Office or Home – Where Do You Do Your Best Work?

Apr 2, 2014 | Blog

Office or home office

 

 

 

 

 

 

The way we work has changed dramatically over the last decade. For many years, people have had to travel from their homes to their places of work, day-in, day-out. The office has long been seen as the best place for employees to be in order to be productive and produce the best results for the company.

However, thanks to the communication revolution that has provided us with conference call software, Skype and mobile phones and so on, working from home is now an option for many employees. Often referred to as ‘telecommuting’, this way of working continues to grow in popularity around the world, especially in these unstable economic times when many businesses need to cut costs where they can.

The subject begs the question ‘are employees better off working from home, or would they be more productive if they came into the office every day?’

Pros of working at the office

  • It is an environment designed for work: This means that it has been set up to allow employees to be as productive as possible.
  • It is often quicker to bounce ideas off other people.
  • You will be more ‘in the loop’ about office issues and news. Being in the know about what is happening in the company you work for is important. If you are working in the office, you will be more likely to hear about any news. 
  • New employees will find integrating and getting to know their colleagues is much easier when they are in the office.

Cons of working at the office

  • You are more likely to be disturbed by colleagues: Due to the fact that the office can also be a highly social environment, your co-workers may want to pass by your desk to exchange some gossip or to ask you for assistance with a project they are doing. This may disturb your work flow and you may not be as productive as you could be.
  • The office can be noisy: Many offices consist of open plan seating, nowadays. While, most people may be quiet while they are working, phones ringing, loud conversations and the sounds of typing can be annoying. This can make the office an unpleasant working environment that may lead to less productive workers.
  • Sitting at a desk all day can be a strain: When you work in an office for 8 or 9 hours a day, you will have to be at your desk for a very large portion of that time. This may strain your neck, back and your eyes, leading to potential health issues.

 Pros of working from home

  • It will save money. You will not need to spend money on travelling every day, buying a full office wardrobe or going out for lunch.
  • It’s a peaceful work environment. When working from home, most people will have a private office that they use. It is likely to be quiet and without the distracting noises of other people on phone calls or chatting, as an office environment would. Also, there will be no co-workers to disturb you as you try to work.
  • More flexible working hours: When working from home, you can choose your own hours. This means you will not have to sit for long periods of time and you can work when you feel most productive.

Cons of working from home

  • It can get lonely: Working from home can make you feel lonely as you will not have people to interact with. The office can be a great place to make new friends and acquaintances, especially when new to a company.
  • It requires high levels of self discipline: It can sometimes be tempting to engage in household chores when you should be working or to decide to take a long nap in the afternoon and your work may end up neglected.
  • You may be overlooked for promotion: Your absence from the office may lead to you being ‘’forgotten’’ by management when it comes time to promote someone into an available position or for career development opportunities.

Working from home and working at the office both have their advantages and disadvantages. The decision needs to take into account the individual, the company and the job. Perhaps it’s not a case of one or the other and the working week is split between the home office and the company office. So if you have a choice of working options open to you, why not take advantage and see how it affects your productivity?

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