Though working from home has always been popular, remote working and hybrid working have become increasingly common in recent years. This significant increase in the number of people working from home is due to various reasons including technological advancements, which makes working from home something that a large portion of people can do with ease. Meetings, collaborating with colleagues, sharing information and day to day tasks can often be completed without being in the office. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of people to work from home, and it quickly became ‘the new norm’ for many industries. This made a lot of people realise that working from home was an option, one that was preferable to being in the office five days a week.
Bearing this in mind, it’s easy to see why a growing number of people are working from home, for at least part of the week. You will probably have noticed more and more job advertisements offering hybrid and remote working options, giving candidates the flexibility to work in a way that works for them. However, doing so doesn’t come without its disadvantages. Though there are many benefits to working from home, there are some downsides too. Below, we have taken a look at some of the key impacts of working from home.
One of the main benefits of working from home is the flexibility it provides, and it’s one of the most popular reasons for people deciding to embark on a remote working journey. You are able to set their own schedules and have more control over your work-life balance, giving you the freedom to focus on other aspects of daily life. This flexibility allows you to better manage personal and professional commitments, such as childcare and managing a busy household. A lot of parents choose to work from home in order to manage school drops off and pick ups, whilst others do it work around caring commitments. Plus, working from home usually gives you the flexibility to work irregular hours, making it easier to fit in hobbies, interests and travel without having to take time off.
The flexibility and comfort of working from home can contribute to reduced stress levels, and a lot of people find it to be a more enjoyable way of working. Remote workers often have a more relaxed work environment, which can lead to improved wellbeing and job satisfaction. Instead of feeling stressed and overwhelmed with how busy and chaotic an office can be, you can relax in a working environment that is completely tailored to you. You might find it relaxing to listen to music at work, which isn’t always possible when you have colleagues’ needs to think about. Additionally, working from home allows you to mix work with personal activities, such as exercise or spending time with family, which reduces stress even further. Additionally, without the time and cost associated with commuting every day, starting and finishing work becomes a lot easier.
A lot of people find it easier to be more productive when they are working from home, and remote workers are often more productive compared to their office counterparts. This is because many people are more productive in a more comfortable environment, and that’s exactly what a home office provides. Without the distractions and interruptions often present in a traditional office setting, you can focus better on your work, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. For example, there are no colleagues to talk to across the room, and no office gossip to be distracted by.
Some of the Negative Impacts Include
There are undeniable benefits that come with working from home, but there are a handful of downsides to consider.
Working from home can be isolating, especially if you are used to a social work environment, and this can result in loneliness and low morale. It’s not uncommon for remote workers to miss the spontaneous interactions, collaboration and social connections that naturally occur in an office setting. These are harder to have via an online connection. Limited social interaction can impact mental wellbeing and motivation for some people, and others find it more difficult to successfully communicate without face-to-face meetings, and without the nuances of in-person interactions.
There’s a greater potential for distractions when you are working from home, as you are working in an unsupervised environment. Home environments may have household chores, family members or pets that can divert attention away from work tasks. It requires discipline and self-motivation to maintain focus and productivity in such settings, and not to take more breaks than you are entitled to, or start late because it’s less likely to be noticed by colleagues. Plus, Working from home means dealing with potential disruptions from family members, household responsibilities or noisy neighbours. Not everyone has access to a dedicated home office space, which can impact privacy and concentration, leading to a decreased workload.
Poor Work-Life Balance
A lot of people find it harder to separate work and leisure when they are happening in the same place. When your home becomes your office, it can be challenging to separate work from personal life. It’s not as easy to draw a line between work and home when you aren’t physically commuting there and back every day. The lack of physical separation between work and home can lead to longer working hours, difficulty in switching off from work, and potential burnout. You might find it harder to say no to working overtime, and you might end up working for long hours without taking an adequate break. A lot of people underestimate the positive impact that travelling home from work can have when it comes to keeping these two parts of your day separate.
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