The COVID-19 pandemic has popularised remote work to such an extent that most organisations have decided to continue with it even after the normalisation of the situation to a great degree. According to Gartner research, 82% of business owners intend to permit remote working some of the time as employees return to the workplace.
While remote working or the work from home culture was still in place in many organisations before, the pandemic has undoubtedly played a vital cog in making it much more mainstream. Both organisations and professionals across the world are taking this work arrangement much more seriously today.
However, regardless of how quickly it has been accepted by most people around the globe, working remotely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
There is a significant number of people who feel a lot more comfortable and confident while working from the office. So, here are a few pros and cons of working remotely and working in the office, which will help you make an informed decision on the kind of work arrangement that would be the best fit for employers as well as employees.
Pros of working from the office
1. Development of interpersonal skills
Working from the office requires one to constantly engage with their co-workers, which plays a significant role in improving their interpersonal skills.
These skills form a solid foundation in any employee’s professional life as they have a deep impact on their positivity towards work relationships, enhancement of emotional intelligence, and overall work performance. Moreover, it often helps employees know their colleagues better, which leads to better rapport and enhanced productivity.
2. Better communication
What could possibly be a better way of communicating with your colleagues than having them seated right next to you and conveying your thoughts to them directly?
The office provides you with the luxury to reach out to others as and when you want. Also, it facilitates better communication as you can explain yourself much more clearly when the other person is sitting right across from you.
Regardless of how easy the conversation is via emails, messages, or phone calls – nothing can beat a direct one-on-one conversation between two people working together.
3. Better management of working hours
Most offices work for 8 to 9 hours a day or 40 hours a week and employees often have fixed daily or weekly targets. So, they tend to organise themselves better and manage their working hours wisely.
On the other hand, while working from home, employees have the freedom to work longer. Moreover, the high number of distractions at home like kids, daily chores, and pets often lead to a loss of focus and therefore, mismanagement of time.
Cons of working from the office
1. Static lifestyle
The biggest downside of working in an office is that it often leads to a highly sedentary and static lifestyle. Most employees go through their 8-hour shifts sitting on their desks all day long, trying hard to get their work completed before they call it a day. Lack of any physical activities keeps adding inches to their waists and often leads to obesity.
On the other hand, you can always rejuvenate yourself with a quick brisk walk or a jog while working from home. Since you no longer need to commute to the office, you can also use those extra hours for other physical exercises as well as preparing healthy meals.
2. The daily long commute
While an 8-hour office shift is enough in itself to throw someone off, the daily long commute to the office adds to one’s woes. The journey is especially distressing if the traffic to the office is slow, which further piles on the exhaustion that you undergo in a 9-5 in-office job.
On the other hand, you can have a lot of extra time that you can spend with your family, friends, and even yourself if you don’t have to go to the office every day.
3. Endless distractions
While the office motivates you to use your time judiciously to submit your projects in time, it is also home to distractions of all kinds. The sheer hustle bustle of the office environment can lead someone to lose concentration. This often has a negative impact on their productivity and hampers their performance.
Pros of working from home
1. More job opportunities
While working remotely, you are no longer confined to a specific set of job options. You can apply for job vacancies all around the globe and work for companies that have a footprint across the world. This can ensure more earnings and a higher career graph for you.
2. Better work-life balance
Remote work or working from home gives you sufficient flexibility to plan your day such that your personal life doesn’t suffer. Working from the office often makes your life all about that 8-hour work shift, which has an adverse impact on things on the personal front.
While working from home, you can plan your routine in a way that you can focus both on your professional as well as personal life.
3. Reduction in work absences
While there is obviously greater comfort at working from home, there is also a financial plus point for employees in this kind of work arrangement. While working from the office, people apply for leave if they have some urgent work coming up at home, even if it were to take only a couple of hours.
Having said that, people working from home enjoy better flexibility and can adjust their working hours and personal obligations accordingly. This ensures that there is much lesser absenteeism in an organisation’s workforce.
Cons of working from home
1. Risk of overworking
Since the working hours in remote work aren’t particularly defined unless there are specific instructions from the employer, employees often run the risk of putting in additional hours. This obviously means that they are left with less time for themselves and their family, which can affect their work-life balance negatively.
2. Increased isolation
Another drawback of working from home or working remotely is that it cuts you off from your workplace to a great extent. For most adults, their colleagues are also a major part of their social circle.
Since you won’t be meeting them for long durations, there is a chance that you might not be able to keep in touch with them, which would lead to increased isolation.
3. Challenges of working from home
As comfortable as remote work or work from home might be, they are undoubtedly accompanied by distractions of all kinds from kids and family to pets and daily household chores. This means that there is a high chance that you might have to put in extra hours to complete your work, thereby, resulting in decreased productivity.
As an increasing number of companies continue to adapt to the work-from-culture, they will soon discover that a remote workforce can be just as viable as an in-office team. However, there are various perks of working from the office that a remote work or work-from-home arrangement might not be able to emulate, and vice-versa.
Therefore, only time can tell which work model is better suited for both employees and employers in the long run. Right now, employers can try creating a hybrid model that incorporates the best of both – remote work and working from the office to ensure top-notch performance and maximum productivity from their workforce.