Until a year ago, most of us were determined not to mix our professional life with personal life. We have kept both separated and most of us were successful in doing so. All until the pandemic hit us, blurring that line between office and home.
But it's business as usual for many businesses today, thanks to the possibility of working from home. It has given employers around the world the to continue with their businesses operations without endangering the health and wellbeing of the employees. It was a convenient option for all.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of employees working from home.
Advantages of employees working from home
Flexibility and agility - With so much time on one's hands and virtually nothing to do, employees are more willing to work flexible hours. That means exceeding the normal working hours isn’t going to be a problem. This is especially helpful for companies doing business with customers residing in a different time zone.
Improved employee retention - Working from home can give more flexibility to employees helping them to fit their work around their personal life. It also reduces their commute and eases working pressure. Being allowed to work from home, increases the levels of trust the employee has with the employer. Thus increasing employee loyalty towards the company and chances of sticking to the company.
Attracting new talent - Offering work from home is a great way to attract new talents who put safety before everything. Also, this can give your company an upper hand over competitors who don't offer working from home as an option to their employees.
Increased productivity - With fewer interruptions, working from home allows for an increase in employee productivity, which you wouldn’t normally get in an office environment. A more calm and quiet environment can facilitate more focused work and prompt employees to work longer hours.
Increased staff motivation - Less monitoring and supervising means more happy employees. Working from home gives employees a degree of autonomy to get on with their work. Developing their own home-working routine, contributing to motivating them to give their best.
Improved staff health and wellbeing - By working from home employees can eliminate the commute to the office. Time saved like this can be added to your sleep time, spent exercising or preparing healthy meals.
Financial benefits - Obviously, working from home has many financial benefits like savings on office rent, utility bills and other charges occurring when you are working in an office.
Disadvantages of employees working from home
Working from home doesn't suit everyone - Let’s get this right, working from home is not for everyone. Some employees might prefer to keep their personal life separated from their professional life. Some may prefer personal interaction with colleagues over virtual meetings. Not everyone’s homelife is going to be suitable for working from home, especially for someone having children at their home it’s going to be extra hard.
Staff feeling isolated - Working from home affects people differently. While some people are better at working from home. Others may feel a disconnect from their colleagues and the organisation as a whole. This could affect the mental health and productivity of the employee. To address this issue employers could ensure that communication is more regular and staff are given more opportunity to catch up.
Difficulty monitoring performance -Managing and monitoring the performance of employees will not be easy as it was in the office. Not all will respond positively to monitoring. You could set goals and targets with workers to measure performance.
Home distractions - While home working removes the distractions that may occur in the office, not all homes gonna be without distractions. Not all employees may have a dedicated working space which can cause distractions.
Decreased staff morale - Keeping the team spirits high when employees are working at home on their own is not gonna be easy.
Not all jobs suit home working - To tell the truth not all jobs are cut out for working from home. Some jobs require the presence of staff in the office.
Poor broadband speeds - When working from home to ensure a smooth flow of work you require access to high-speed internet. Companies should be mindful that poor broadband speeds can affect the employees work efficiency and productivity.
Working at home has its advantages and disadvantages both to companies and its employees. With the sheer number of companies shifting to work from home culture, it's clear there are more benefits than shortcomings for business.