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The past year has changed the way we work in a dramatic way, with many people having to make the decision to work from home to help protect others from illness. While home-working had already existed prior to the coronavirus pandemic, it was often a more occasional choice or the domain of freelancers and digital nomads. Many are wondering now if the shift in working from an office to working at home is likely to remain. If you’re considering what is best for you or your employees, read on for some useful pros and cons of working from home.
For many people, the biggest advantage that working from home allows is a greater sense of flexibility with their time and other commitments. Rather than having to coordinate commutes, fixed working hours, and the complex schedules of other family members, being at home often gives you the option to start and finish your working day as you need to and still be present to meet the needs of others. This can often help with childcare and other personal needs, such as getting involved with hobbies or fitness activities, and this can encourage a better work-life balance for employees, resulting in a more positive and satisfied working environment.
A major con that many people, particularly those who may share a space with others or have families in the home, have found is that home-working often comes with a host of annoying and difficult distractions, such as the demands of children or the noises that come from others working in the surrounding area. Not everyone has the kind of work environment that a professional office space and commercial real estate can allow, with enough space, privacy, or quiet needed to focus, and this can have a negative impact on productivity over time.
It can save money
For workers who have been used to having to endure a long or costly commute daily to get to and from work, the money-saving aspect of home-working has been an enormous benefit. As well as cutting out time, working from home can save on transport, fuel, and parking costs, as well as helping businesses cut down on unnecessary expenses in rent or facilities.
You may not have adequate equipment
The vast majority of office workers will normally have an up to date and extensive set up to enable them to perform at their best, including laptops, additional screens, webcams, speedy broadband connections, and more. When making the shift to working from home, this can often be difficult to replicate in a home environment. Although it may be possible for some companies to furnish their staff with all of the necessary equipment, a lack of space, sufficient privacy, or other factors may make working from home more difficult.
In conclusion, there are both pros and cons of working from home. The future may encourage workers and employers to take a mix of both, to allow the benefits of each.