Remote work and Well-being


There are pros and cons to remote work when it comes to our well-being. It could lead to a heated discussion because there are many things on the line.

In short, what works best for individuals, teams, and organizations varies. To consider it logically, it is useful to reflect on how our ‘relations’ are affected.

Our relations are cut off from the outside in a traditional work setting such as a factory or office. For instance, we are cut off from our homes, family, friends, neighborhood, nature, hometown, and personal activities. At least, we must act as if they were cut off.

This imagined separation between personal life and work life made it easier to focus on work and build work-related relations (e.g. with colleagues, work activities, work schedules, machines/equipment) while sacrificing other aspects of life.

Remote work has caused an interesting reverse of placing people back into the home environment where people are ridden with personal relations (e.g. with family members and neighbors, neighborhood and communities, and household activities). This made it possible to reconnect with the aspects of life people had previously been cut off from while making it harder to focus purely on work.

Remote work could affect people’s well-being positively or negatively depending on the kind of relations they have both at work and at home. Making organizational decisions without considering employees’ ‘personal’ circumstances may not lead to optimal results as remote workplaces them back into a ‘personal’ space. 

In short, remote work offers opportunities to reconsider our relations with our surroundings (e.g. people, locations, and activities). The reconfiguration of relations would affect people individually but also collectively in a complex way. Corporate decisions on remote work have significant effects on people’s well-being and thus require careful consideration.