2020 changed everything, even how and where we work.
Regardless of whether you are working at the office right now or you are still working from home, we have all lived through the back and forth decisions that this pandemic has entailed. The pandemic has changed the way employees and businesses look at working from home and with that came a shift in the priorities for both.
The majority of people were forced to accommodate working from home during the pandemic, which was rough for some, while others embraced the advantages that came with it. And now that businesses are slowly beginning to go back to working from the office, many employees are questioning whether they should give up all the pros that came with working from home for the same old job and paycheck. To be completely honest here, I was definitely one of these employees! Despite the fact that working from home felt quite lonely at first, I would be lying if I denied all the extra time it gave me.
Working from home gave me the chance to sleep in for an extra hour, as well as save up time on having to dress up and commute to the office. Preparing my breakfast and lunch for the office would usually hold me up in the morning, and I would often opt for fast food in order to avoid the hustle. Thus, working from home has given me the ability to make my own healthy food. Waking up without being in a rush and having a fast paced morning gave me the chance to slow down and start my mornings in a healthier manner. At home, I was able to start my morning with a quick 5 minute meditation that left me feeling more energized and refreshed. Not only that, instead of spending money on transportation, I was able to save up some extra cash this past year. And if you ask me, this is a great plus! In all honesty, working from home gave me a great sense of control over my life that I was not aware was missing beforehand.
However, I cannot deny that just like with everything in life, there are also cons for working from home. One of the biggest challenges I faced at the beginning of the working from home era was having a healthy work-life balance. Having my office in the same space I eat, sleep and exercise in was proving to be challenging. On days I would end up working some extra hours without even noticing which eventually led to burnout. In addition, being someone who loved the office atmosphere and the people I work with, working from home made me feel slightly nostalgic at first. Furthermore, tackling family responsibilities and working at the same time was also challenging.
Now that we discussed the first half of the equation, it is important to look at things from the lens of employers. What are employers thinking? And which style of working do they prefer?
For employers, working from home can also be beneficial. Other than having the chance to cut down rental fees and bills, working from home also forces employees to step up their game and work on their communication skills, which can be a real bonus for any business! Another benefit that companies can rip is the fact that employees can actually become more productive when working from home. Furthermore, allowing employees to work from home means that the business is no longer limited to hiring people that have to be physically available which in return opens the doors for the employer to a wider pool of candidates and increases the chance of finding the right fit. However, with that comes the challenge of time difference and accommodating different cultures and ways of getting the job done. Many employers also fear losing track of their employees’ progress and work. It is important to shed light on the fact that not all employees can be trusted with doing their job fully, and therefore this can have a negative impact on the business as a whole. It is also worth mentioning that dealing with technical problems can prove to be difficult when employees are working at home and this can delay getting tasks done.
In a nutshell, both working from home and the office can be mutually beneficial for both businesses and employees when done right. However, we would like to hear your take on this. What do you think? And which option do you prefer and would optimally opt for?
The views/opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Al Bawaba Business or its affiliates.
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