The Pros and Cons of Working from Home
Working at home is becoming a consideration Singaporeans are making especially in recent years where technology is taking over the workforce. Well, if your job offered you a chance to work from home, would you take it? Your most probable answer would be yes. Who wants to spend a whole day in a boring office in official dressing from 8 to 5? No one. However, the next questions that you should ask yourself are: whether you would be productive working in pyjamas or sweat pants, would you get more time with family if you start working from home? And lastly, would you enjoy solitude where you are home alone no colleagues or supervisors to check on you or corporate environment to walk around?
From those questions, you may need to sit down and think further. If you are a lady with small kids or have a well-designed and maintained a home office, working from home can be a great choice. It saves you from the financial constraints of renting an office, fuel consumption or bus fares from home to work and other necessities like lunch. Just as there are innumerable reasons for working at home, similarly, there exists many pros and cons that one must consider. Here are just some of them.
The flexibility of work and family
One of the significant benefits of working from home is that one gets enough time to bond with the family particularly children if you’re a mother. Working from home,a parent is able to monitor his or her children, guide them and learn them as they grow. This is a good way of balancing between family and work life. You are also able to shelve some time for the doctor, to run errands and attend your kid’s school party without having to request permission from your seniors at work!
An office worker spends 2 to 3 hours from the time they wake up to the time they get to work. This means that every day they waste 2 or 3 hours preparing and commuting, not mentioning the evening commute. Fuel or money is spent when these two compulsory trips are made which could add up to a lot of money at the end of the month. If both an individual working from home and an individual working in an office wake up at 5 Am every day, it is apparent that the person working from home will be more productive than an individual working in an office.
Home is comfortable
Every Singaporean can agree that they enjoy staying home. Wearing your favorite sweatpants baking some cookies in the kitchen, sitting at the counter with your laptop and a mug of coffee beside it waiting for the cookies to cook is a life every Singaporean would wish to have. You don’t have to think about the traffic, the rainy day and raincoat to wear or a nagging colleague at work, instead you are surrounded by a loving family and happy people to support you.
You get to define your hours
Working at home means organizing your time. Don’t overwork yourself simply because you feel you are at home. It also means setting deadlines for your work so that you have a balance of home life and work life. If you prefer working at night when everything is quiet, then go for it. If you are a nursing mother, have time for work and the baby. The best thing about working at home is that it is very flexible. For instance, if you have an urgent task, you can always skip lunch and eat when the job is complete. You also rest enough if you work early.
Save on wardrobe and office rent
Renting an office is quite expensive in Singapore, therefore, having a home office can go a long way towards saving substantial lump sums of money every month on rent. Electricity bill will be shared in the house, and lunch will always be a few rooms away. Not having to maintain a formal wardrobe is another money-saving aspect of working from home. You do not need those expensive, uncomfortable suits and heels when working at home. Instead, some comfortable clothing will actually help increase productivity.
Working from home has one colossal disadvantage; cut off from human interaction. Well, not completely when you have a whole family and kids running all over, but most of your work life will mean being left alone in your office. You no longer have the support, encouragement from your colleagues and supervisors and phone calls can never be enough.
Everything runs well until your internet starts misbehaving or you lose out your company’s intranet may render you helpless. In an office, you get support from the office in case your computer fails or when you get a technical problem that needs urgent attention. Fellow employees can also help you out, but when you are at home, you have to deal with the challenges on your own which may cost you money.
Too much comfort may render you unproductive
If you overeat or dress too warm, you might sleep on work. You may also be tempted to keep checking your phone or social media accounts which may slow your progress. If you are the type of employee who relies on teamwork for excellent productivity, working at home may not be a good choice. Working at home can be too distracting, lack of organization and poor time management can take you down work-wise.
The bottom line
A study conducted by Stanford University in collaboration with China’s largest travel agency found out that home-based workers proved to be more productive than their office counterparts. They seemed happier and less likely to quit work. On the other side, those who work at home were less likely to get promoted compared to their office-based workmates. However, 50% of the workers who worked from home wished to go back to the office due to loneliness.