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Working from Home vs. Working from Office - Which is a Better Option?

09 June 2023

If you had asked us what was better between working from home and working from the office a few years ago, we might have said working from the office for numerous reasons. But ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, people around the world, including us, have started thinking differently. What we once assumed to be a non-feasible and non-practical idea is now a norm for many companies. Yes – we're talking about working from home.

Before the pandemic, working from home was a perk that only a few lucky people were aware of, but now, it's the new norm. Every organization now has an arrangement that makes remote work possible.

However, now that the pandemic is long over, you may be wondering whether to shift all your operations back on-site or continue working remotely. In all honesty, both working models have their pros and cons. You've got to analyze which model has more pros and fewer cons because, in this digital age, that's the only way to decide which of the two options is better.

Work from Home – The Good and Bad

Working from home is more like a dream come true for many people. It was a perk that only some organizations offered before the COVID-19 pandemic, but today, every organization has an arrangement in place that allows employees to work remotely because that's how they operated and stayed afloat during the pandemic.

Work from home model offers plenty of benefits to both the employees and employers, but there are some downsides to it as well.



Pros of Work from Home Model

More Flexibility and Higher Productivity

One of the biggest benefits of work from home model is greater flexibility and increased productivity. Employees working from home don't have to work a fixed 9 to 5 job. They can work during the hours they feel most productive. The employees don't have to stay seated in front of their computers throughout their shift time. They can go out of their house to run errands or do anything they may not have had the time to do when they were working from the office, like exercise. This flexibility inspires and motivates them and keeps the frustration from building up. The result is a more dedicated and productive workforce.

Saves Time

Working from home saves the time an employee would spend commuting every day. This could mean an extra few hours in hand every day. The employees can use this time to complete the pending tasks or spend this time doing something they were missing out on, such as a morning jog or working out at the gym. When the employees don't have to compromise their personal life, their mental health and productivity both improve.

Saves Money

As an employer, one of the most noteworthy benefits of letting your employees continue working from home is cost savings. Not having any employees come to the office significantly cuts operational costs. The electricity bills, maintenance costs, and snacking costs (tea and coffee) all come down.

Reduced Stress Levels

When employees are working in the comfort of their homes without their managers micromanaging them, they can work more comfortably. Their stress levels reduce, which positively impacts their mental health.


Cons of Work from Home Model

Communication Gap

The biggest con of work from home model is the communication gap. Things that the employees could discuss with their coworkers then and there now have to wait till the coworker responds to the email or text. The employees could conveniently walk over to their colleague's workstations and discuss whatever they needed to complete a task. However, this is one of the biggest challenges of a remote working model.

Lack of Instant IT Support

If an employee faces any IT-related problems in the office, they can get them fixed immediately. However, when working from home, IT-related problems can mean hours of downtime, which means work delays. The IT department can't offer their support as readily as they can on-site.

Distractions

We can't deny the fact that there are more distractions at home. Employees are working from home where they've got other members of the family around. If an employee doesn't have a dedicated home office, they'll be constantly distracted and this could result in more errors in their work.

Employee Management

Employers also have a hard time managing employees in the remote working model. Not all employees will be responsible and professional all the time. Some of them may take advantage of not having the bosses around and may exploit the flexibility their managers are offering. This makes it hard for the managers to ensure timely deliveries of tasks.

Higher Healthcare Costs

Another major con of letting your employees continue working from home is higher healthcare costs. Employees are at a higher risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders when they work in poor ergonomic conditions at home. Not many people invest in ergonomic office furniture when working from home. With more employees at a higher risk of falling sick, the company may have to bear higher healthcare expenses.

Working from Office – The Good and Bad

Before the pandemic hit the world and changed the dynamics of how businesses operated, everyone worked from offices. It was a norm that existed forever and would have continued to stay a norm if the pandemic hadn't existed. There are some areas in which working from the office is better, but there are also some reasons why you may want your employees to continue working from home.



Pros of Working from Office

Structured Work

When your employees work at the office, their work is much more structured. They start working at a set time, have limited time to spare, and have a set time when they've got to call it a day. The employees have to experience fewer distractions at home, so they get more work done in less time. There's a proper workflow that all employees follow, making it easier for the managers to manage their teams.

Better Collaboration and Communication

Employees interact with each other more often and more openly when working at the office. They can walk over to their coworker's desk or their manager's cabin to clear the confusion. They don't have to wait for the other person to respond to the email or text they sent.

Healthier Social Life

Although working from home reduces stress, it also leaves employees feeling lonely and isolated. Not meeting and interacting with people in person and not being socially active can have an adverse impact on mental health. It can result in depression and anxiety in more extroverted people who like being around people. Working from the office ensures employees meet each other and stay socially active and connected.

Better Work-Life Balance

Although working from home allows the employees to spend more time with their families, working from home often blurs the fine line between personal and work life. Employees often work after their shift gets over and have to make themselves available at odd times. However, when working from the office, the employees get off at a fixed time and can spend more work-free time at home.

Better Evaluation

It's easier for managers to evaluate their employees' performance and progress when they're working at the office. The remote model often creates a gap between the employees and managers, and it gets hard for the manager to truly evaluate their team members' performance.



Cons of Working from Office

Higher Operational Cost

The cost of operating an office, without a doubt, is huge! Employers can cut down on these expenses by letting their employees continue working from home. However, if you plan to have all your employees return to work, be prepared to have your operational and maintenance costs skyrocket.

Increased Frustration in Employees

Working from the office leaves little to no time for the employees to do things they enjoy. They can't even take time out for exercise. This can make the employees frustrated. A build-up of frustration in employees can affect their productivity and mental health both.

More Pressure to Ensure Employee Safety

The employer is liable to bear healthcare expenses if an employee gets hurt within office premises. The employer has to their employees' health and safety. They've got to provide their employees with ergonomic office furniture to ensure they aren't at risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The employer also has to mitigate all work hazards to ensure the employees are safe at work. This not only means more expense but also adds to the pressure the employer has to bear.

Closing Word – What's Better?

Since both work-from-home and work-from-office models have some cons, you can't really switch to any one model for good. Your best bet is to switch to a hybrid model where all employees have to come to work some days during the week and they can work from home the rest. This way, the employers and employees can enjoy the best of both models and with that, the business will benefit.