Since the COVID-19 epidemic swept the globe earlier this year, there has been much discussion about the future of the workplace as lockdowns and social distancing measures have become commonplace.
In the midst of the virus, businesses are being pushed to redefine how employees work and the conventional roles of offices, and while the issue around remote working productivity is not new, it is being explored more comprehensively.
COVID–19 has also expedited the inevitable remote working shift, with more firms across the world contemplating extending work from home (WFH) alternatives in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.
As countries proceed to loosen their restrictions, we examine whether working from home or in the office is the suitable solution, so you can make an informed decision.
Working from Home
Working from home indicates complete independence because you will be isolated from coworkers and your supervisor. But being independent entails more than simply working in your PJs; you must be a self-starter, be self-motivated, highly disciplined, and focused in order to function with minimum advice and supervision. Working from home can put your time management abilities to the test. Some people may actually get more done in a home office setting since they are able to tune out distractions.
If you take out the time you spend traveling, chit-chatting with coworkers, dealing with distractions, and eating lunch at your desk, you’ll find that you have a lot more time to get things done. In fact, working from home frees up time not just for work, but for yourself as well.
Work from Anywhere You Want
If you work from home, you can sit on the couch, a bean bag chair, or even in a neighborhood coffee shop! Wherever is comfortable to you, as long as you have access to a location that has reliable internet service.
Are you not a morning person? Or do you work better at night? Working from home allows you to avoid the traditional 9-5 working hours and provides you the freedom to choose your own time, whether day or night. Some people are simply wired to be more motivated, effective, and creative at odd hours of the day.
Maybe you’re weary of missing your favorite boxing match every now and then, or you’ve been canceling on loved ones too many times. Working from home allows you to work on the weekend to make up for a special occasion you missed during the week. This allows you the opportunity to blend your social and personal lives with your professional life in a healthy manner.
Work from home is a delight for those introverts who want it the most. The majority of your job no longer hinges around the schedules of others, which implies more time for more sleep or more time for yourself while eating breakfast. Working from home allows you to get your day started without having to rush to the workplace.
If you’re an extrovert, being pent up at home for eight hours, five days a week, can drive you insane. As a social being, you require connection and engagement on a regular basis.
Lack of Organization
If you need more structure in your life, you probably see the daily commute to work routine as a requirement to keep you disciplined and concentrated on the day’s duties ahead. This is especially true for those who prefer to work outside the house.
Imagine you’re five minutes into starting work when your internet crashes, and you won’t be able to reconnect for the next two hours. One disadvantage of working from home is that you do not have the same level of access to technology that you would in an office setting. Working from home can potentially limit access to digital platforms owing to data security or consumer protection concerns.
A Never-ending Cycle of Work
One disadvantage of working from home is you could lose sense of time and space, and find yourself working late into the evening without realizing it. Some people believe that there must be a clear separation between personal and professional life, and they will go to any length to keep the two from blurring together.
Working from Office
For people who require more structure in their daily routines, the traditional 9-5 may work. Face it: human beings aren’t perfect, and routines like going to work make us feel like our lives have some sort of order. This may be especially beneficial for people who want to adhere to established working hours, as it may teach you how to better manage your time – being productive when necessary at work and relaxing when it is over.
Some people get to know their closest pals in the workplace. Working and being among the same group pushes you to talk with them. Sure, you can’t connect with every single person, but one or two will stay with you. Offices are good places to make new acquaintances and create a personal network.
Opportunities for Learning and Improvement
Working in an office may train you to act professionally. You will naturally learn how to interact with individuals from all backgrounds in the best way possible. You might also broaden your understanding by observing others. Working at an office is also an excellent opportunity to find a mentor and grow professionally.
Appreciating Time Off
You’ll have a much deeper appreciation for holidays because your workplace won’t be open during those times. You’ll be able to appreciate and make full use of your time off during the holidays.
Be Caught Up
Keeping up to speed on work-related news and meetings can make you better connect to your workplace. You could do so through the workplace intranet as well, but it won’t feel the same as receiving information on-site and in-person.
Motivation to Improve
Being surrounded by intelligent peers may inspire you to strive and perform better. And, let’s face it, no one wants to be recognized as the employee who slacks off or underperforms.
Even though the number of COVID-19 cases has been dwindling significantly in recent months, we have seen on and off double digit rise in recent weeks. Employers may play a critical role in the fight against the virus, in addition to mask usage and social distancing, by allowing workers to work from home, avoiding potential infections when commuting, at work, and going out for lunch.
Nobody likes getting caught in traffic on their way to work. It is not only a waste of time and money, but it is also detrimental to the environment. The dreary commute is sometimes the biggest setback for many and is a major reason why they begin their morning on the wrong foot.
Promotes Sedentary Habits
Being inactive for long periods of time is detrimental to your physical health, as well as your mental and emotional well-being. Not only do you acquire sluggish habits, but you also strain your neck and back.
Relationships Aren’t Always Pleasant
Unlike friends, you don’t get to pick who you work with. These forced relationships seldom work out and can result in issues such as favoritism, continual arguments, or just a clash of personalities.
Are you sick but don’t qualify for a medical certification (MC)? Employees are frequently left in ambiguity in regards to their physical health and coming to work. Working from home appears to be the more flexible and convenient alternative for days when you don’t feel well but don’t need a health certificate.
Though open spaces have been regarded as a fantastic method to interact and cooperate with people, they may certainly result in a lot of disruptions and distractions.
Which is Better?
At the end of the day, employers want workers to be productive and engaged while working, no matter whether they’re physically in the office or otherwise.
Research by Gallup found that when workers split their time between working remotely and at an office with their coworkers, especially when they spend three to four days away from the office, employee engagement rises.
And, because of advancements in technology, increasingly sophisticated work-from-home applications such as video conferencing, cloud collaboration software, and more technical softwares may allow practically any office task to be completed fully remotely.
The goal here is to strike a balance between working autonomously and meeting with bosses and coworkers in person. According to the report, remote employees progress more throughout their day when working from home.
Employee autonomy and flexibility may result in higher productivity and make employees better connect to their company. The verdict is: Both are good.
Working from home or at an office is not inherently better or worse; rather, it depends on the individual and their own unique circumstances. So a thorough self-assessment on one’s preferred environment and how it affects their productivity is called for.
Hybrid work is a work arrangement in which an employee spends some of their time working at the office and some of their time working remotely. It’s an alternative to the dilemma of either working from home or working from the office full-time.
Employees in a hybrid workplace have more options for when and where they do their job, which improves their quality of life and productivity. In a hybrid work arrangement, employees should feel comfortable splitting their time between the office and their homes without sacrificing productivity. The adaptability of hybrid jobs varies from one company to another.
Employees recognize the benefits of a flexible work schedule. According to research performed by Wakefield Research, over half of all workers (47%) are prepared to go elsewhere for employment if their current company does not provide a flexible working arrangement.
Thus, the results of a poll conducted by New At Work in April 2022 showing that 77% of businesses have chosen to become hybrid should come as no surprise. Five-sixths of those businesses in the survey are also granting workers the freedom to determine for themselves if and when they will report to work.
At the End of the Day…
There is no clear winner between working from home and working in an office because each has its own pros and cons. In the meantime, more and more businesses will opt for hybrid working as a viable option to increase productivity of its employees, opening up options for workers to choose depending on their own preferences. The most important thing for both companies and employees to remember is to fight for the working conditions that make everyone the most efficient and productive. If you’re wondering whether working from home or the office suits you better, take our quiz and find out!