Work from home or work from office is a choice you must make. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each before you start a new job or decide to change your current work situation.
One benefit of working from the office is being able to leave work when you are done. This helps to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
The biggest reason people choose to work from home is the flexibility it offers them. This is especially important for families with young children or elderly parents who need to be available. Working from home also allows employees to work around personal commitments such as doctor’s appointments or events like weddings and birthdays.
A growing number of jobs are available to be performed entirely remotely, even those traditionally considered office-based positions. These are often referred to as “flexible” or “hybrid” work arrangements. Some flexible work arrangements are designed to allow a worker to split their time between working from home and the office, while others involve a strict set of rules for when and where a worker must be physically present.
There was a time when telecommuting didn’t exist, and even the term “work from home” was not widely used. In those days, it was necessary to provide a telephone, pager or fax for colleagues and clients who needed to get in touch when you were out of the office. In addition, there were few options for workers to create a comfortable and productive workplace, since most offices had standard temperatures, lighting and settings that favored efficiency rather than comfort.
Today, the flexibility of working from home is widespread and accepted in many industries. According to a McKinsey survey conducted in spring 2022 with market-research firm Ipsos, about 80 million Americans work from home at least part of the week. In fact, when job seekers decide between two similar offers with equal compensation, offering the option to work from home is a major differentiator. In addition, the ability to work flexibly is a key reason why people stay with their employers.
2. Reduced commuting costs
Working from home allows employees to save on commuting costs by eliminating the cost of gas, insurance and vehicle maintenance. Additionally, those who work from home may be able to save money on childcare and after-school programs as well as on elder care costs. These savings can have a major impact on an employee’s budget.
Having a designated workspace for work can also reduce the cost of furniture and other office necessities that are needed to perform their job. However, working from home requires a lot of focus and discipline, especially if it is not the primary way an employee does their job. The lack of a structured schedule can lead to people working longer than they should, which can cause burn out and increased work-related stress.
Many studies have shown that work-from-home productivity is as high or higher than in-person productivity. Despite the challenges, working from home is a great option for those who can do it and want to do it.
One of the biggest costs that a person encounters on a daily basis is commuting to and from work. The average American worker spends at least 27 minutes on their commute to and from work each day, which adds up over the course of a year. Working from home can help cut down on these commuting costs and can be beneficial to the environment as well. Additionally, working from home can allow an individual to eliminate distractions such as television, pets and household chores that would otherwise interfere with their work performance.
3. Increased productivity
When you work from home, it’s up to you to stay focused on the task at hand and not get distracted by social media or chores around the house. If you’re able to maintain high levels of productivity, working from home can help you achieve a better work/life balance.
If you choose to work from home, you can create a quiet workspace that is free of distractions and is conducive to your productivity. According to FlexJobs, employees who have the right set-up and make the most of their time at home often report that they are more productive than their office-based colleagues.
Remote workers can also avoid the germs that spread in close-quartered offices, which is particularly helpful during a pandemic. Office spaces are often packed, and co-workers share germs by touching one another, talking in the same space, or eating the same food. In addition, a recent study showed that employees who work from home were less likely to catch a cold or have other health problems than those who went into the office.
However, if you’re working from home you will have to learn to communicate via email and text instead of person-to-person meetings. This can be difficult for some people, but it’s a necessary skill that will help you develop and grow as a worker.
Ultimately, it’s best to allow employees to choose where they work, within limits. For example, new hires should probably spend at least some time in the office before being allowed to work from home full time. Likewise, if an employee isn’t performing well at home, they should be brought back into the office. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology and flexible working arrangements, this is becoming easier than ever.
4. Reduced work absences
When working from home staff can use the time saved on their commute to do things that improve their work life balance eg getting exercise, doing household chores or making a healthy dinner. This helps staff to feel more rested and better able to focus at work.
There’s also the potential to reduce work absences by allowing staff to stay home when they are sick. This was a key consideration for many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, when sickness absences dropped and many people worked from home rather than going to the office.
However, while productivity may spike initially when staff are working from home, it can decline over the longer term. This is due to the fact that boundaries between work and home life can become blurred as people struggle to switch off, resulting in burnout. This is particularly problematic when working from home, where it’s difficult to see colleagues and maintain a sense of connection.
If a company wants to keep its remote workers happy, it needs to ensure that they are properly trained and provided with the right equipment for their tasks. In addition, it must make sure that remote staff are able to get access to the technology they need to do their jobs effectively, such as web-conferencing tools for meetings. It’s also important to set clear ground rules for working from home, including how much supervision they will receive and when their days should start and finish. It’s also helpful to encourage them to create a ritual to mark the end of their day, such as cleaning their desk and turning off their laptop. This will help them to feel more ready to switch off, and will prevent them from procrastinating or putting off work for later.
5. Increased productivity
Working from home or work from office can be a great way to increase productivity. Without distractions such as loud co-workers or constant interruptions, you can focus on getting the job done. Additionally, you can save time by not having to commute. This can free up three to four hours of your day. This extra time can be used to complete more projects or to catch up on emails and meetings.
However, it’s important to have a strong work ethic and not get distracted. There can be many things that can pull you away from your work such as social media, television or a nap. If you’re not careful, your workday will blur into your home life and lead to burnout.
It’s also important to hone your communication skills when working from home. This may require you to learn how to use email and text versus speaking with colleagues face-to-face. In addition, it can be helpful to create a ritual to end your workday. For example, you could write your to-do list for the next day, take a quick walk or review some of your workday accomplishments that you are proud of.
The benefits of working from home are clear, and if you can manage your work environment well it can be very effective for both you and your team. However, it’s critical to consider the pros and cons of both options to determine what is best for your specific situation. If you’re thinking of working from home, consider implementing it gradually to see how it impacts your performance and overall satisfaction. If you’re already working from home, make sure to set up a system of daily communication with your team and implement tools like a help desk solution.