Is working from home really better than working in an office? Some people swear by it, while others find it lonely and unproductive. In this blog post, I’ll explore the pros and cons of working from home to help you decide if it’s right for you.
But remember, you don’t have to work from home every single day. Working from home a couple of days during the week can give you all of the benefits of both working in the office and from home.
Are people happier when they work from home rather than in the office?
Working from home has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people strive for a better work-life balance. But does working from home actually make people happier?
Studies on this topic have found mixed results. Some say that working from home improves work-life balance and leads to greater happiness, while others say it can lead to feelings of isolation and can make people less productive.
The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on the person and the type of work they do. And what makes them happy.
Some people may thrive when working from home, while others may prefer the social interaction of the office. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide what works best for them.
There is growing evidence that people are happier when they work from home rather than in the office. Recent studies show that workers who telecommuted were more productive and had lower levels of stress than those who worked in an office. Additionally, people who work from home reported higher levels of satisfaction with their work-life balance.
There are a number of reasons why working from home may be associated with higher levels of happiness. For one, people who work from home have more control over their schedule and can take breaks when they need to. Additionally, they don’t have to commute, which can save a lot of time and money.
So if you’re looking for a way to boost your happiness at work, telecommuting may be the answer.
What are the advantages of working from home instead of the office?
There are a growing number of people who are choosing to work from home instead of the office. There are a number of advantages to this arrangement, including the ability to set your own hours, create your own work environment, and eliminate commute time.
These are the main advantages and I will elaborate on them below.
Save Time on commuting
This one is definitely one of the most important ones.
Working from home can save you a considerable amount of time that would otherwise be spent commuting. This extra time can be spent with family, friends, or on activities that help your mental health and wellness. For some people, not having a commute can restore 2-3 hours of time to their day. That adds up to between 15 and 20 hours each week. That is a lot!
This is actually huge and something that brings true value to many peoples’ lives as they can spend more time on the things they love and with the people they love.
Also, the weekends may feel longer and more relaxing when you know that you do not have to start your Monday by commuting but instead only sit in your home office.
Independence and the ability to structure your own time
Working from home gives you more independence when you do tasks and also some flexibility in how you do them. This can give you some power back as an individual, enabling you to organize your day with greater autonomy. Although you may be expected to participate in video conferences and work traditional hours, there is often some flexibility in when you complete tasks and how you go about them. This, in particular, can give you a greater sense of autonomy and enable you to better organize your day.
You can run personal errands without having to leave the office in front of your co-workers. Instead, no one will know. And you will still get your tasks done – you will just do them when it suits you.
And that means that no one will care. Because you do your job while making your private life work. That is a win for all.
Cost Savings and sparing the environment
The ability to work from home has a number of benefits associated with it, including saving money on food and travel costs and being more environmentally friendly. The cost of eating out is typically more expensive than eating at home, and this difference can add up over time. Not having to commute to work every day can also lead to significant savings on gasoline and car maintenance. In addition, fewer cars on the road translate into less traffic and a smaller carbon footprint.
As such, you are not only saving on your own expenses, you are, too, saving on the expenses of our environment.
This should make you feel better about working from home as it actually does a lot of good for more people than just yourself.
Flexibility when you and your family needs it
Before working from home became the new normal, working parents had to scramble to figure out what to do with their kids all day if the school were closed or the kids were ill. Oftentimes, this meant working in shifts with another parent or enlisting the help of family and friends. This required a lot of logistics, and if you did not have your parents, other family members, or friends close to you, it would be really hard to manage.
However, now that many parents are working from home, they have the opportunity to see their kids more often or be available for key moments. The increased flexibility from working from home may make it possible to do activities like drop-offs, soccer practice, and other family commitments.
Being able to take your child to the doctor or something important without taking the day off is massive for many people who will now take part in so much more because their workplace allows it.
Less noise and distractions in the office at home
If you work in a large office space, you may find yourself frequently interrupted by the talking and chatting of your colleagues. Telecommuting can provide a let-off from these sorts of distractions, as well as office politics and noisy environments.
