Aug 01, 2021

Working from home: Pros & Cons

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Hello!

Over the last two years I work exclusively from home. At the times we live in, I'm certain that many of you had to (or chose to) work remotely as well. In this article, I'll analyze based on my personal opinion and experience, the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.

Pros

✅ Increased Productivity

Personally, when I work from home I feel more productive and there are almost no distractions at all. At my home office, there's only me and my computer - there aren't any people passing by or chatting/talks etc. I feel that my only task is just my work. Of course you could say that's totally subjective as I've got some friends that they feel they're more productive when they're working from the office!

✅ Reduction of time wasted

Due to the fact that my office stands a few meters away from my bedroom, the time and struggle needed to wake up earlier, get dressed 🙃 and then commute/walk/drive to work and back again, are completely eliminated. I can wake up at 8:59 and start working at 9:00. Combine this with a home-gym (or any kind of home work out) and by afternoon you're able to complete your work and perform a workout session. Efficiency at its finest!

✅ Fits well with chores

Depending on the workload of the day, I can take a break, go to the kitchen and cook/make something or just complete a chore that must get done. One example of how remote working fits well with chores and other tasks is when there was a plumber in my house to fix something I didn't have to take the day off as I was already home!

✅ Digital Nomad 😎

Remote working does not necessarily mean working from home. You can grab your laptop and work from anywhere in the world provided the fact there's Internet. And by "anywhere in the world", I mean some cafeteria, a restaurant, a hotel while you're on vacation or some beach at Maldives (it's not a joke, just google "remote working in Maldives" and you'll find that there are packages and programs that are specialized just in this! 😄)

All jokes aside, the fact that I'm not physically bound to my work's location is extremely helpful at many cases e.g when moving from one place to another. Personally I moved from Thessaloniki to Heraklion without the need to find another job!

✅ Home office and setup

I can set up my home office exactly how I want to in terms of decoration and functionality. For example, I can try a different desk (e.g standing), another chair, add/remove monitors etc. Usually when we work at a professional setting inside a company, it's harder to apply those kind of changes.

Cons

❌ Lack of human connection

In my opinion, one of the biggest disadvantages of working from home is the fact that complete interpersonal relationships and social connections are missing. When you get to see your colleagues only through video-calls, the social connection stops being 100% human and authentic. Actually seeing and meeting the other person and his/her body language plays an important role in human communication and bonding.

Furthermore, it's impossible to crack a joke during work or just go for a coffee at the end of a workday or just have fun in any way outside of the digital world. Currently I work from home and I communicate with 5-10 colleagues that potentially could be 5-10 good friends if we were working together from the office.

❌ Alienation

Being inside a house for 8-10 hours a day for 5 days per week, combined with long-hour work in front of a monitor, can at times make me feel like an alienated robot. Especially when I don't leave the house even after I finish my work; I feel like a zombie. Of course that's a bit subjective as I know some people love spending the majority of their time inside their house (in Greece we call them housecats).

❌ No personal-professional boundaries

Having a home office and working from there is pretty convenient for many reasons as we explained above. However, at times I feel that I'd like to have a more strictly professional space where my mind would have it associated with just 100% professional work. Now and then when there's confusion between my personal and professional space I feel some kind of lack of motivation.

❌ Perks, Ιnternet etc

Usually Internet at home (at least here in Greece!) is much slower than the Internet used insided companies' offices. Moreover, there are usually some perks when working from the office like snacks/breakfast/coffee, better professional equipment, areas for entertainment (e.g table tennis) etc.

Is it worth it after all?

I believe that the fact that someone is able to work from home, provided the nature of work allows it, is a major advantage and a model that every modern company should adopt it or at least not prohibit it.

Personally, an ideal model is something that combines both remote and in-house working. For example, some companies follow a hybrid model of 3 days working from home and 2 days working from the office, combining in this way the benefits of both models!

What's your thought? 🙂