One can opt to either working in a group or working individually, for a project. What one needs to see is what works best for the particular project i.e individual work vs group work. See what gives the best results, then choose it accordingly.
None of the options are without merit. Both have its pros and cons. This article takes a look at the advantages and disadvantages of working individually.
Teamwork vs Individual Work – Which is Better?
When you are working in an organization, there will be instances where you will have to work in teams and sometimes as an individual. It all depends upon the type of task which you are assigned.
Employees usually prefer their own style of approach for working, where some like to work on their own and a few others enjoy working in as a team.
Both kinds of approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages. So deciding which one is better can be finalized by having a look at the below pros and cons.
Jeffrey Stibel has said: “Programmers are exponentially faster when coding as individuals; designers do their best work alone; artists rarely collaborate and when they do, it rarely goes well.”
Advantages of working individually:
- You become very efficient
- Things get completed quickly
- No chances of any conflicts
- You are praised for all the work done
Advantages of working in a team:
- Creative ideas are flown in through brainstorming sessions
- Peer pressure
- Good networking opportunity
- Letting others win sometimes
Advantages and Disadvantages of Working Individually Comparision Table:
Advantages of Working Individually:
Whatever a person chooses to do, there are advantages to it. Do take a look at some of the advantages of working individually or the benefits of working for yourself.
1. Be the boss:
One major plus or advantage of working alone is that a person need not be answerable to someone else. They can be the boss. They can choose to do things the way they want to.
2. Take Full Credit:
However, one may have done a job, the credit goes to that person alone. The reason being that the job was done alone by him. There will not be anyone else to share it.
One would also never have to feel disillusioned, like when a person who did less still gets acknowledgment for a job well done, just because he was part of a team. However, since a person is opting to work alone, there will not be any more such issues.
3. Easy to focus:
When you are alone doing a job, it becomes more convenient for one to concentrate properly. Interruptions are as well, much less, when the person works alone. It becomes easy to focus.
If in a group, one could get easily carried away while conversing. Work also becomes less productive as the group gets more involved in chatting, gossip sessions and so on.
4. Decide what to do and when:
Even if the job is given to a person, it still is the person who decides how to go about it. The person can choose what to do and at what time, so as to get the best results.
One is in charge of the goal while working individually. There would be no one else to interrupt. There will not be anyone to differ with the choices made. One can choose when to start and complete a job.
5. Become Independent:
Since the sole responsibility will be with one person, they would also learn to make their own choices. One will go on to be the decision-maker, even as they learn to be more independent.
Since the person is not working in a group, one cannot hope to get any help or suggestions from any other person. Consequently, the person would learn to do the job on his own.
6. No outside pressure:
If a person is working alone, there is no pressure from anyone to do the job in a certain way or at a particular time. No one would try to influence their idea on someone.
One would have to make proper decisions. It would also be an opportunity to find oneself. One need not get approval or even help from someone else to complete the job.
7. They are fast:
There are no interruptions to complete the work if one chooses to work alone. The person would also not be distracted watching others at work, so work can get done more efficiently and promptly. There will not be any further delay in the work.
8. No need to distribute the work:
If the person is opting to work individually, one would not need to distribute work equally among the others in the group. There will also not be any confusion like at the time when someone is given more work to do, in comparison to the other.
Since there is only one person, there will be no one vying to get the job done. Also, there is no competition to get the job done.
9. Know what is going on:
A person working alone would have a better knowledge of how things are. They would know the complete status of a job. The person would know what to expect.
The person who is working individually will know about the total progress of the job, they would also be aware of how much time would be needed to complete it.
10. More clarity:
Since there is only one person doing the job, one will find that things are more clear, as there is no confusion. There will not be too many people to put in their ideas or thoughts on how to complete the work properly. Lack of confusion also means better clarity for the person to finish the work.
11. A challenge to work alone:
It would be a challenge to work alone. People may find it difficult to come up with ideas, on their own. Nevertheless, it would be interesting for people to come up with viable ideas without any help. One would have to work alone and cannot rely on someone else. It would also make them more creative.
Disadvantages of Working Individually:
Aside from the advantages, there are some disadvantages, as well as working alone, same as with working in a team. Below are some of the cons of working individually.
Sometimes, a person might opt to work alone on a project or job. This project might complete easier when done in a group because there are more people contributing to it. However, still, someone because of various other reasons might opt to work alone. The person might take longer to complete or to do the job, rather than when in a group.
