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Following a habit-changing Covid19 pandemic, the world adopted new habits such as the forced guaranteed move for most to work from home.
Fast forward to 2023, no vaccines and the world is fast allowing travel across countries but there appears to be a call for most employees to come back to the office.
While some companies are adamant that working in an office environment contributes to increased productivity, it’s proving the narrative that remains a challenge.
Therefore we look at the pros and cons of working at the office and working from home. Which is better?
Office-bound productivity means access to more creative minds and increased overall social interaction with colleagues.
There’s silent competition and this can be viewed as a positive contribution to excellence due to the idea for colleagues to want to push harder on the output side in order to benefit the company.
While this remains to be proven, it is important to note that social interaction, teamwork, and camaraderie are contributing factors to an overall productive employee.
Structure and routine
Working in an office provides more structure and can aid in channeling overall productivity.
Access to networking opportunities alongside access to resources is another. Think of the use of the office printer which is only a few steps away, or other office resources which can at times increase efficiency linked to working in the office.
Build relationships. Office-bound employees have a higher chance of building long-term relationships. These relationships can be harnessed when factoring in industry changes for an employee.
There is an office culture coupled with networking opportunities at work which all come with a list of some smart and updated better work equipment.
Develop professionally. Working at the office can in some form help carve a professional ethos of excellence due to the entrenched work, or company ethos.
The list continues but overall working at an office does contribute to faster problem-solving, in-house training, and increased creativity.
This is first on the list of many employees who commute to work consistently. The stress of most commutes often does filter into the workspace if unmanaged.
Working in the office can be a little expensive due to the requirement for office ware, such as professional attire and travel expenses.
There’s a lack of privacy in an office and often most employees do not get the time or opportunity to decompress.
Couple that with the massive amount of pollution which is a byproduct of daily commute, working at the office can often create more harm for the planet than staying at home. No, we are not advocating for hybrid work, only listing several cons that can be associated with office-bound employees.
Pressure at the office can lead to more energy consumed with coffee breaks taking longer than the proposed 15 minutes.
Working from home
Flexibility and reduced travel costs are the first major changes visible when working from home. While employees can save on travel costs they do however have to invest in the return on data, especially if they’re working.
Reduced stress and comfort
Comfort and reduced stress are key to most employees leaning towards working from home.
Remote work allows more independence, creativity, and increased job satisfaction.
There’s also something known as work-life balance and working from home often produces a balance for some in this regard. Finding the work-life balance can be a challenge for most, but it does open up more opportunity for workers to cultivate a schedule that benefits both their work and their families.
There are reduced global limitations. Hybrid work can have a global appeal which means employees can learn to manage and run tasks all in the comforts of their own homes.
Social Isolation: most employees will experience social isolation and home distractions, with technical or connectivity issues somewhere in there as some of the challenges seen with remote work.
Lack of motivation and poor communication motivation can contribute to employees’ lack of moral due to the limited interaction with like-minded people.
Networking goes out the window alongside access to top-of-the-range office appliances.
Which is better?
This all depends on the personality of every individual.
There are people who thrive under pressure while others prefer a collaborative space to be productive. Whichever it may be, the world is fast changing and to be migrating back to the office in 2023 seems a little like asking women to stay home and not work because they have children. That would not be proactive or fare.
The world is changing and new systems need to be introduced to better manage the plethora of changes.