Working from home offers more comfort and flexibility to employees and employers both. As a result, the percentage of people working from home is increasing day by day. More than half of the global businesses now offer work-from-home opportunities. But it has some drawbacks also. So, in this article, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of working from home along with solutions to overcome those drawbacks.
Advantages of Working From Home
Flexible Working Hours
As long as you are ready to complete your daily work, you can choose when to start and end your day. You get enough time to pursue your interests and hobbies, as it saves your commuting time.
Some of the benefits of having a flexible work schedule are that you can:
- take a short break any moment you need
- hang out with your friends
- go for a short walk or take an online yoga class
- spend time with your family
- do laundry work
- do meditation to calm your mind
- eat your food any time
You have more freedom and can focus on your family along with your work.
Saves a lot of Money
You save on daily expenses like paying for parking, petrol or gas for your car, wear and tear of your vehicle, public transportation, formal clothes, lunch, tea, coffee, etc. These all add up and you put back extra money in your wallet.
The money-saving formula is not restricted to employees alone. More and more companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are allowing their employees to work-from-home opportunities. Companies can save millions of rupees by opting for these cost-saving techniques.
A few cost-saving options for companies are that they:
- do not have to rent or buy a huge office. This reduces the amount they have to pay for office space.
- can reduce the expenditure on office supplies
- have reduced electricity bills
- have reduced expenditure on office snacks
- can hire top freelancers from around the world
- will have a team of more loyal employees in the absence of office politics
- will always get their work done on time as no one will take sick leaves
- can use the time employees saved from commuting for office work
- can have short meetings of up to 15 minutes and share the documents using the chat function in the video call
Many companies now see this as a long-term solution to save money.
There are no geographical limitations in doing remote jobs. You have access to a wide range of job opportunities from across the globe.
Home-based work eliminates the need to bear the expenses of living in a high-end city to pursue a career of your choice. So, people who live in rural areas and small towns can also find online jobs and start their work-from-home journey.
You can set up the work environment according to your comfort. You will have more productivity while working from home as you will be able to eliminate office distractions.
Here are a few options to customize the workspace at home to minimize distractions:
You work in an open environment at the office, whereas at home you can maintain a peaceful atmosphere. There are fewer distractions because of which your productivity increases. You are able to complete more work in less time.
Lighting in the workspace has a direct impact on your health. Improper lighting can cause headaches and serious eye problems. But working from home gives you the liberty to design your own setup.
You can adjust your room temperature level according to your need.
Office politics exist everywhere. There is rivalry among colleagues which makes the working environment toxic. Whereas when you work from home you compete with yourself only. There is no stress. You work freely and productively as you like.
Hence with more work and lesser distractions, your productivity increases. The quality and quantity of your work improve. The entire focus is on performance. This is a win-win situation for both the employer and employee.
Happy and Healthy Work-Life
Remote working with a flexible work schedule leads to better health in many ways. Some of them are that
- you have healthy eating options available at home
- you can take care of your health as you get more time for physical activity
- there is no pressure of wearing business clothes
- your stress level gets reduced
- you maintain better relationships with your family etc.
Also, you share a healthy bond with your senior team members in absence of office politics. This enables employees to give their 100% which increases employee retention.
Disadvantages of Working From Home
Though there are several benefits of remote working, it is not always advantageous for employees to work-from-home. Here are the disadvantages of work-from-home culture:
- Family and children demand more attention. You are neither able to give 100 percent to your professional life nor your personal life.
- You get distracted. Distractions can be in the form of in-house noise or from neighborhood activities, doorbell ringing, random telephone calls, noise from television, or music system playing in the adjacent room.
- People do not accept that working from home is the same as working from the office. They come to visit you any time, which causes distraction.
- Sometimes necessary office equipment is not available at home, such as fax machine, printer, high-speed internet connection, personal computer or laptop.
- Working alone makes you dull. You sometimes need face-to-face communication to brainstorm ideas. Also, you miss the regular noise and hustle-bustle of the office while working.
- Due to a lack of interaction between team members and managers, work gets delayed. Also, sometimes you do not feel like working or work less in the absence of high authority. As a result, you miss the deadline. Your market reputation goes down. You lose future projects.
