Working hard or hardly working: Is working from home here to stay?

For many, COVID-19 forced remote working into a reality which now feels permanent.

After an adjustment period, it seems that working from home has solved many issues caused by the pandemic and working full-time. However, there is a reason we’re looking forward to getting back to the office with all the positives and negatives that entails. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of both systems of working — let us know your favourite way of working below.

Working from home

There are many pros to working from home. Mainly, you are at home. This means less commuting time, a more relaxed dress code, saving money on meals out and travel, and the opportunity to complete other tasks in breaks such as chores around the house, food shopping or going for a walk. As the team is not around, you can establish your own way of working that might make you more productive than in the office.

Working from home also has great potential for improving employees’ mental health. The extra time and saved money can relieve a great degree of work-related stress, improving workers’ sleep, health and productivity during working hours. ‘Burnout’ is becoming more common and working from home gives employees the opportunity to prevent burnout at the first signs of stress.

Of course, this is all dependent on the circumstances at home. If there are multiple people working from home there are practical problems with space, Wi-Fi, and noise, for example. Families have also had home-schooling dilemmas during the pandemic, meaning computers must be shared and time spent on teaching rather than work tasks.

Working from home can be lonely. There is no team around you, no background office noise, no easy access to help or collaboration. The pandemic saw a sudden shift from vibrant work and social lives to working and socialising within the same four walls, and many people miss this aspect of work. There are also benefits to separating one’s work and recreational environment that is blurred by working from home.

Working in the office

Working in an office in many ways is easier than working from home. It is an environment designed for your role, Wi-Fi and equipment is provided, there are less distractions and hopefully some snacks and drinks thrown in too. Most of the people you work with will be in the same area for you to discuss tasks or issues much quicker than over email and you get to know your colleagues through break-room chat. It can often be fun working in a place removed from your home and there are more socialising opportunities.

From an employers’ perspective, working in an office is easier for onboarding new employees, managing teams and monitoring the welfare and productivity of the company. While this incurs more costs, very few companies have abandoned offices completely in the pandemic, showing that companies still value the benefits of working in an office.

As mentioned though, commuting into an office takes up more money and time that might increase employees’ stress levels and decrease productivity and welfare. Requiring employees to travel into an office also reduces the geographical scope for hiring as talent may not be willing to relocate when work is available near them or remotely.

At mmob, we will be returning to the office when allowed and continuing a flexible approach that will allow both working from home and the office. That way, we benefit from the positives of both approaches to maintain the team’s welfare and productivity.

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