Working from home is a mode of work that has become increasingly common – especially post the pandemic. But is it all good? Read on to find out.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost every aspect of our lives began to transpire online. Groceries were bought via apps, schools started to embrace e-learning, and people began to work from home.
Working from home, also known as teleworking, is not exactly a new concept. Given the nature of their jobs, it used to be something that only a select few professionals could partake in. However, the pandemic highlighted the fact that it is feasible for most people to do their job from the comfort of their own homes.
Even now, with the pandemic having winded down in Singapore and many other parts of the world, people are still embracing remote work. Many are continuing with a hybrid working style, where they work from home only partially and go to the office the rest of the time.
While the pandemic has forever changed the way we do our jobs, there are many reasons why both employers and employees prefer or dislike teleworking. Here are some of the pros and cons of the arrangement.
Remote work affords employees unparalleled independence and autonomy when doing their jobs. Certain kinds of people are not able to be self-reliant when they’re working in a physical office because of the threat of micromanagement.
Employees who work from home require a certain amount of discipline and dedication to be able to finish their jobs on time and well. Fortunately, remote workers report an improved ability to focus and work at their own pace, which allows for better-quality output.
2. Money saved
The reduced expenditure is a major factor for people who prefer to work from home. When you do not have to physically be at the office, you’re cutting down on money spent commuting. This includes the fare for transport and fuel expenses. You also won’t have to pay for food, professional clothes, and childcare, in some cases.
Flexibility is something that often comes up when discussing remote work. For example, you don’t always adhere to regular working hours when you work from home. As such, you can make appointments and the like without having to take a day off. This is especially beneficial for people with demanding personal lives or families they need to care for.
People who work from home often report feelings of loneliness and isolation because of the sheer amount of time spent on their own. After all, working independently comes at a cost. To bypass this, workers have taken to arranging more activities and outings with family and friends. Companies with a vast number of employees who work remotely may organise work events so that the workers are not completely sequestered from their colleagues.
With the lack of monitoring comes the temptation of distractions. Anything from television to phones to pets can disrupt your workday if you’re not careful. If you find yourself constantly fighting to stay focused on your job, you may be too distracted to work. You’ll also notice a decline in drive, ultimately leading to lagging productivity.
The solution to the issue lies in how well you limit your distractions. You can keep your phone in a different room while you work or use noise-cancelling earphones to keep unwanted sounds out.
When you work from home, you run the risk of going over the allotted work hours in a day. Overworking yourself to get everything done can be tempting, but it also leads to being burned out quickly and undue stress. To avoid this, employees must become proficient at time management. They’ll have to abide by the strict guidelines of the schedule they make and designate specific time slots for tasks. It also helps to create and employ a physical workspace you can leave when work is over.
For better or for worse, the institution of remote working is here to stay. Like any other working style, it can be both detrimental and beneficial to the worker and the company. As such, precautions must be taken to maintain an employee’s productivity and well-being. Ultimately, the decision to work from home, in whatever capacity, is subject to a person’s individual needs and disposition, as well the organisation’s preference.
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