As we all know, working from home has been a must over the last few months to minimise the spread of COVID-19. This has bought up a very interesting debate: ‘Working in the Office Vs Working at Home’. We at The Oldknows Factory have put together this article to deep dive into the facts and figures on both sides of the argument. Many companies have shifted their tools and systems for remote teams for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For employees and employers, this is a major adjustment. Working from home can seem to have many advantages at first glances but being able to roll out of bed and onto your PC is not the full story.
The dreaded commute to the office; it may take some of us 5 minutes to walk in, or a two hour drive for others. Did you know that with an average journey time of 65 minutes each day, commuters spend around 70 weeks’ worth of time (492 days) travelling for their job during their working life? This will result in a total cost of £37,399!
However, there are some advantages to going into the office – the main one being the separation between work and home (Plus nothing beats grabbing that morning coffee on your commute into the office). It’s very important for your mental health to have separation between your work and home life. It has also been found that those working from home can find it difficult to switch off. What happens if you get a work email at 7pm from a client? Would you answer it if you were at your PC working from home? When you leave an office at 5 pm on the dot it’s easy to declare work over for the day, but when you work from home those boundaries can get blurred. Work-life balance continues to surge on the importance meter for modern-day employees.
Communication is extremely important within the workplace. If communication breaks down, clients can be lost and relationships within the workplace can suffer. Working from home can be more restrictive if you work with clients and employees. Coming across as professional can be important for securing business, which for some types of work could well rule out meeting at your house. Having an office space solves that problem. If you prefer to work from home, there’s always the option to meet clients in nice cafés or, in the case of particularly important meetings, you could rent office space for the day.
There’s something about relationship-building that happens when you sit next to someone or bump into each other when you go and make a coffee. Communication still happens when you’re working remotely, but it’s not quite the same. Face-to-face communication turns into video calls. Short conversations turn into Skype messages.
Flexibility options are subject to the company that you work for. Working from home may offer the opportunity to work when you feel most productive, as long as you work the allotted hours and complete what’s needed to be done. Working in an office may keep you working set hours, but it has been proven that productivity, especially in creative industries, can be boosted when being in an office surrounded by like-minded individuals.
A recent survey concluded that 47% of employees said they strongly agree that flexible work arrangements “would or do allow me to be more productive” and 31% said they somewhat agree. This can be down to a number of factors and also depending on where the company is based. Consistent research has also shown that remote workers usually log longer hours than their office-bound counterparts.
Let’s not forget that the major advantages of working in an office environment is your coworkers. They keep you motivated, productive and educated about the business. As part of a team, you celebrate the wins and plan together on how to be better employees. Also if an employee is known to procrastinate, then they are likely to have more opportunities to do so at home than at the office.
Employees may enjoy certain aspects about working from home but working from home could cause issues for management. When working from an office, managers have a clear view of what the team members are working on. They can easily go up to an employee and ask questions or hold short discussions or give a small pep talk if they find someone is struggling with an assignment. Not only this. but usually, within an office environment, it is easy to go around the different departments to make sure you can see that everyone is in sync with one another. This may be more difficult to achieve when working from home, although most businesses should have access to technologies to assist with this.
Working in the office is a great way to ensure that deadlines are met and productivity is being managed. It’s great to know what is going on within your team to ensure that your clients will be happy with your work. Working in management from home is possible, but nothing will beat the hands on experience with your team like working in an office.
Office Environment vs. Home Environment
There will always be pros and cons of working remotely and working from home. At the Oldknows Factory, we understand the importance of a good balance, we ensure that through the community that we have built here. We have plenty of happy businesses operating within The Oldknows Factory and we have plenty of room for more businesses to find a new home here. If you would like to learn more about the available options, please get in touch with our team today.