Posted: September 23rd, 2020




As discussed in the Harvard Business Review article, “Is Your Organization Ready for Permanent WFH?” COVID-19 has changed the entire dynamic of the common workplace. The most prominent change would be the utilization of working remotely to the highest possible extent to ensure employees’ safety. While this article highlighted the positive aspects of working remotely, it is also important to pay attention to what sacrifices this comes within the workplace at the same time. As there are numerous advantages to this change in the workplace, there are many disadvantages as well. The disadvantages that stuck out the most overall of working remotely would be the increased distractions that come with being at home, the decrease of community and relationships in the workplace, and the feeling of isolation.

Disadvantages of Remote Work

Increased distractions

In general, those more easily distracted will find a way to be distracted one way or another. Even when in the workplace, it may be chatting among other coworkers, or getting off track and online shopping on your computer. But this does not deny the fact that when you are at home, some more than others, there are many more ways to become distracted. There is no boss to keep an eye out and make you stay on track, and you are not surrounded by others sharing a common goal. Now you are in your home, which was once a place designated for your personal life, is now a workstation.

Many times with working remotely, hours are not set the same as they used to be, and this will blur a line that used to be there. Now you can get your work done later if necessary, take longer breaks, and have much more room for flexibility. While this sounds ideal, this can be a huge distraction and ultimately make an employee lose a structure that used to be there. Not to mention most people do not live alone, and their life outside of work is a whole different world, with its own needs and duties. Whether someone lives with kids, grandparents, parents, pets, partners, it all comes along with its own responsibilities. Having the whole family home together mixes two lives. One could only imagine all of the unlimited distractions of working while having those in their personal lives around all day (DisplayNote, 2020). In general, more distractions lead to a slower work pace and potentially damaging quality of work. This is a legitimate concern everyone should keep in mind when they are going to work remotely or are currently.

Decrease of Community and Relationships in the Workplace

A factor many do not consider when it comes to quality work and performance in the workplace is the environment and culture within it. There are essential benefits that come along with having a community and relationships in the workplace. In the article “Disadvantages of Remote Learning,” a concern is emphasized: “No more hearing colleagues discuss projects, solving problems together or even eating lunch together. And the ideas that are sparked from those spontaneous interactions” (Mazitti & Sullivan EAP, 2018). Though there are ways to communicate online, there is no replacing seeing the same people five days a week, face to face. The excitement and motivation that comes from collaboration, staying up to date with news and trends with coworkers, building ideas off each other, or even just the community created in the workplace would be significantly sacrificed.

If that is all not enough already, there are more consequences to taking away the community and relationships in the workplace other than just that itself. The way that this would affect the quality of work from lack of collaboration, the excitement of the job, and building off each other’s ideas would make receiving promotions more difficult and reduce other work growth opportunities. Also, new employees would have no way to get a feel for the culture or be able to make new relationships. Regardless, taking this huge part of a workplace away has many consequences, which could even include the feeling of isolation, bringing us to our next point.


When an employee is unable to make work relationships with coworkers, or build a relationship with their higher-up’s face to face, it can lead to a feeling of isolation. The feedback does not feel the same, and it can feel as if they are all on their own. When employees start to feel isolated, they may shut down a bit and not have as many opportunities to stand out. Permanent remote work can lead to large decrease invisibility as their efforts can easily go unnoticed when everything is online. This can lead to a lack of motivation to go the extra mile because the fulfillment is not there when you do work that goes unnoticed.

Twitter’s Adjustment to COVID-19

Along with most businesses and corporations due to COVID-19, Twitter has made major changes, the most prominent being was giving employees the option to work from home indefinitely.

Twitter’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to keep its employees safe seems to adhere to not just the current situation, but to adapt to the “new normal permanently”. Twitter’s spokesperson stated, “So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen. If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return” (Byers, 2020). This seems to be a no-pressure approach when it comes to their employees, so they know their options are open and can decide what suits them best.

Twitter’s spokesperson also mentioned that they would have a gradual, slow, reopening of their offices, and they will not have any in-person company events for the rest of 2020 or any

business travel before September, with very few exceptions. From the information gathered, Twitter is preparing to adjust to the “new normal fully”. Since Twitter itself is online, remote work may be a more feasible option for them in comparison to other businesses/ companies. Regardless, without a doubt, they handled the current pandemic to the best of their ability along with other major tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft (Peters, 2020).

Is Remote Work Sustainable?

When asked the question, “Is remote work sustainable?” it feels as if the answer would be different each time depending on the company or job the work is for. Another factor that may change the answer depends on who is doing the work. Sometimes, yes, remote work can be completely sustainable for those who do coding, website design, data entry, data analysis, or anything, mainly individual and on the computer anyways. These jobs can get done, and with the quality, they need Zoom meetings, emails, or chatting online. Public relations or marketing careers certainly do have a lot of potentials to get things done remotely, but fully remotely, not so much. Referring to the previous example, for Twitter, remote work will have fewer disadvantages than other companies may experience. It all depends on what the product/ service is based on and how the company or business makes its success. We can do amazing things online in the business world because of technology, but we are not quite there yet, where remote work can fully take over. Not to mention the different personality types that come in to play.

For some, working online is no problem whatsoever, and for others, they could not deliver nearly the same quality of work. If every single job suddenly moved remotely, we would see a major decline in work quality and commitment. Yes, it may be better for employees for flexibility reasons, but it is not realistic to say we could have the same kind of success by not working together in person. In sales, business meetings, presentations, and many other important tasks, it is important to read body language and tone to get your point across the best possible or deliver the best work that is much more difficult to pick up just using a computer.

Overall no, I do not believe remote work is sustainable for a successful business. Maybe in the future, if the technology is able to mimic everything that we gain from working together in the workplace could be a possibility, but right now, that is not the case. There are many grey areas to this, and of course, we should utilize technology to its utmost potential, but not try and force it to be more than it is.


Advantages & Disadvantages of Remote Working. DisplayNote. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from

Byers, D. (2020). Twitter employees can work from home forever, CEO says. nbcnews. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from 1205346.

Disadvantages of Remote Work | Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP. Mazzitti and Sullivan EAP. (2018). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from

Peters, J. (2020). Twitter is now letting employees work from home indefinitely. The Verge. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from pandemic.


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