2. No Help:
If a person opts to work individually on a project or job, one cannot expect someone else to be there to support one throughout the project. One would have to come up with ideas on their own because there would not be anyone else to share or come up with their ideas to complete the job. In case of any confusion, the person would have to solve it on their own.
3. Sole Responsibility:
One would have the sole responsibility for a project. There would not be anyone else to help with it or even shoulder the responsibility. In case, if the job ends in failure, one would have to assume responsibility on their own. There would not be someone else to take over for the person.
4. No one to motivate:
One other thing to consider while working in a group is that there will not be anyone to motivate the person who has taken up the job. If ever one loses heart in between, the person would have to motivate oneself to complete the job with success.
5. Constraint in Ideas:
One thing to take into consideration is that when one is working alone, one does not have anyone else come up with their ideas. The person would be constrained with just his idea to work on. Mostly working on creative projects, one might feel the loss of other people who come in with different ideas.
6. If delayed:
In case, if the person is not able to complete the job on time or if one falls ill in between job, there will not be anyone who can take up the job and complete it for you. If in a group, someone else could take over for the person and do the job well. However, since the person is working alone, that would not be possible.
7. Not many skills:
It is understood, that not even the most competent or qualified person can have all the skills to do all the jobs. However, if one is working in a group, you can find a group of people, with a variety of skills to help complete the job.
8. Too much of stress:
Completing work is time-consuming and involves lots of stress. Since, a person is working alone, completing the entire task can be heavy. At the same time, if there is a group of people involved in doing the job, they can share the work, equally amongst themselves.
9. Can be a bit boring:
When a person is working alone, to complete a job it can get a bit boring. Chance is one could get bored having no one to talk to or even share ideas with, while on the job. A person could get lonely, unlike one working in a team.
Working Independently Interview Questions:
As mentioned earlier, working remotely or working in as a team options both depend upon the individual and the task he is assigned.
Here are a few questions to test if candidates can handle working remotely along with suitable examples.
Interview Question #1
“Tell me about a time where you had to make a vital decision without the help of a supervisor or boss?”
Through this question, the employer would be guessing how good he is in when working alone and testing his decisions taking skills.
“I made a settlement decision on a claim that was in excess of authority, but a decision was necessary immediately. I weighed the outcome to the organization and to the customer, both the long- and short-term ramifications, and tried to put myself in the position of the manager and of the client. Based on the relationships, I made a decision. It turned out to be the right decision and I was able to explain it to all the interested parties in a factual manner.
I decided to start scanning/emailing files for defense attorneys instead of photocopying/mailing them. It was incredibly wasteful and expensive for us to copy and mail these files, not to mention time-consuming. Once received, many of the defense firms were scanning them anyway so it made sense to scan and email on our end to cut down on processing time. After sending the first file this way, I let my boss know what I did and why I did it and it became procedure to scan and email defense files”
Interview Question #2
“Tell me about a time when you got tough feedback from your boss?”
Here the employer can see how the remote employee is dealing with tough feedback. Turning the feedback to constructive feedback and working on it would inturm help the employee in working more efficiently.
“I once spent a substantial amount of time preparing for a training session and felt I had done a great job during the training. Afterward, my manager gave me some constructive criticism about the session which I was shocked to hear. The criticism included that I went into too much detail and didn’t keep it high level enough. I initially was disappointed in myself, but later learned that I did need to build the training session to the audience and I curbed some of the unnecessary detail from future sessions.
There was an issue with recoverable deductibles not being applied correctly. This was not just me making an error, but a majority of adjusters. We had to complete a review of certain claims and enter YES or NO for whether it was accurate. I had reviewed the claim and thought everything was good on my claims. Unfortunately, I erred. I was called into a private meeting and given feedback that was not very positive for my career. After the meeting, I went back to my desk and continued to work in a diligent matter. I was very cautious on future claims with recoverable deductibles and understood the importance to the organization in applying correctly. I did not “sulk” over the feedback. I made a mistake, was informed of the mistake, and I took action to avoid the mistake in the future. The tough feedback turned into constructive feedback. “
Working individually is a good option as it can help one to know about his abilities and management skills when put under pressure. Though it has both advantages and disadvantages, planning accordingly to the project on how to work would be a wise decision.