Working from home (sometimes known as working remotely) is becoming quite popular these days. Why? Because it benefits both employers and employees. Employers can eliminate office costs and increase productivity while employees can work whenever they want and from wherever they want.
There is still some stigma attached to working from home. When people start to discuss their new working style, the audience usually just nods, smiles, and wonders what in the world is this person talking about. This is because working at your own schedule and from your preferred location still comes off as a weird concept to the general public.
Employers see the benefits of letting some or most of their employees work remotely but they hesitate to let them do so because of the fear that work ethic might suffer. This is where an employee time tracking software comes into play. With a time tracking app installed on employees’ system, employers can keep an eye on their daily progression.
Working from home
Now let’s discuss the major pros and cons of working from home.
- No commute. One of the best things about working from home is the lack of commute. Employees won’t have to wake up and get dressed in a hurry. They could get up at their own time and work from their living room. No traveling also frees an hour or two and saves money.
- Increased productivity. A relaxed environment creates productive employees. In 2013, two Stanford graduates conducted a study to find out if employees would be more productive at their home or in an office environment. The results were surprising as remote workers were found to be more productive. Why? Well, they believe that the environment at home is quieter, has fewer distractions, and is more comfortable, giving employees the stamina to work longer and avoid long breaks.
- Work from anywhere and for anybody. It doesn’t really matter where the main office is. You could live in Pakistan and work for a US company. This opens a lot of opportunities for both employers and employees.
- Plenty of distractions. The above-mentioned study found that people were more productive at home but unfortunately, that’s not true for everyone. There are plenty of distractions like children, spouses, and chores at home. Plus, it’s very easy to procrastinate when you’re not being monitored.
- Work can bleed into non-working hours. Distractions at home will waste employees’ time. To make up for lost time, they’ll have to work in non-working hours. Also, breaks are not well-defined. If employees are taking breaks frequently, they could find themselves working all day.
- Extroverts may suffer from isolation. Some employees revel in socializing with their co-workers. When working from home in complete isolation, their overall performance can take a hit.
Working from office
Now let’s discuss the major pros and cons of working from an office.
- Increased innovation. While working from home may increase productivity, working from office increases innovation. When employees are collaborating and brainstorming with their co-workers in close quarters, the creative juices tend to flow.
- Definitive start and stop time. When employees know that the day ends, for example, at 5 PM, they tend to finish their work on time. At home, there’s no definitive stop time so employees tend to slack off.
- Competitive environment. Co-workers indirectly motivate each other. When individuals are getting work done, everyone gets motivated to complete their own tasks as well.
- Commute. Traveling is a major headache for office employees. Especially for those who need to traverse great distances. It wastes precious time and money. Office employees also need to deal with the everyday hassle of getting ready for work.
- Encourages a somewhat inactive lifestyle. Employees are glued to their screens all day. When they get home, they’re too tired to do any strenuous activity. This promotes a sedentary lifestyle and can cause health problems in the long-term.
- The overall environment can be highly disruptive. There are many distractions at home but that doesn’t mean offices don’t lack them as well. Especially if there is an open office type environment. Phone conversations happening in the next cubicle can make employees lose focus. Employers and co-workers coming in to check or ask for something can also disrupt the whole flow.
Conclusion As you can see, there are valid advantages and disadvantages to both working from home and working from an office. Every person is different. Some might like working from the comfort of their living rooms while others may prefer working from their cubicles. It all depends on their nature.