Now more than ever, working remotely rather than working in an office is not only a possibility but a strong reality. Many organizations function 100% remotely, never physically meeting other members of the team. Virtual collaboration is even possible with conference calls, webinars, and other means of video conferencing.
Is a work-from-home option rather than working in an office best for you? There are pros and cons to each side of the story. Many jobs such as elementary school teacher, surgeon, or chef cannot be fulfilled remotely. Other professions such as marketing, e-commerce sales, software development, graphic design, and writing can be done from home. CEOs and entrepreneurs may find themselves in a position where their schedule requires a significant amount of travel and communication with individuals outside of the company. In those situations, the ability to work remotely is priceless. Below is a list of pros and cons for both working from home and in a face-to-face office environment.
Working From Home
- No commute means more time during your day. Save money on fuel costs, and wear and tear on your vehicle. And it’s better for the environment!
- It’s an excellent option for individuals with special needs such as physical disabilities or conditions that make commuting and working in an office difficult.
- Fewer interruptions during the workday can lead to better focus and increased productivity.
- Individuals who work best alone thrive when they are able to work from home.
- More flexibility to tend to responsibilities at home—especially beneficial if you have a spouse and children.
- No one micromanages you, looking over your shoulder to be sure you’re on task or otherwise being productive.
- Many people who work from home feel like they have a better work/life balance, and are generally happier than those who work 9-5 office jobs.
- You have the ability to take restful breaks during the day for meditation or a power nap if needed.
- Flexibility with hours can allow you the time needed to hit the gym or go on a run and maintain an active lifestyle. Exercise can also help with neural function, improving cognition and therefore, your productivity.
- Allowing employees to work remotely opens possibilities for highly talented individuals who are not local to join your team.
- Distractions at home such as household chores, tending to the needs of young children, or loud commotion that breaks focus, can hinder productivity.
- Working from home requires a lot of organization, time management, and self-motivation skills. Not everyone has the discipline necessary to be productive from home.
- Work often ends up spreading into your personal life. You may find yourself needing to get work done when you’re on a family vacation,
- You miss out on opportunities for face-to-face collaboration in the workplace.
- There is a decreased sense of urgency for work when you are outside of an office environment.
- Your supervisor isn’t able to observe your level of productivity and focus during the day.
Working In An Office
- In-office interaction fosters camaraderie and stronger professional relationships with coworkers.
- Collaboration and face-to-face meetings enable more perspectives to be heard, often improving creativity and efficiency.
- You have the ability to call impromptu meetings when business needs require immediate attention from multiple departments.
- It’s easier to manage multiple individuals and operations when everyone works under one roof.
- It’s easier to maintain a strict schedule and keep your work and personal lives separate.
- You are present to take advantage of additional work opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise if you were at home.
- Support from your coworkers.
- You have less flexibility with your hours, which can lead to work/life balance dissatisfaction.
- Constant interruptions from coworkers and commotion that can break your concentration and impede efficiency and productivity.
- Most offices don’t allow employees areas to rest or nap during the day if you feel like you need a quiet break.
- There is a lack of privacy and autonomy.
- Working behind a desk during the day can encourage a sedentary lifestyle.
- You have to deal with the time, cost, and stress of a daily commute to work.
It’s Up To You
Some advise that a combination of both office and remote work is a good option If your profession affords you that ability. You can reap the benefits of both work environments. You can work from the office, at home, a coffee shop, library, airport...anywhere! The bottom line is that you need to do what’s best for your personality, productivity and efficiency, optimal performance in your specific profession, work/life balance satisfaction, and the overall greatest benefit for your business and employees. Only you can decide what the best option is for you.