- You may get distracted by the comforts of home, such as mid-day nap, taking a break anytime, watching TV, playing games, or spending time on social media. It reduces your productivity. You procrastinate and rush to complete work at the last moment.
- You may experience health problems due to the absence of office equipment, such as a proper desk and chair. You start experiencing back, neck, and shoulder pain that affects your posture.
How to Increase Productivity While Working From Home
Working from home is not an easy task. Most of you find it tough to maintain a work-life balance. Sometimes you do not follow the required work ethics and exploit the flexibility offered to you.
Hence, you require quick tips to get better at work from home system. A few of them are:
- Set up a designated workstation to maintain an office-like environment at home. Also, de-clutter your workspace to reduce distraction.
- Wear business clothes while at work. Get dressed in a way as you do while going to the office. This creates a feeling of being at work. When you’re finished with your work, close your office and put on comfortable clothes.
- Have time-bound short breaks. Avoid long breaks as they will make you lazy. You can have a short three to four 15-20 minutes break in an 8-hour work schedule.
- Avoid indulging in household chores when at work. Do them either post-work or on off days.
- Identify the time of the day when you are able to work more efficiently. You must stay productive for at least 90 minutes in continuation.
- Make use of a pen and paper to write down goals. Don’t use any app, MS-word, or Google doc. They will always be in front of you and motivate you to complete them.
- Set small, realistic, and achievable goals. Completing them will boost your confidence and you will move ahead with another set of goals.
- Plan your goals on a weekly, daily, and hourly basis. It will help you to differentiate between big projects and small tasks.
- Set a deadline for each goal. The deadline can either be long-term or short-term. Setting deadline motivates you to complete tasks on time.
- Multitasking doesn’t exist in reality. You have to stop doing your current task and switch to another. It reduces the quality of work. It makes you mentally depressed as you are not able to complete any task properly. Hence, you should focus on only one task at a time and then move to other tasks.
- Don’t postpone the toughest task until the end of the day. Finish it before doing easy tasks. It will give you a sense of achievement and increases your confidence level.
- Complete the task you start doing. Do not jump from one task to another as your mind will not focus on the present task.
- Reduce interruptions like the ringing of the doorbell, child crying, etc. by putting your phone in silent mode, using headphones, keeping your kids busy with some toy, etc. Tell everyone about your work hours and that you’ll be available only after that.
- Share your working hours and status with your colleagues. This will prevent them from contacting you before or during your working hours. Update your co-workers about your break time, lunchtime, or when you’re in a meeting. This will make it easier for your team members to contact you at the right time.
- Start your day with a short video call with your team members. You can do a short recap of the tasks done yesterday and create a plan for the current day’s work.
- Accept the changes in your work life. Make a list of good things that have happened because of this change, such as, spending more time with family, time to work on your physical and mental well-being, etc.
- Maintain a daily exercise routine as it improves your physical and mental health. You can do low impact exercises like going for a short walk, doing 5-minute meditation, or stretching exercises.
- Keep a track of your working hours. Separate your personal and professional life. Maintain a to-do list and try not accomplishing many tasks in one day. Also, try not to check work emails after your set office hours and at weekends.
Even if, after taking all these measures, your productivity level does not improve, then you can opt for a co-working space. These provide an office environment with a high-speed internet facility, office equipment, and a peaceful work environment that keeps distractions away. You can choose the work plans according to your needs. You can opt for a monthly plan or pay for the days you visit. You no longer work in isolation and your productivity and creativity increase.
Working from home is a trend that is catching up fast. But, working from home requires you to put in a lot of hard work. So if you wish to have a profitable and successful home-based career, then you must learn to work smartly.
You need to maintain self-discipline to be productive and efficient in whatever you do. Remote working will be your best decision if you don’t lose your focus.
Are you also working from home?
Share your experience in the comments below.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Preeti Shah
Preeti Shah (author) from Delhi on November 14, 2020:
It feels great when someone appreciates you. I am happy that you find these tips valuable.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on November 11, 2020:
Thank you for these helpful tips. I've worked from home most of my life and love it...especially when I can stay in my pajamas!