the pros and cons of working independently
Working independently can take numerous forms, including focusing from home, working on solo projects at work, and even going freelance. Working independently is a dream come true or a sensible next step on the career path or personal development plan for many individuals. During the COVID-19 epidemic, the necessity for remote work and unusual work patterns has increased the popularity of the concept of independent work during the past few years.
Those considering a move to independent work should carefully examine the benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether or not to pursue it. This article discusses ten benefits and ten drawbacks of working independently.
Here are the Pros and Cons of Working Independently:
1. You get all the credit!
Working independently entails that you are alone and accountable for achieving success and carrying out the work. This may sound intimidating, but it implies that you will receive credit when the job is approved. As there is no dispute regarding the origin of the ideas or effort, working alone can greatly enhance your professional credibility.
2. You get to be in charge
Being capable of completing chores on your own can be a thrilling experience. Similar to being empowered, the ability to work independently enables you to solve your own problems and make your own choices. This might not only expedite your work but also provide additional learning possibilities. This additional duty can help you become more self-motivated, and it will make you appear more reliable in the eyes of your bosses or peers.
3. Less conflict on your plate!
Working solo implies working with fewer people, or often no one at all, and this reduces the chance of professional conflict by necessity. Working alone helps you to focus your energy on the task at hand rather than on resolving conflicts with coworkers, which are typically the result of differences in viewpoint, variations in work practices, or good old-fashioned office politics.
4. You work at your own pace
Perhaps the greatest advantage of working independently is the ability to manage one’s own schedule. People who work alone are frequently able to determine their own work schedules and structure their tasks to maximize their own productivity. This is more difficult to accomplish when working with others or in project groups. In certain circumstances, you may be granted greater flexibility in your working pattern and schedule, which is beneficial for your job satisfaction and overall organizational skills.
5. There are lesser distractions
Working with others can result in distractions, some of which are associated with performance management or conflict. Working with others inevitably results in distractions.
Distractions result from general workplace commotion. This could include constantly ringing phones, idle chatter, and other workplace noise, as well as interruptions from contractors, cleaners, and the inability to work outside of office hours. You may be able to minimize these distractions by moving to a closed office or working remotely, by wearing headphones while working alone, or by minimizing unwanted meetings and encounters by working alone.
6. You don’t need to handle people
Managing a team or having leadership abilities, in general, can be an exciting prospect, but for some, it’s simply not their cup of tea. Eliminating the management or leadership components of a job liberates a substantial amount of time. This can be utilized to concentrate on job duties or to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Working independently can eliminate the need to manage others, but you may still need to collaborate with coworkers and manage them indirectly as part of general organizational interactions.
7. There is creative freedom!
Being able to work according to your own schedule and method is a surefire approach to stimulating creativity. You will have greater freedom to choose your own work speed, as well as much-needed time for reflection, innovation, and the generation of new ideas, all of which will propel your work forward. You may also be granted increased liberty and trust to implement your ideas without excessive approval levels.
8. Looking for jobs may be easier!
Employers and clients may rely on you to complete tasks if you have the ability to work alone. This may result in you being given additional solo tasks or being asked to train others in the same manner. You may also be tasked with establishing offices or projects with limited assistance or structure. You may even receive a promotion or be recognized for your dependability, initiative, and productivity.
9. There is more room for self-learning and development
Working alone affords you the ability to see projects and tasks through to completion. You may be expected to solve difficulties on your own or receive less assistance from others when confronting obstacles. As a result, we learn from both our successes and our failures. Working alone will expose you to additional challenges, which will make you stronger.
10. You’ll be more satisfied!
All of the benefits of working autonomously significantly contribute to job happiness. Even if you enjoy working as part of a larger team, the need to consider others will always prevent you from achieving maximum job satisfaction.
When you work alone, the sheer scope of being able to manage your own working experience makes it much simpler and more rewarding to achieve job satisfaction. Ultimately, if you are satisfied with your work, you will feel secure in your position and likely perform better as well.
1. It could get lonely
Large offices or teams have an energy that is difficult to reproduce elsewhere. Socialization is one of the most significant aspects of collaborative work, and its significance has been studied in more depth since the advent of remote work due to the epidemic. Humans, regardless of their extroversion or introversion, require some level of socialization for their overall health and wellness. People who work independently are deprived of this opportunity, and as a result, they may need to find new ways and locations to interact with others in a professional setting.
