Due to the pandemic, many offices and universities are closed until 2021. For young professionals, especially those pursuing graduate degrees, this unique situation has forced them to completely rethink their remote work and study habits and reorganize their priorities.
The lockdowns started in March 2020, so many people have been studying and working remotely for several months now. What are the pros and cons of remote work and study?
PRO: Setting your own schedule
Some people prefer to work and study at night, while others are early birds who would much prefer working early and having afternoons free. When you are on a fixed work or class schedule, you have no choice but to adapt. But when you are working and studying from home, you can more or less adapt your schedule to your needs – and it can be very beneficial.
Having this freedom ensures you are working when you are most productive and resting or running errands when you feel like it.
CON: Professional life overlapping with personal/family life
The freedom to make your own schedule, unfortunately, often means constantly sacrificing personal needs. Being on a fixed schedule can be limiting, but it also ensures that once work time is up, other dimensions of life are prioritized.
Now, many people are struggling with professional, personal, and family needs demanding their attention all at the same time. Feeling like work is never done, but at the same time that you are not able to concentrate, can be immensely frustrating.
PRO: Freedom to live anywhere
The best jobs and the best universities are often in extremely expensive cities. Young professionals, in particular, struggle with finding affordable housing and often have to sacrifice wonderful opportunities because they simply cannot afford to move.
Working or studying remotely is a great way to overcome those barriers and ensure that people can still seize opportunities without worrying about living costs. It also erases the urban/rural divide and it can contribute to alleviating the current housing crisis – you can live in a quiet town in the countryside and still work and study as if you were living in a big city.
CON: Few opportunities to advance
Nowadays, it is not hard to find a remote working or study program. But it is harder to advance in your career. Working and studying at home means missing out on important face-to-face mentorship and networking opportunities, the kind of organic interactions that can change a person’s life.
It can also limit your abilities to assess your skills and discover new learning and professional paths. When people study and/or work at home, they tend to focus only on their tasks at hand and are not as aware of what is going on in the university or workplace as a whole.
It will be interesting to see how our current working requirements will shape the future of work.
Many students and professionals have used this time to discover new career paths, enhance their skills, and re-think their long-term career goals. Remote work opportunities could become the new normal. Eventually, we’ll all have to decide whether to continue working or studying remotely. In the meantime, it will have been a valuable experience.
Interviewing for a job or want to discuss pivoting your career? Our Ilkmade Experts are here to help. From deciding on which programs are aligned with your goals to application review and interview prep, we’ve got you covered. Learn more here to see how we can support you through the tough decisions.