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Work at Home vs Work in the Office: Pros & Cons

The pandemic introduced working from home when lockdowns sent everyone out of the office to minimize the risk of viral spread. Today, millions of companies all over the world have built a new remote workflow. As offices reopen, many teams are choosing to stay remote or split the difference with hybrid teams and schedules. For some, it’s a matter of preference and personal work style. For others, simple logistics guide their decision to work at home vs work in the office.

Which should you choose, or which is best for your workflow in the long run? That all depends on whether you have office space at home and how the remote work pros and cons interact with the type of work you do. Today, we’re spotlighting the universal pros and cons of remote work to help you make the best choice for your present and future productivity.

Working At Home Pros and Cons

Pros:

1) No Commute

The commute, that stressful journey in rush-hour traffic from home to your workplace, is something many professionals were glad to leave behind when remote work becomes a nationwide mandate. When you work from home, your commute is from the kitchen to your desk chair. Those few comfortable steps cut fifteen minutes to three hours of stress out of your day, every day.

2) Personal Scheduling

Most remote teams have become more flexible when it comes to hours and scheduling. Whether you’re an early morning person or a night owl, most remote managers will let you load your schedule for the times when you are personally most productive. Which can also relieve some stress when dealing with other at-home duties.

3) Comfortable Dress Code

Working from home, you don’t have to be fully business-casual, just presentable on camera. Most dress codes slipped into leggings and sweaters during the pandemic, quite frankly, the comfy-casual look has caused most of us to realize that looking professional doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Especially if your pants won’t be in the frame.

Cons:

1) Less Productive Environment

Many professionals, unfortunately, also discovered that being more comfortable at home was also less productive. It can be tough to hold yourself to schedules or get into a serious work-only mindset at home. Combined with other pandemic at-home activities, at-home productivity can suffer.

2) Communication and Collaboration Challenges

You can quickly start to miss the ease of asking coworkers a question over the cube-wall or meeting the team in the conference room come project time. Zoom collaboration is possible, but also rife with technical challenges and just a little disjointed for shared project work.

3) At-Home Distractions

Finally, there are at-home distractions. It’s common for professionals at home to be distracted by kids (young or home from school), partners and roommates (also working remotely), and adorable pets who are now office pets. 

Working in the Office Pros and Cons

Pros:

1) Collaboration and Teamwork

Working in the office makes teamwork and communication easier between those who are in the office. If your entire team is back in the workplace, you’re in luck when it comes to dynamic and fast collaboration.

2) Fewer Distractions

Office environments are designed to provide focus and be all about the work you’re doing. Unlike home, with many influences, it’s easier to avoid distractions in the workplace. At least, in most workplaces,

3) Productivity Boost

In addition to fewer distractions, your productivity is also boosted by having all the right equipment, software, and information you need to do your job. Working in the office, for some roles, is the only way to reach full productivity.

Cons:

1) The Commute

Very few people enjoy their commute, and a bad commute can be the greatest downside to a good job.

2) Lack of Privacy

Many of us got used to the privacy of working from home. Going back to the office means cubicles, open workspaces, and coworkers who ‘pop in’ unexpectedly with questions. 

3) More Stressful Environment / Routine

Lastly, working in the office often introduces more stressors than working from home. You have to worry about interpersonal dynamics, dealing with work equipment, crowds and commutes, taking your break at the right time, and other little sources of stress.

If you are currently making the choice to head back to the office or continue working remotely, don’t forget to weigh the pros and cons of each option completely. Consider not only the general influences, but how each choice will influence your personal workflow, productivity, and stress level. For more insights on making the right workplace choice for you, contact us today.