Working from home has a massive host of advantages and this has not been any more apparent than in the modern world.
Many businesses have seen the huge potential to move entirely digital, including saving money from premises costs and employing certain people that have now become unnecessary, such as cleaners or a secretary.
Of course, with the advantages for the business – there are also huge advantages to the employees, but there are also downsides.
As with many aspects of the working life, working from home can be both a gift and a curse.
In today’s guide, we’re going to explore the world of working from home.
We shall examine the pros and cons of working from home along with other handy pieces of information for you to take away.
- General Thoughts on Working From Home
- What Are The Pros Of Working From Home?
- What Are The Cons Of Working From Home?
General Thoughts on Working From Home
For many years, we have straddled the line between working from home and from the office.
Ideas such as “flexible working” or “blended working” have been implemented for a number of years, which have allowed employers and employees to balance life and work, whilst not detracting from productivity.
It’s important that we note that the laws of employment do not change for your fundamental rights regardless of where you work.
Some people incorrectly believe that employers do not have a duty of care for their employees if they’re working from home, but they still do to ensure their safety.
This might include allowing regular breaks or providing equipment that protects employees from health hazards, such as blue-light glasses or aids for their posture.
What Are The Pros Of Working From Home?
Of course, if you work from home – you’ll already recognize some of the following advantages, and there are quite a few. They include:
When an employee is not stuck in an office environment, they are in a better position to meet the needs of the business.
Not only are the things they need for the day all around them, but if they need to do something at home during the day – they might be more happy to work later or earlier, simply to make up for the time.
This is something an employee would not be happy about doing in the office, and often – would not be possible due to closing hours.
It’s often difficult to contend with our everyday lives, particularly during times such as the summer school closure.
Employees might experience serious headaches when trying to source child daycare during this time.
So, allowing employees to work from home when things like this happen makes your employees happy and they tend to have a stronger sense of loyalty to the business.
Therefore, they are even more likely to work more to meet the needs of the business.
3. Easy To Employ Others
Working from home can be a very attractive offer for prospective employees. If you’ve previously struggled to fill a role in the office environment – you might find that filling roles with working from home as an offer is much easier.
This assists the business as there is less time spent on finding new talent and the focus can go back to the important aspects of the business.
4. Boost In Motivation And Productivity
Working from home, particularly when the hours are flexible, can boost staff’s morale and motivation hugely.
When an employee does not need to rush first thing in the morning after contending with everything else in their lives, their stress levels reduce.
Not only this, as working from home can be much more comfortable with all an employee’s needs around them – they will often have a much better attitude and work harder.
Things as basic as sitting in their favorite chair, having the ability to smoke when they like or having their groceries or bathroom nearby, they all make a difference!
5. Staff Wellbeing Is Improved
This point feeds into a few of the previous points. If the staff do not need to rush out in the morning, it means they typically get more sleep.
More sleep is hugely beneficial – and this is further improved if there are flexible hours too.
Moreover, some people have things like home gyms or healthy meals in their home.
Without the additional requirement of going into the office – an employee might decide to workout during lunch or prepare much healthier meals, rather than rush and opt for a burger.
6. Work/Life Balance
This is probably the most important point for employees.
An improved work/life balance allows employees to enjoy their work whilst getting everything that they might have stressed about, completed all at once.
This might include child care, home chores, dinner preparation, workouts or activities.
7. Fewer Sick Days
Sometimes, employees might stay at home if they feel unwell because they do not wish to spread viruses throughout the office. However, they might be well enough to work.
If this is the case for some employees, they will be able to continue to work even when they are sick.
8. Saving Money
Not only does working from home save the business money on staff, energy bills and building costs, but it also saves staff money on transport and possibly child care and food costs.
9. Location Is Employee Choice
Just because it’s called working from home, does not mean you have to work… from home.
As long as you’re working – the business does not typically care where it is conducted.
If you need to babysit for somebody, take your computer to their home and work from there. Want to have a working vacation? Take your computer away with you!
In the nice weather, you might want to work outdoors and enjoy the sun – whatever the case, you can relax and work at the same time. Winning choice!
What Are The Cons Of Working From Home?
With all of these pros, nothing is without its downsides. Some of the cons of working from home include the following:
1. It’s Not For Everyone
Some employees would much prefer being away from their home for most of the day, rather than being stuck at home.
In fact, some people have a poor home life and the working day is their escape – meaning staying at home seriously impacts their mood.
Without face-to-face interactions, some social workers feel isolated and saddened as they are working in a lonely environment.
More to these interactions, if an employee struggles with the work, they might not benefit from digital assistance and may require someone there to physically show them.
2. Possible Increased Costs
Due to being home all day, the extra energy being used can cost an employee much more. It may also cost the business more to provide equipment such as computers.
3. Distractions And Problems Monitoring An Employee
With all of the comforts of home nearby, employees might get distracted easily and may not work to their full potential.
The issue with this for the employer, is that sometimes it can be difficult to monitor the staff’s performance.
4. Bad Internet
Depending on the type of work, some employees may struggle with their level of internet access. Poor connections can cause disruptions, particularly for group involvements such as meetings.
5. Risk To Security
If you are concerned about the business or organization’s security, working from home, particularly with a large number of employees – can mean the security of the business is not guaranteed.
Anybody can walk past and read files on the employee’s computer.
6. Not All Jobs Are The Same
Perhaps the most obvious point, some jobs do not suit working from home and you will need to have a premises to work from.
Working from home can be a gold ticket, but it’s not without its disadvantages.
For many businesses, they have to take the cons and the pros and weigh them up to decide their new business model.
For potential employees, they should always check the nature of the business and see if it fits in line with what they’re looking for.