Additionally, remote workers typically have more time and fewer distractions, which leads to increased productivity—a huge benefit of working from home for both employees and employers alike.
When executed properly, remote work permits employees and businesses to concentrate on what is truly important – performance. However, the office environment can generate “false positives” that can give rise to bias and unfairness. For instance, arriving early and staying late may “appear” to be indicative of more work, but actual performance is a more precise measure of productivity.
You don’t have to worry about all of this when working from home, which can be a huge relief. No one will know if you work late or early, only if you do well and the amount of work you are being asked to.
You are less exposed to illness when working at home
The legitimate concern of employees becoming ill is something that employers are taking increasingly seriously. New measures to improve workplace health and safety are not limited to simply sanitization and daily cleaning.
Business owners are also rethinking workplace setup and design, with a view to reducing density. While the threat of exposure to illness is real, it can be significantly reduced when employers make the necessary investments to protect their employees.
By working from home you eliminate yourself from being ill. Of course, if your health is perfectly fine it may not be relevant for you. But for others, this benefit is of huge importance and something they value a lot.
What are some of the cons of working from home?
While there are many benefits to working from home, there are also some potential drawbacks. One of the biggest cons is that you can become isolated from other people. When you’re not around colleagues, it can be easy to lose motivation and focus. You can also find it more difficult to stay organized and on task.
Another potential downside to working from home is that it can be hard to disconnect from work. When your home is also your office, it can be tempting to work all hours of the day and night. This can lead to burnout and can make it difficult to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
If you’re considering working from home, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. It’s not right for everyone, but it can be a great way to boost productivity and creativity.
I have also written a guide on how you can make it more fun to work from home.
No Structure when working from home
Some people prefer the routine of working in an office, where they can enjoy a cup of coffee and the newspaper during their commute and feel more focused during working hours. They may find that working from home creates internal and external chaos that lacks the structure that an office provides.
If you feel like that then it is important that you manage to structure each day entirely so you will get the same”structural” feeling from your home work day. You can put in a shorter “commute time” where you drink your coffee and see the news or something similar. Afterward, you can head into your home office and get on with the day.
Make sure to write to-do notes, schedule your breaks, and make sure that you know what to do with your day. In that way, it will resemble a day at the office even though you are at home.
Feeling Disconnected from your workplace and colleagues
It is possible to feel disconnected from your place of work when working remotely, which can be due to factors such as loneliness, minimized networking capacity, and poor team communication. Most businesses have adapted to allow employees to work from home, but you need to make sure that your social needs are fulfilled if you have multiple days at your home office.
For some, this has no significance. They enjoy the quietness and lack of distractions by being at their homes. But for others, a daily routine at their home can lead to a feeling of isolation and fear of missing out.
It is important that try to counter this by checking in with video meetings and maybe catching up with your co-workers after hours sometimes during the month. But if you truly get more joy from being amongst your colleagues, then you should aim at spending more time at the office than at your home.
Lack of office equipment
Unless your workplace pays for your home office setup you may not have access to the same equipment at home as you have in your office. This can hinder your performance and make it far less enjoyable working from home.
You need a basic home office setup to work efficiently and enjoy yourself. An extra screen, an office table, and an office chair are the least you require. Taking into account that you bring home your working laptop. But you can easily upgrade your office setup for more comfort.
If this is the case, you should talk to your boss or HR department and ask them what the company can do for your setup at home. Otherwise, this could be a big con of working from home if your setup is compromising your output of the day.
Overworking at home
By working from home the clear lines and boundaries between your private time and working hours become more unclear. It is easy to just keep working, especially if you have no obligations at home except for yourself.
Why get out of the chair when you can just get more done? For many people, this is the case. And this leads to over-working and possibly burnout because you just keep working. Or maybe you just move into the couch in the living room where you check your emails and do a little of this and that.
Stuff you could save for tomorrow and take a well-deserved break. By going to and from the office, you will know when you are off and not. So for you to enjoy working from home you really need to set boundaries for yourself and clock out when you are supposed to.