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Pros and cons of working from home

The pros and cons of working from home

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, professionals across various industries are conforming to the new normal of working from home. Zoom calls have replaced face to face meetings, daily commute has reduced to a few steps, and a flexible schedule stands in for a 9-to-5 routine.

But what does it all mean for productivity?

Similar to other corporate culture trends, working from home comes with its respective set of pros and cons. In some cases, it boosts our ability to fulfil crucial tasks. In other instances, it holds us back from meeting daily goals.

To help you understand how working from home affects productivity, here’s a lowdown on telecommuting and everything it brings to the table.

Pro: It’s Less Stressful

Working from home can help you accomplish your tasks in a flexible manner. You can set your own schedule, you can manage your own breaks, and you don’t have to constantly communicate with co-workers. This provides greater control over your workday, and mitigates regular workplace stress.

All of this contributes to a less daunting workday and allows you to complete your tasks with a sense of serenity.

According to research, only 17 percent of remote employees report regular workplace stress, as opposed to 37 percent of on-site employees who work in a cubicle setting.

Con: It’s Easier to Get Distracted

To the surprise of no one, working from home makes you prone to distractions.

Being faced with so-called mundane tasks such as accounting or data entry can bring out the procrastinator in you. As a result, you may want to find any reason you can to delay the activity at hand.

Working in a closed or cubicle setting can enhance your focus and help you fight off this boredom. On the other hand, doing the same work in an open setting such as your living room or home office can make you think that even regular chores are better than completing your work.

Pro: It Cuts Down Commute Time

It doesn’t take a whole body of researchers to conclude what you can see with the naked eye: working from home cuts down your commute to nothing.

Unless you are a fan of being stuck in traffic or brushing shoulders in a crowded train, this takes a massively frustrating part out of your day. It also helps you save the commuting time and put it towards your workday instead.

Overall, it helps you get more out of a regular workday and brings increased relaxation to your daily routine. It also saves your transportation costs and increases your take-home pay.

Con: It Restricts Access to Some Systems

If you work in an organization such as a financial institution or a security firm, working from home may restrict you from accessing certain systems with sensitive data on them.

While cloud technology has made it possible for you to access workplace systems from anywhere, compliance rules and regulations may still hold you back from accessing confidential information. This could be due to customer or organizational safety.

In some cases, this may cause you to get into back-and-forth communication with on-site employees, which could affect your overall productivity.

Pro: It Allows You to Do Meetings Swiftly

Video conferencing is a big part of the emerging work from home culture. Whether you use FaceTime or Zoom, video calls can help you complete your meetings more efficiently than in an office setting.

It’s because video conferencing doesn’t require you to visit a premises in-person. You don’t have to gather in a meeting room and wait for the equipment to set up. Everything you need is right there at your phone or your desk. As a result, it cuts back the time it takes for you to attend regular meetings.

Overall, this helps you become more efficient at handling meetings, and adds to your productivity through a typical workday. In case you want to get the most out of your video calls, you can use an earpiece to cut out distractions and background noise at home.

Con: It Limits Social Interaction

Video conferencing might be a significant aspect of telecommuting, but they are not a daily routine for many. In most work from home settings, you have limited to no social interaction with your co-workers, save for a one-liner email or two.

This situation is particularly interesting, since it carries both pros and cons at the surface. Limiting your workplace interaction may help you improve your focus for a short while, but it also contributes to cutting your social contact in the long term.

As a result, you may feel like you are falling apart from the collective mindset of your team and end up feeling lonely at work. Unless you make constant communication a part of your daily routine, this could end up affecting your productivity and quality of work.

Pro: It’s a Pathway to Better Performance

Setting your schedule by yourself, working with less stress, and not having to go through hours of commute can influence you in a significantly positive way.

Managing most of your workday by yourself allows you to work with an added sense of speed and finesse. Following better communication and focus practices can also help you become more efficient in performing your daily tasks from home. In the long run, this may improve your overall productivity.

Need more proof? According to a study, remote employees can be better at sales than their on-premises counterparts. While this observation is from a one-off study in a controlled environment, overall observations also cite more benefits than disadvantages of working from home.

 

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