26 Aug Work from home or the office?
Let’s be honest, every office worker has, at some point in their career, complained about life at work, whether it be problems with their commute or the dullness that comes with working at an office desk. Whatever the cause, it could lead to a loss of motivation in workers, which would decrease worker productivity.
Some employees now find it easier to work from home because to the rapid evolution of technology. Nevertheless, despite the numerous advantages of working from home, it wasn’t a trend that caught on until the last few years, especially due to the pandemic.
Some businesses fully returned to the office, some adopted a hybrid model with a mixture of home and office working, whilst some even completely made the shift to working from home. The debate has divided opinions.
With the debate still very much ongoing, we’ve looked at the differences to consider when it comes to working from home or working in the office.
When working remotely, there is typically a tight schedule to adhere to. There are predetermined start and finish times as well as strictly adhered-to break intervals. This schedule might be much more flexible if you work from home.
There may be a work schedule in place, but it is usually far less strict. On rare occasions, employees can start and finish later and decide when to eat lunch. Because of this flexibility, managing your work and other obligations can be much simpler. It’s far easier to take a break throughout the day to attend a doctor’s appointment, assist your child with schoolwork, or prepare your meals for the week, and to make up the time afterwards. The combination of all of these factors may result in a better work/life balance, which will increase employee motivation and productivity.
However, if this flexibility isn’t managed correctly, employees may find they are struggling to disconnect when working from home. While a less rigid schedule certainly has its benefits, it can sometimes put employees off track. The lines between work and home become blurred, and they might even end up spending more time than usual at their desk.
Some employees have already experienced this, which prompted calls for the right to disconnect to be implemented in the UK. Experts are still attempting to determine how to make this work while maintaining the flexibility that working from home can offer.
A study conducted by UC Irvine found that a typical office worker is interrupted every 11 minutes. While that statistic alone is shocking enough, they also found that it can take 25 minutes for them to get back on task. This is a lot of time gone to waste, and a huge hit on productivity levels.
There are many different factors that can divert your attention while you are working in an office, including chatty co-workers, workplace politics, and noisy work surroundings. It goes without saying that working from home can significantly increase productivity levels as these distractions are typically less common.
A 2020 survey from FlexJob found that 51% of workers believed themselves to be more productive when working from home during the pandemic. When asked why 68% cited fewer interruptions and quiet work environments as part of the reason they were able to be more productive.
Working in the office can create some “false positives” when it comes to measuring productivity. Coming in early and leaving late may look like work but looking at performance will give a more accurate view of an employee’s productivity. Working from home can remove all these inaccurate indicators, allowing you to focus on the indicators that really matter.
This does not mean that it will be effective for everyone. Although there are some very obvious distractions at work, employees who are particularly prone to procrastination are more likely to engage in it when working from home, where they can’t be as closely watched. Employees may find it very motivating to finish their work if they operate in a setting that is bustling with activity from other individuals.
The cost of working from home versus working in an office is one of the most frequently brought up topics of conversation.
The cost of commuting is one of the most visible expenses associated with working in an office. These expenses, whether for driving or using public transportation to commute, can significantly reduce an employee’s monthly take-home pay. If you work in an office, you may find yourself tempted to buy lunch or a cup of coffee throughout the working day. Even if each of these transactions is minor, when made repeatedly, the cost does mount up.
Working from home might help you save money in various ways. You won’t have to pay for any more transportation costs, and you won’t be as tempted to spend money on daily takeout lunch and coffee.
Employers may also benefit financially from remote workers. A hybrid solution can greatly reduce rent costs for office space and utilities expenditures, or a fully remote option can eliminate both completely.
This is not to say that working from home has no expenses. You will spend more time at home, which will inevitably result in higher utility expenses for broadband, energy, and other services. Desks, seats, network routers, and monitors are just a few examples of additional usual work-from-home costs. Some employers may take on this financial burden, but this isn’t always the case.
Working from home does allow you to save some money, but you must be aware of and consider these expenses. What would work best will depend in large part on whether these costs are equal to or greater than those associated with working in an office.
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