Working from Home vs. Working in the Office
You have probably heard the term “working from home” (WFH) thrown around a lot lately, given that social distancing is here to stay as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As many organizations have shifted their tools and systems for remote teams for the first time, many businesses and corporations have begun to shift back to working from the office as lockdown restrictions ease away. However, which phenomenon will lead to higher productivity? Can work-from-home completely replace work-from-office? Below we have compared them to help you understand the unique advantages and disadvantages of each.
Working from Home (WFH)
Time Saved on Commute – The average American worker spends at least 27 minutes on their daily commute to work, and it is getting worse every year. Instead, WFH allows for commuting time to be time spent with family and friends.
Better Work-Life Balance – Since WFH saves people commuting time, employees can establish a better work-life balance. Although employees may still have to stick to a 9-to-5 schedule, they will have the option to get an extra hour of sleep and will get to choose their lunchtime. This gives more flexibility and freedom to the employees and employers, less stress in managing them.
Distractions – Although working from home saves time spent commuting, employees at home have their fair share of new challenges as they optimize their workspace as per their requirements and preferences. This sounds good in theory, yet in terms of actually getting work done, it can be argued that there are many more distractions in the comfort of your home. I mean, the bed does look awfully comfortable. Maybe it is time for a nap!
Communication – Zoom calls are not always as effective as a round-table conference. Phone calls are not more clarifying than a face-to-face chat. A widely accepted rule is that communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal. The non-verbal component was made up of body language (55 percent) and tone of voice (38 percent). Therefore, communication can still happen while WFH, but the nature of it differs.
Working in the Office
Employee Onboarding & Training – Physical distance adds a few of its own challenges when it comes to virtual onboarding. For instance, interns and new employees get a lot more value when sitting side-by-side with their manager, mentor, and peers. It effectively eases the learning curve, something that’s harder to achieve when they are all WFH.
Motivation – The right work ambiance boosts productivity. Simultaneously, the wrong one can be harsh and even detrimental to an effective workflow. At home, one can optimize their workspace and make changes as they see fit; however, it is nearly impossible to replicate the comradery and productive vibes derived from working with their coworkers in person. The typical office environment is bustling with activities that can keep a person motivated to get through a heap of work or whatever else their boss throws their way.
Work Environment – When working at the office, employees do not choose their work environment or office setting. If they have a noisy coworker, they have to bear with it. Alternatively, if the air conditioner is bothering someone, they cannot just get up and turn it off.
Financial Costs – A key benefit for organizations choosing to have their employees WFH is that it helps them cut down on some otherwise essential costs. Therefore, office rent, utility bills, and management costs will be higher with working out of the office.