2. It’s really more stressful!
Working independently can lead to increased stress and workload. There may be as many tasks to do when working alone as when working in a team, but you will be responsible for all of them. This could involve administrative, human resources, or accounting activities performed by specialized divisions.
Some independent workers may do so with a metaphorical guillotine hanging over their heads. This is prompted by concerns such as “What if I fail?” and “What if I need help and no one is there?” The implications of the dreaded “What if?” questions are exacerbated when a person is solely accountable for a task or left to his or her own devices in determining how to finish it, resulting in a rise in stress levels.
3. You have to juggle more tasks and responsibilities
Even if you still have a direct supervisor while working independently, you will be required to handle yourself more. While this can be a freeing and exhilarating experience, you may find it difficult to gain the support of others if you do not belong to a direct team or if you have been given responsibility for tasks in addition to the task itself. If this describes you, investigate and comprehend the members of your support network, both inside and outside of the job. Having a mentor or objective advisor is frequently beneficial.
4. There is less teamwork
It is more difficult to get the benefits of teamwork when you work individually or from home. Not only may there be less direct assistance or someone next to you who can offer a second opinion, but you may also miss out on that lovely organizational buzzword: synergy.
Few things can match the collective intelligence of a high-performing team. For this reason, teams are typically composed of a wide variety of skill sets and personalities. As an individual worker, you may still indirectly profit from the teams around you, but being a part of a team can be extremely advantageous.
5. Less people contact and communication
Working individually may result in being out of the loop. This occurs frequently as an unintended consequence of working from home or alone, when you may miss cascading communications. Some may find being copied on emails and invited to meetings bothersome or time-consuming, yet they are frequently valuable and essential for inclusion and communication. These communications can have long-lasting implications, such as the loss of vital business and industry updates or an increase in emotions of isolation.
6. Efficiency could be an issue
Not only may working separately be more stressful, but it could also be less productive. Having to juggle multiple activities independently and manage workloads with little or no assistance may not be the most suitable working atmosphere.
Another difficulty associated with working independently is determining your optimal working pattern. Lone employees must have good self-management abilities. For some, working alone might result in a considerable loss of productivity or procrastination, which are not long-term sustainable behaviors.
7. No task delegation!
There may be a requirement for independent employees functioning in legally sensitive fields such as finance, law, or professional consulting to work across multiple sectors that naturally benefit from segmentation or separation. For instance, if you operate in a small company unit or a one-person office, you may be tasked with both selling and auditing or reporting these transactions, which can create a conflict of interest.
8. Less feedback for improvement
Working alone indicates that you are entrusted to do so. Therefore, managers may be less motivated or feel less compelled to provide you with feedback. On the surface, this may appear to be a utopia, but a steady stream of positive and constructive criticism is necessary to learn from mistakes and inspire oneself to accomplish greater heights. Independent workers will have to seek feedback elsewhere. This information could originate from customer evaluations, supplier feedback, or even self-assessment or reflective practice.
9. You’ll have a smaller network
Working individually may reduce networking and professional connection chances. Independent workers frequently work from home and may be significantly busier, making it more difficult for them to devote themselves to networking opportunities.
Being in a larger workplace or working in a team makes it easy to make introductions through coworkers or shared contacts. Additionally, it may be simpler to obtain invites to networking opportunities through the company or a professional association. Independent workers may need to rely more heavily on websites such as LinkedIn and location-specific online forums to network professionally with others in their area.
10. Less opportunities
Working with others is an excellent method of learning. You can learn a great deal from the good and the bad work of your coworkers. Some of the most effective ways for adults to learn are through socialization or collaboration treatments that allow for the exchange of ideas and thoughts. You will still have access to organizational learning practices whether you work independently or remotely, but you may need to actively seek them out or request certain learning opportunities, rather than receiving them automatically.
Working independently may seem like a brilliant idea and a gateway to a new and improved way of working, but the reality is that it will not be suitable for all individuals. Consider the aforementioned benefits and cons when contemplating a switch to independent work to assess if it’s the correct decision for you.
Those who enjoy working autonomously will likely experience a significant increase in personal and professional fulfillment as a result. Others may feel more at ease working in a team in a crowded office. Do what you believe is best for your own well-being, and keep in mind that if you don’t enjoy working independently, it is quite simple to return to your previous methods of employment.
Do you find working independently easier? Or do you flourish in a team atmosphere? Please share your thoughts in the section below.