Remote work has become quite common in the biotech and CRO industries. There are a variety of drug development jobs that allow for employees to work from home and the trend continues to grow. In 2017 it was reported that 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the U.S. workforce) worked from home for at least half the time. The number of regular telecommuting employees (excluding the self-employed) has grown by 115% since 2005. Here are some of the advantages and benefits of working from home.
Long stretches of quiet time means knocking out tasks that require focus. This can often be lacking in a traditional office environment (especially those with open offices). And while you will still have meeting with clients, managers, and colleagues, there are generally less meetings and more focused work time. This often means accomplishing more in less time. The benefit (if you schedule your time wisely), is that you will now have time for a bit more work-life balance including self-care such as exercise or meditation, which in turn improves your overall health. The key here is using your time wisely. Some people who work remotely end up always working and always making themselves available to colleagues and clients since they lack clear boundaries between time working and time off. It’s important to maintain those boundaries so you don’t get overwhelmed.
While you’ll still have deadlines to meet when working remotely, you will likely have more discretion over when you work. Some drug development companies prefer a remote workforce since they gain more availability from their employees that would otherwise be spent time commuting to and from the office. If you need to adjust your schedule for a doctor’s appointment or lunch with a friend you can do that without having to schedule early or late access to an office building or get special permission in advance.
While remote work doesn’t make you immune to office politics, it certainly can minimize those dynamics. It’s important to keep regular open communication with your team to avoid any misunderstandings. Working alone can amplify any conflict that arises since it may loom larger than it really is in your mind. Some of our suggestions for minimizing office politics are not venting to colleagues, avoiding gossip, finding ways to connect regularly.
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