Working from home, as the name suggests, is literally completing your office work, from the comfort of your own home. It is an arrangement that has been around for quite some time now. The effectiveness of the arrangement varies with each organisation and each employee. The working environment, the type of industry, how the employee functions in the environment, are all factors that will affect the arrangement a lot. It is a setup mostly used for remote employees, like freelancers, etc.
|Benefits of Working from Home||Drawbacks of Working from Home|
|There is no commute||Feels extremely isolated|
|It is cost effective||It’s easy to procrastinate|
|It provides flexibility||There’s no separation|
|Almost no distractions||People tend to keep working|
|Provides better Work/Life Balance||There’s a big communication gap|
|There’s no Eavesdropping||Internet is a must|
|You learn new skills|
Advantages of Working from home
- Commute :
No time or money is expended on travelling to the workplace from home. You no longer have to stay stuck in traffic constantly feeling pressured by the possibility of not reaching your office on time. Cost of commute, though may not seem much as a one off, they keep adding up and can become quite substantial.
- Cost Effective :
Not having to go to your office, means no daily travel expenses. But even apart from that there are no extra expenses, like money spent on food when you go to the office. Often people rent houses near their offices, as their homes are very far away. Working from home easily solves that problem too.
- Flexibility :
Work definitely becomes more flexible and that’s not just regarding working hours. Since you essentially become your own boss, you can decide the ambience, the environment, the exact lighting, the temperature of the room, the furniture setting, etc. Basically you can have all of the things that help you work better, right there at your side.
- Lesser Distractions :
Working in an office environment has drawbacks including people shouting, people having a conversation over the phone, unnecessary banter, etc. But when you are working from home all of these distractions are immediately cancelled out. You can focus all your attention completely on your work and not even have to get off your chair to greet anyone.
- Work/Life Balance :
Every professional in the modern world aspires to have both the professional world and the personal world balanced, as best as possible. In a work from home arrangement, you can achieve the satisfaction of completing all the work required off you and still have a hold on the things going on at home and in your personal life.
- No eavesdropping :
Finding a conference room or even an enclosed office room where you can make an important office call without anyone else hearing in on it can often become a nightmare for people. However at your home, there is no one else to listen in. Just pick up the phone and make all the important calls you need to .
- Productivity :
Contrary to the general belief, productivity increases while working from home. There is no time wasted on commuting to and from the workplace. There are no “official” interruptions or breaks, there are no other distractions, no crowds and thus a lot less stress. Adding all of these up helps you to focus entirely on your work the whole time.
- Learning Skills :
Working from home does not eliminate having to interact with your colleagues. So there are a lot more group video chats, texting and calls and Emails, just to name a few. In fact a prolonged period of working from home can make you really deft in digital communication, which can even help you in your professional life later.
Disadvantages of Working from home
- Isolation :
Working the whole time alone, sitting at home can actually feel extremely lonely. Even more so, if the person has already had a previous experience of working in an office. The office creates a space where people can come together and share their intellectual resources and interact. Getting cut off from that environment can be very hard.
- Procrastination :
This is a very real problem, as with no authority figure actually present there with the employee there is always the chance that they are going to leave their work till the last possible moment, which increases the chances of ‘missed deadlines’, rapidly. Having the self-restraint to finish the work without anyone overseeing them is very uncommon among people.
- Separation :
A great thing an office space provides is the sense of separation from the home environment. The travel from ‘the home’ to ‘the office, helps get a person into the zone for work. Working from home there is no such distinction and thus people can start doing their chores at home. No separation can see both areas suffer badly.
- Clocking out :
There being no authority to enforce the end of the workday, people can often be tempted to just go on working, in order to prove their “diligence” to their own company. The lack of separation leads to the work kind of melding with the home life and leading to the rise of feeling ‘always at work’.
- Communication gap :
Not being physically present together, does pose challenges. For example there may be an important decision that needs to be taken right now no one is being able to get a hold of the key member of the team who is needed to make the decision. Maybe their phone’s off, or they are taking a bath, etc.
- Internet Connection :
Having a stable internet connection is almost imperative for someone to be working from home in the present day. Even if their work is not online, interacting with colleagues, seeing what they are working on, how much a project has progressed, etc. , all happen online. From video calls to Emails, everything will require a stable internet connection to function.
So as we can see, working from home has a number of drawbacks which companies tend to cite as they prefer to keep employees under their supervision at all times. However, if the arrangement is made properly and with suitable candidates it can actually be more productive for the company and thus become a win-win situation for both the parties.