For years, the debate about whether working in an office or working from home (WFH) is better has roared. It isn’t only about those that work for companies, but the companies themselves that have weighed up the pros and cons of which are more productive, and cost-effective. With events surrounding the pandemic, this debate has become more relevant. Let’s take a look at WFH or office: which is better?
Time Spent Commuting
A survey from 2017 showed that the average American’s commute was 26.9 minutes per day which was an increase from the previous year. At the time, 14 million people spent an hour or more traveling to work.
Commuting is one of the biggest reasons why some people prefer to work from home. It gives them more time with their family, and it reduces the stress of being stuck in traffic or on crowded public transport.
On the flip side, some people prefer to work in an office environment because they like having their work life and home life separate. Those that purposely find work near to home, may also feel that the commuting aspect is not a concern.
Balancing Work Life With Home Life
For those with other responsibilities such as looking after children, elderly parents, or caring for a loved one, the work-life balance can be crucial.
Everyone wants to have more time at home, but there can be negatives to working from your home.
Some WFH staff feel that they have to work longer to justify their role or are passed up for opportunities to progress because they aren’t in the manager’s view.
Maintaining Your Productivity
Many will argue that they are more productive when working from home. The fact that you can work at your own pace and in relative peace, suits a lot of people.
However, there can be a downside to this as well. Some workers find working at home a distraction and lead to procrastination because they have the comforts of home.
Working from home takes a degree of discipline and commitment to make it work.
Communication Between Office and Home
Many companies state that the level of communication you can achieve in an office environment cannot be recreated with remote workers.
This has led to some companies setting up serviced offices in Manchester and elsewhere that can be accessed by remote workers if needed.
Communication is a two-way street and needs to be encouraged by managers to include WFH employees and measure performance and satisfaction.
The Rigid Structure of Office Working
When you are working in an office, you have to follow the rules and are expected to deal with things in a certain way.
For some people, this can lead to increased stress and poor mental health. Burnout among highly stressed office workers is common, but less so if they are in a remote working environment.
A WFH model is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some people thrive in a structured office-based environment, while others love the freedom of WFH. Thus, which of these models is better is subjective, and depends on your personal circumstances.