It’s safe to say that Covid-19 has changed the way we do a lot of things, one of them being the way we work. More and more companies around the world are shifting towards operating remotely, with some allowing employees to pick their own work from home days.
Different people have different inclinations towards working from home compared to working from their office or workplace. One certain thing, however, is that the work from home lifestyle isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Working from home vs at the office – which one is better? Here’s a look into the advantages and disadvantages of both options.
Working From Home – Advantages
It saves time
Working from the comfort of your home has a lot of perks. Perhaps the one thing that a lot of people find to their liking is that working remotely saves a lot of time. Eliminating the burden of long commuting hours and heavy traffic is beneficial to everyone. People are also able to gain sleep time by starting the office day a few metres away from the bed.
This very much depends on each specific person. However, a recent Stanford University study including 16,000 workers over 9 months has found that productivity increases by 13% when working from home. Office politics, noise interruptions, environmental limitations and other possible disruptions are limited when working comfortably from your own space.
Buying to-go coffee and work lunch, paying for parking, fuel and other transportation types add up in the long run. Working from home means cutting down on certain work-life expenses.
Of course, when it comes to a company, especially an SME, saving on office space, office fees, utility bills and other facilities improves the financial situation of a company.
More time with loved ones
When everyone at home leads a hectic work and school life, being in the presence of the people closest to you can lessen the busier family members are. Having the people you live with work in the same place as you keep everyone close. This can also improve an employee’s mental health, which is an advantage on its own.
Working From Home – Disadvantages
Lack of social interaction
Covid-19 has truly proven that humans need each other’s company to truly function. The hustle and bustle of office life can be a motivating factor that makes employees feel like they are working together for a common goal, and that they can push and thrive together.
Having technology-related issues at work is often manageable, especially when an IT administrator can guide you through your problems. However, running across slow WiFi, hardware or software damage at home with nobody to guide you through it there and then can be difficult. It can also be a struggle if you don’t have quality laptops, printers, copy machines and more at home.
Less Physical Movement
You can’t deny that rolling out of bed and starting your workday a few steps away doesn’t have its perks – especially when it’s cold and rainy outside. However, spending your days in the same house or room can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Moving around is important and constantly sitting at your desk without at least walking to the workplace may be bad for you.
Working From The office – Advantages
There’s never a point in your career when networking is not needed. Networking brings about a variety of opportunities and connects you to experienced and open-minded people who will always have something valuable to teach you. Working from the office always leaves that door open, especially when new workers come in.
The collaboration, sharing of ideas and open discourse that an office boasts always does wonders when an employee requires advice – or for a creativity booster. At times, even simply being around other people makes employees think differently and get creative.
Learning of Communication Skills
If you work at an office, chances are you need to communicate with others in some way throughout the day. The good thing about working at the office is that your interpersonal abilities keep on developing the more people you meet and the higher up your position becomes with time. It’s safe to say that people skills are learnt mostly when you’re negotiating and dealing with other individuals at work.
Working at the office – Disadvantages
Lack of privacy
Are you a private person? Whether you’re a people’s person or not, there may be cases where keeping to yourself can be a bit difficult. In an office, most of what you do is out in the open, especially if you work alongside several people in the room. This may even feel uncomfortable or stressful at times.
Spreading of disease
Going through a pandemic instils a sense of health awareness. One of the worst things about working from the office is that the spreading of diseases easily occurs. Even if there are a limited number of people in the office space, making use of elevators, public restrooms, public kitchens and more spread disease quickly.
Staying on the move when sitting at a desk 8 hours a day is difficult. What’s more, the typical office day leaves most facing an energy slump after work, which gets in the way of working out afterwards. At times, inactivity may get the best out of you when working at the office. However, you can always seek to move around and work your body as much as you can to stay on the go.
When it comes to making the choice to work from the office or offer remote work possibilities, finding the right balance between the two that also makes sense to you is key.