • Rent and other utilities.
  • Real estate taxes.

Virtual Work Cons

Given below are some of the virtual working cons which will help your workforce and company to avoid the redundant situation—

1. Social Isolation 

Flexible virtual working can be highly beneficial for maintaining a work-life balance but can lead to isolation.

It is the pre-conceived notion of the virtual worker who often struggles with specified tasks and might know who they are and what they can work for.

While team building can also be tough, there can be a loss of water cooler effect when the workforce is present across the water cooler.

2. Potential Security Risk

If people have the liberty to access confidential trade secrets, they might be more vulnerable.

Employees who can access company documents can commit offenses of data breaching. Thus, even if a particular virtual project device gets hacked, every minute detail of the company might be in danger.

In the current business situation, organizations worldwide prefer a virtual office setup to a traditional one.

However, with some of the advantages, there are even drawbacks.

This is the primary reason to know about the working conditions and then decide whether to turn the business to remote vs virtual conditions.