Before the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home seemed like a dream. No one ever thought that millions of people would be working from home for months. Even though the world is opening again and normal routines are coming back into place, many employers are looking at a blended and comfortable working environment. Some employees will be working at home for a large portion of their time now, instead of going into the office.
However, there are many pros and cons to working from home. Every person should look at their environment and see if this is what they want for the long term. This post will break down the pros and cons of working from home.
Working Remotely: Pros and Cons
Pro: Less Commuting
Commuting has been a problem for many employees. Some people used to take multiple forms of transit to make it to their workplace in time, just to do it again when they needed to go home. People have spent an enormous amount of money to commute to and from work, but this money has never been compensated.
Additionally, if people need to commute from far away, they would spend more time in a mode of transport than doing things that matter to them. Typically, if employees were to count up the amount of time they spend commuting – they would have spent years on the road getting to work. This number may differ depending on the person, but it is still a lot of time.
Also, it is expensive to commute. Gas prices continuously rise, making it harder for people to put enough gas in their cars to get to work. Since it is becoming more expensive to buy gas, people are spending more of their money to get to and from work instead of other necessities like food. Lastly, they are less likely to be involved in a car accident if they are not commuting to work.
Most car accidents happen when someone is heading either to or from work. However, if more people keep themselves at home, they are less likely to be a part of that statistic. This is just one of the many pros of working from home.
Con: Overworking Is a Possibility
Since many people have created their perfect work-from-home setup, they have grown accustomed to their new space. Employees feel comfortable with their work from home equipment; however, this leads to one of the many cons of working from home. Employers and employees have begun to blur the line between their workday and their time.
This is because their ‘office’ is not in their personal space. Some people forget to stop working at a certain time because they’re already at home, so they don’t have to commute, or their employer makes them feel pressured to work longer hours. This is due to people's flexible hours when they work from home.
Not everyone is allowed to work their designated hours whenever they want throughout the day, but many businesses allow their employees to do this. When this began to happen, many people would have to work into the night or very early in the morning. This began breaking up their work schedule so that they stopped keeping track of how long they were working.
However, this does not only need to be thought of as one of the cons of working from home because it can also lead to one of the pros of working from home.
Pro: Better Work-Life Balance
There are many pros and cons of working from home, but the biggest pro that many people have spoken about is their work-life balance. Employees and employers have been able to work around their already busy personal lives. This has been extremely valuable for people with children or older people that they care for. Many people have been able to break up their schedule around their responsibilities and still get their work done on time.
Sometimes, people just want to go for a quick walk around the neighborhood in-between meetings to clear their mind. Also, others may want to meditate before they must have a difficult conversation. Either way, these flexible hours are a work-from-home advantage. Many people enjoy this because they can finally look after their children without taking time off work.
Businesses have to pay for the supplies in the office. Whether it is ink, computers, pens, or mugs, things are paid for in the office by the business. However, what happens when the employees go home and work needs to be done, but supplies need to be bought? Well, that is where remote work stipends come into play.
Many businesses needed to purchase work laptops for employees and send them to their homes. This is a payment that the business wasn’t planning for because no one knew that the business would need to do this. However, many government jobs and private companies needed to give employees a work laptop to keep sensitive information.
Also, sometimes, an employee may need to purchase something to complete their job, but the company will need to pay for it. An example would be ink. If an employee needs to print files, and it cannot be done digitally, the company would need to pay for the employee's ink. This can all begin to add up for the business because it no longer purchases these office supplies in bulk.
Pro: Decreasing Stress
There are many reasons why people get stressed out because of work. Yes, there are the everyday working stresses that people will have to face. Whether that is deadlines, difficult clients, or the coffee machine is broken again. However, out of the many pros and cons of working from home, this pro benefits both employees and the business. People are less stressed when they are working from home.
Stress is never a nice emotion to have when working, but it is very common during the workday. People can get stressed about the commute to work because they don’t want to arrive late, there’s traffic, or they’ve been in an accident. However, since people are no longer commuting to work – they are less stressed. This work-from-home advantage is one that people thoroughly enjoy.
Also, there are a lot of personalities in the workplace, so it is normal for people to clash. However, these clashes can make it difficult for people to enjoy their time at work. This is because people may not be working together collaboratively. Still, when employees are taken out of that situation, they are more likely to focus on their work and not worry about what someone else is saying.
One of the disadvantages of remote working is being alone. There are a lot of micro-interactions that people have when they go into a place of work. Whether it is a quick conversation by the printer, asking what someone did over their weekend, or just a brief joke between friends – people miss that when they are working from home.
People are social creatures, and we all need to speak to someone. Sitting inside all day will not make anyone happy. That is why many programs are available for businesses and employees to use to stay in contact. Programs like Mosh allow people to have video and voice calls, groups, and messages with each other.
Also, Mosh does allow people to create spaces for anything, but it may never replace social interaction with people. Speaking with a person in front of you is different from speaking with someone online. Additionally, many people have joined teams while never meeting them in person. This can damage team morale because there is no sense of connection.
Businesses have struggled to figure out ways to bring their employees together in the virtual world. This is because you can never create the same environment in a home-like the one in an office.
Pro: International Relations
Many businesses want to build relationships with other companies around the world. However, this can be hard if that person needs to do it all within their set working hours. One of the pros of working from home is that it allows people to create these international relations within their new hours. Since work hours have become more flexible, people can work around when they can be available to someone else.
If an employee needed to gain another contract for the business, but the person lived on the other side of the world, they can now speak with them when they are working from home. It is not unusual to have a video call with someone in their home anymore because of the pandemic, which is another working from home advantage.
Businesses have found many ways to gain new contracts globally with the pandemic, and these practices will most likely stay for a long time.
Con: Purchasing New Supplies
One of the disadvantages of working from home is people need to purchase their work from home essentials. It can be expensive to buy a desk, chair, lamp, paper, pens, and anything else someone needs to work from home. All of this adds up and can be very expensive for many employees. Many people were struggling to build the right home office because they lacked the space or the funds.
However, one way to combat this disadvantage of remote working is the Autonomous Employee Purchase Program. Businesses that want to help their employees out with their home office can bulk buy home office equipment for their employees. The employee will need to look at the program and choose the equipment they want from Autonomous. Afterward, the company will be charged instead of the employee.
Many employees would find this program very useful to help them get started with their at-home space. Also, many businesses may find it easier to do this because the company can bulk buy equipment that will give its employees a unified look. Even though people are working from home, it is still important that employees have a unified look when speaking to prospective clients.
However, this also depends on the business because bigger companies will want everyone to always come off as professional as they can be. Others may be a bit more lenient when it comes to their employees. This is an option to think about for those still working from home.
Pro: A Healthier Lifestyle
There are many pros and cons of working from home, but this pro helps everyone. Employees and employers can now have a healthier life working from home. People have been making more meals at home, which allows them to have a balanced diet. Additionally, people can work the gym into their schedule, so they no longer need to miss it because of their commute.
Lastly, more people are happier to have a little more time with their family. One of the biggest pros of working from home is spending quality time with loved ones. Many people have lost years with their family because they only see them briefly at the end of the day. However, working from home has allowed many to change that lifestyle.
When it comes to the pros and cons of working from home, there are many. Each business and employee needs to think about whether this is a lifestyle they want to have for the long-term or if they would prefer to go back into the office. Either way, employees must think about themselves when it comes to this decision and not the business. This is because they need to put themselves first.
Also, the business should put its employees first and think about whether a blended working style is sustainable and better for the employees. Whichever decision is made, there are always pros and cons to think about, but they will all help inform a person of their decision.
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