Working from home or remote working is not an entirely new concept. It is only that after the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept has become more relevant than ever. It is especially popular with the younger generation who by and large prefer to work from home.
As per a report titled, “Tech Talent Outlook” by Scikey, eight in ten employees today prefer working from home to working from an office in India. 64% of employees confirmed that they feel more productive working from home and also less stressed. With the majority of employees unwilling to work from the office fully, more than 80% of the HR managers admitted that hiring employees for full-time office work has become more difficult.
Another survey report by Gartner reveals that five in ten Indian hybrid workers feel more productive working from home. Not dealing with daily traffic chaos which can be from three to four hours to and from home helps them to gain more productivity. The report also revealed that worker fatigue is reduced by 44%, intent to stay increased by 45%, and work performance increased by 28%, in a human-centric hybrid or remote working environment.
PROS OF WORKING FROM HOME
Often it’s thought that working from home induces a lack of focus and self-motivation. On the contrary, it goads a person to work with focus and determination; and stay self-motivated and disciplined.
Being independent away from colleagues and bosses brings with it a sense of purpose and responsibility. As a result, one begins to cultivate better time management and scheduling to stay productive, get work done and produce quality output.
A 9 to 5 desk job at the office will compel a person to stay put in one place and do the work. As a result, it will prevent the person from attending to or handling other aspects of life that deserve immediate importance. For instance, attending a personal work appointment that is urgent, or taking care of a sick kid.
Working from home will give one the flexibility to adjust their work, both official and personal, better. With proper planning and time management, one can handle both responsibilities successfully without jeopardizing either of them.
SAVINGS ON COMMUTE TIME AND MONEY
Perhaps the biggest benefit of working from home is savings on commute time and expenses. No more will you need to get ready for the office and then spend time wading through the traffic to reach the office. This otherwise will result in a loss of precious energy and motivation.
Telecommuting will instead only need you to get ready for the day’s work. You will be fresh and raring to go. This will help you produce quality work.
BETTER BONDING WITH FAMILY
Telecommuting allows one to enjoy a better work-life balance. This can be achieved if one sets proper time schedules for both work and leisure; and adheres to them strictly.
If that’s done, then one can eliminate the commute time rush and hassles; and stay healthy and fresh. This will help in producing quality office work output and also, spending quality time with loved ones.
CONS OF WORKING FROM HOME
BUYING HOME OFFICE EQUIPMENT
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of working from home is an investment in home office equipment. Not all companies provide special allowance to employees for buying home office equipment. This can be expensive for employees who may not have the financial resources to afford them.
Those in such a situation must have to do with what they have already. This could mean even working with computer systems that are not powerful, or have the latest software/hardware. In some cases, it could even be uncomfortable chairs and tables that can subsequently cause back and neck issues.
SLACKNESS IN WORK
There is a misconception that working from home results in doing less for more. That however might not be true for diligent employees. They understand that being professionals they have commitments that need to be adhered to diligently and they do it.
On the other hand, employees who tend to waver in focus are prone to slackness.
Overall, it varies from person to person and depends upon the nature of the individuals concerned.
DATA SECURITY & CONSUMER PROTECTION ISSUES
Cloud technology has indeed made it easier for remote workers to operate better from anywhere. However, when it comes to access, data security and consumer protection could be stumbling blocks. For such people, there could be situations wherein they might be prevented from having full access to data. This in turn could prevent them from discharging their tasks efficiently.
LESS IN-PERSON CONTACT WITH CO-WORKERS
Working from home indeed allows employees to achieve proper work-life balance. But at the same time, there remains less opportunity for face-to-face contact with fellow employees. This can be a dampener for those who prefer office-based camaraderie and like to socialize with fellow employees.
Human interactions and touch will be less which may at times make the work aspect miserable.
Work distractions have been a subject of discussion for quite some time now. The fact is that distractions remain whether one works from the office or home. It is only that the nature of distractions differs.
Working from the office has its own distractions. One can get distracted by colleagues nearby talking or colleagues dropping in suddenly for a chat or bosses calling over for a quick discussion.
Similarly, working from home has its own set of unique distractions. One can get disturbed by sudden household chores or someone knocking at the front door or kids needing childcare. However, on the positive side, it will allow one to concentrate and focus better without such sudden interruptions. Of course, there will be the odd interruptions now and then. But those can be kept at bay with a proper system put in place. Office work meetings, if any, can be fixed for a specific period. This will allow one to work at a stretch and then take a break for the meet.
It all depends on how employees can handle them. Focused employees however are known to have a way to stay unaffected by distractions. To overcome distractions, one must draw a line and ensure that it is not crossed come what may. This way, one can maintain a stable work-life balance as well.
Remote working requires the right employees with the right mindset. Those who are focused and do not see any difference between working from the office or remote will succeed better. They will be able to do a great job and achieve proper work-life balance as well.
The world is moving to a new way of working. As such, companies will need to weigh the pros as well as the cons of working from home. If they can do it successfully, they will be able to support the transition to work-from-home better.