Pros and Cons of Working from Home
Date : Sep 02, 2020
Author : DR A Zayed
Categories : Business Tips
Technology and easy access to the internet has made it easier for people to work without leaving their home. The current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need to work from home. Companies across the world have moved their operations online to encourage employees to avoid risking getting infected and still complete their tasks. Working from home has many advantages for employees and employers alike. There are some disadvantages too. In this post, we explore the pros and cons of working from home.
Pros of Working From Home
Work from home is more than a measure to stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19. Staying home and doing tasks or projects online can benefit employees and companies at the same time. Below, we are going to discuss the pros of working from home.
1. Decreased Costs
One survey found that about 46% of full-time employees in the United States want to work remotely even when the COVID-19 crisis passes and the economy reopens to the level where it was before the pandemic. Lower costs are among the biggest reasons behind this attitude.
Employees don’t have to pay for gas or transportation, meals, and other expenses. Remote work is beneficial for their wallet and quality of life. The money you’d spend on work-related costs can be directed into something else, such as bills.
Companies can also benefit from remote work. Many established businesses have already enjoyed certain benefits of allowing employees to work from home. The significant advantage of remote work for companies is, just like for employees, the cost savings.
How does working from home save companies money, you wonder. Some of the most significant cost savings include:
- Taxes – three factors determine a company’s tax burden: property, sales, and payroll. Making changes to ensure employees work from home could influence the tax burden.
- Rent and utilities – when the team works remotely, the companies don’t need to pay for large premises. In turn, they save money on rent and utilities.
- Food – the cost of food in cafeteria (or restaurants within the company) is slashed entirely when employees work remotely
- Cleaning services – when most (or all) employees work online, the cleaning and maintenance services decline, which leads to reduced costs.
2. Increased Productivity
Two-year Stanford study showed that employees who work from home are more productive than their counterparts who work in the office. These findings may come as a surprise to many, especially because people believe they will be less productive at home.
The study found that work-from-home employees work a true full-shift or more. They don’t arrive to work late or leave early multiple times during the week.
Additionally, employee attrition decreased by 50% among telecommuters; they took shorter breaks and time off and had fewer sick days.
Increased productivity is beneficial for employees and employees alike. Working from home makes most people happier, which translates to everything they do; for companies, that means a stronger team and bigger revenue.
3. More Efficient Communication
Communication is crucial for the proper functioning of a department or the whole company. However, it can be incredibly difficult to ensure everyone is on the same page in the office.
The advantage of remote work for employers and employees is more efficient communication. Nowadays, companies use different tools and platforms where their employees can log in and communicate properly. All employees see the same information, which eliminates the risks of someone giving wrong information to colleagues.
More effective communication equals better productivity. Not only does it reduce stress in employees and allows them to get more work done, but companies also benefit from the whole situation. Efficient communication speaks a lot about the values of the business, decreases the risk of mistakes that would jeopardize the company’s financial status and reputation.
4. Employee Retention
Finding and retaining good employees is the biggest challenge for every business, regardless of size. A long commute is a common problem, and many employees often decide to quit their jobs because it’s become so stressful. The companies are then forced to look for other employees. All this takes time and may jeopardize the productivity of the department, which lacks the workforce.
Remote work allows employees to do their job without enduring long commutes every day. Ultimately, this will enable companies to improve their employee retention rate. This ensures uninterrupted workflow and allows departments to focus on tasks at hand.
5. More Flexibility
When working from an office, employees have a set schedule. Not all people are the same, so having one schedule for everyone isn’t the best choice for their productivity. For some people, the peak of productivity is in the morning while for others it’s later in the day.
Work from home gives employees much-needed flexibility that allows them to do most or all work when their concentration is at the highest level. This way, they get more job done. Of course, all this benefits the employers because the increased productivity of employees directly increases the revenue of the company, improves reputation, and so much more.
It’s useful to mention that greater flexibility allows employees to establish a better work-life balance. A happier and healthier employee works harder and is more motivated than a stressed-out team member.
Other Pros of Working From Home
Besides the above-mentioned advantages of working from home for employees and employers, other benefits include:
- Companies have access to a broader pool of applicants
- Motivation boost
- Lower stress levels
- More independence
- Improved technical skills
- Opportunity to build professional networks
- Increased satisfaction
Negatives of Working From Home
Even though remote work has significant advantages for employees and employers, some negatives of working from home are also worth mentioning.
1. Feeling Isolated
While remote work eliminates the need for long commutes, spending too much time at home makes employees feel isolated. This uncomfortable feeling may increase stress levels and impair productivity. Ultimately, the whole department may suffer, and it also negatively affects the company. For most people, the combination of online and office work may seem ideal.
Work from home eliminates office-related distractions effectively. However, it doesn’t eliminate all distractions from an employee’s home. It can be difficult for someone to focus on work when there are many errands to run, dog to walk, children to feed or play with, and many other commitments. These distractions impair productivity, which can also negatively influence the employer. Keep in mind that low productivity leads to missed and prolonged deadlines that the whole department struggles to meet.
3. Separating Work From Home
This disadvantage of remote work goes hand in hand with the above-mentioned distractions. While some employees find it easy to establish a work-life balance, others struggle to do so. Working from home comes with many temptations that make work or tasks at hand seem like less of a priority. When you don’t regard work as a priority, you feel reluctant to complete your task and do your best. In the end, productivity suffers, the department is behind with work, and the employer fails to reach the planned goals.
4. Work Doesn’t Stop
When you work in the office, you get to leave everything behind at 5 pm and go home. Bringing work home isn’t recommended. But when working from home, you’ve already done that. Many people end up working on their assignments all day long and even during the night. At the same time, it’s not uncommon for employees to overflow team members with work, which is a practice you need to avoid.
When work doesn’t stop, employees feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and fail to achieve their goals. The employer misses out on targets, and all this translates to decreased productivity of the company and its position on the market.
In addition to the drawbacks of working from home we mentioned above, there are others worth listing. They are:
- Difficulty monitoring performance
- Difficulty maintaining staff development
- Lack of self-discipline
- Missing promotions
- Lack of interpersonal communication
The need for remote work intensified with the COVID-19 pandemic. The benefits of working online are numerous for employees and companies, but there are disadvantages too. In this post, we focused on both pros and cons of working from home.
Feeling isolated is a major problem for remote workers, but productivity may increase as studies show working from home can help people get more things done. There’s still a lot of companies can do to make remote work more effective for everyone. It seems that a combination of working from home and office may have the best effects.