Working from Home for Employees: Pros and Cons

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The pandemic has “forced” companies to do work from home, which has led to a new debate: Which option is better, working in the office or working remotely?

The loosening of conditions has called into question whether the population will return to office work, even in jobs that allow working from home. In this sense, company directors found themselves in a quandary. As they analyzed their options, more and more people decided to extend the period of working from home even indefinitely. Of course, for employees, the concept of working from home has only advantages at first glance, but it can also create a number of problems for those who do not have optimal conditions for working from home on a permanent basis.

Benefits of working from home for employees

At first glance, if you work from home, you have only advantages. Not surprising when you consider the following aspects:

1) Save travel time

On average, it takes about 40 minutes to get to work. This means that you spend at least an hour and a half a day in a car, subway, or other form of public transportation. Theoretically, this time could be used in a much more pleasant way.

2) Lower costs for transportation and food

Obviously, if you don’t have to go to the office every day, you will save not only time, but also money. If you use a private car, you can save on fuel consumption fees.

Another aspect in this connection is that those who have hired babysitters for their children have the option to forgo such services, since they are always at home. Consequently, a new saving of money.

3) Flexible work schedule

Theoretically, another advantage of working from home is the ability to have a flexible schedule other than the classic 9-18 like most companies have. However, this also depends a lot on the type of work you do and you still will require some tool to fill your timesheets.

As a simple example, you can take advantage of working from home to start work at 7:00, when you won’t even be bothered by more or less important notices from friends and colleagues to finish work by lunch, but if you’re not the morning person type, you can start your work later to finish it around 8 p.m. About the time you would actually get home if you were working in the office.

From my perspective, however, the main advantage of a flexible schedule is that you can schedule a series of appointments during the day that previously could only be scheduled during questionable hours: a meeting at the hair salon, a jog, a visit to a government office for a document, or, why not, a dog walk.

4) More free time

The savings in transportation time and flexibility of your work schedule, in short, turn into extra free time that you can take advantage of at will.

What that really means, of course, depends on your lifestyle. You can spend more time with your family, you can really see your child growing up, or you can go out with your friends more often. But I would suggest taking advantage of the extra free time and learning something new that will help you in your career.

Disadvantages of working from home for employees

Are there downsides to working from home for employees? Well, I guess many of those who had to work from home during the pandemic quickly discovered that things were far from rosy.

1) It is difficult to separate work from personal life

Many of those who work from home have recognized that it is difficult to separate work tasks from home worries. The situation becomes even more difficult for those who have young children at home, since the latter require attention, even when you need to participate in a Zoom conference with your immediate supervisor.

You may end up in a situation where you start work at 7:00 and finish it at 10:00 p.m., because throughout the day you are doing various personal tasks, more or less important, and you get the impression that you are working from morning till night. When in fact you may have even lower productivity than when you worked only 8 hours a day.

2) Unhealthy lifestyle

In addition, working from home all the time generates the risk of “laziness” in every way. First, there is the risk that regular physical activity will be minimized, especially if you have little reason to leave the house after work.

Also, there is a risk that you will begin to snack frequently while working, which can lead to gaining excess weight. And excessive sitting in the office can lead to back pain and other health problems.

Lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating at unhealthy times, and a sedentary lifestyle can all lead to health problems in the future.

3) Lack of socialization

There are many people for whom communication is very important, and working from home makes life difficult for them.

Sure, there are friends who can help us socialize at a friendly meeting, but that may not be enough.

4) A logistical nightmare

An aspect that many people neglect relates to the actual workspace in your home. Regardless of work, it is important to have your own office where you can work at any time. The ideal case is when you live in a house large enough that the office is in a different room than the one in which you sleep.

Unfortunately, things are quite complicated here, and it’s very easy for me to give an example: Imagine an ordinary family with a child living in a two-room apartment. If both parents work from home, then both parents would need their own office as well as a separate room for the child.

How do you combine three rooms into two? Especially since in new apartment buildings in apartment complexes, in many cases there are small rooms in which, except for a bedroom and a dressing room, nothing fits.

What is the solution in this case? Theoretically, moving to a larger apartment only means an increase in costs. In other words, the savings made by companies in renting space are shifted to additional employee costs for renting or leasing a home.

Conclusion

In conclusion, working from home offers a number of major benefits in principle, including savings in time, money, flexible hours, and more time spent with loved ones.

However, if you work from home, it is important to make sure that you have all the necessary conditions in place so that your work performance is not affected. Therefore, even if you work from home, it is important to exercise regularly, eat at the right times, and separate work from personal matters during the day as much as possible.

But the most important thing is to have your own room with a desk and a comfortable chair in which you can work quietly at any time without fear of being disturbed.