The corona virus changed everything overnight, the lockdown was enforced, and social distancing became the new norm. People are staying connected with friends and family through video calls and schools have started giving online classes on video conferencing apps. With the lockdown in place, more than 3 billion people, excluding the essential workers like defense and healthcare officials, have been pushed to work from home. Corporations and authorities around the world have no other option than providing flexible working conditions including work from home. It is one of the biggest changes the world has ever witnessed.
As of now, most of the companies are afraid of reopening their offices and going back to the traditional way of working as they understand the responsibility and the risks of the virus. Even a single employee getting infected can wreak havoc in the workplace, which will spell nothing but disaster for the entire company. Though most of the companies along with employees prefer work from home, few of them still prefer work from office as a better option.
To get a better idea which one might be best for you, read the full article.
Work from Home
Working from home can be an appealing career move. It eliminates most of the traditional aspects of going to work, like commuting and dressing in business attire, while reducing social interaction and standard means of accountability. But at the same time it also have few drawbacks.
Pros of work from home
Agility and flexibility
Work from home gives more agility and flexibility. With employees no longer fixed to an office, they are better positioned and more willing to work flexibly, such as earlier or later in the day or even at weekends, which saves time.
Applications such as Skype, Google Meet have made communication between colleagues and teams much more effortless and paces the way for efficient and effective meetings. It further reduces absenteeism and enables the person to work in an energised manner throughout their schedule.
Better work/life balance
Without a commute, employees are spending more time with their families, cooking, exercising, reading, and enjoying the outdoors. More flexible schedules allow them to take meaningful breaks throughout the day.
When you work independently in a quieter environment, you may be more productive. Increased productivity relates to several more factors including the ability to move around your home freely and take breaks whenever you feel the need to. Being able to step away from your work when you feel like you need a break can help you stay motivated and reduce burn-out.
Improved technical and communication skills
Telecommuting often requires using technical applications, such as online meeting, communication and team collaboration platforms. You are able to develop technical skills that you may not typically use in a physical workplace. Working from home requires consistent communication between teams and managers, which likely requires more emails, phone calls, video calls and chats in messaging platforms. Regular use of communication tools will improve your skills.
Grants and incentives
Depending on the industry you work in and where you live, you may be eligible for various grants or telecommuting incentives. Some states have remote worker incentive programs that offer monetary allowances in order to motivate workers to relocate to those areas. Consider available grants for remote workers to help you pay for your home office setup.
Build professional networks
Being able to work with a diverse range of people can result in adding to your professional network. You can develop professional relationships through networking that can lead to future advancement opportunities.
Cons of work from home
The flexibility that remote work brings is a double-edged sword. Unlike the office environment where you may focus more because you’re being supervised, working from home allows distractions from people, pets, social media, or habits. It’s easy to get side lined by laundry, Netflix, or even grocery shopping on some days.
Rise in telecommunication costs
The amount that one is likely to use on their mobiles increases while working from home. Not being around any of your colleagues will also imply that the phones are used more frequently. If the business isn’t utilising video conferencing software, telecommunications costs also rise.
Work place disconnect
Telecommuting can sometimes lead to a disconnect between you and your co-workers. Working from home means you won’t have access to immediate information about important business processes until someone in the company communicates it to you. Make sure to stay connected with your physical workplace through constant communication whenever you have questions or concerns.
Less face time
With isolation and workplace disconnect comes less face time. Working remotely, you won’t have the same opportunities to speak face-to-face with co-workers and the community unless you get out and about. You can also integrate more face-to-face interactions within online conference platforms to engage with co-workers.
Work from Office
Although remote work has been successfully implemented in our country, many professionals are looking forward to returning to their office environment, as they miss working together with other colleagues, sharing their daily life and getting inspired in spaces specially designed to stimulate their creativity.
Pros of work from office
Better distribution of work space
Working in an office involves, on certain occasions, to carry out tasks in functional and highly optimised workspaces. These types of spaces allow for the free circulation of workers in a fluid manner and in this way, increase and improve interaction with other partners.
Working as a team
Being part of a company project with a team of people boosts your creativity, as well as developing our collaborative and social skills. In an office we can interact and work side by side with other colleagues, something that can help us move away from static work routines. In addition, productivity in the office is increased.
Conduct face to face meetings
For certain work or projects, it may be necessary to hold face to face meetings. For example, arranging a meeting with a very important client at our place of work can help us to sell a proposal, because the customer engages, feels part of a whole and is able to see in person how we perform naturally and safely in a professional environment.
Get to know what’s happening
When you’re at the office, you’re able to catch the latest company updates, meetings and sometimes even alarming news first, so it’s definitely something worth considering when deciding on which work style suits you the most
Establishing new links and contacts
Being immersed in a daily work routine with a lot of people around us can benefit us in the future, as this will allow us to acquire new contacts that can help us in the long run to find new job opportunities or start new professional projects. Interacting with other professionals in the office can benefit us when building new business or if we want to initiate and create new personal projects.
Cons of work from office
The simple fact of being in an office with more people makes communication more fluent and more fluid, which may result in a noisier working environment. This could possibly interfere in the worker’s concentration and may reduce productivity.
Lack of privacy
Some people are not as extroverted and may not like working in a team as much as others. This is a disadvantage if we work in open spaces and offices, as these more introverted employees can end up feeling uncomfortable.
Increased stress and anxiety
In an office you may feel more under pressure, either by your superiors or by your own colleagues. This can result in the employee ending up stressed in the workplace and, therefore, decrease your productivity and capacity to work.
Some people are happier working in an office and some people are happier working from home. You have to weigh your options and decide what is best for you. Can you be disciplined enough to work from home? Will you be happy without the daily support of your co-workers? Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Only you can decide what is the best option for you.