Advantages and disadvantages of working from home
This detailed article explores the key advantages and disadvantages of working from home. Working from home has become a standard practice for many people around the world. Many organisations have decided that their employees can work from anywhere. However, working from has various advantages and disadvantages for both employees and employers.
Advantages of working from home for employees
On the positive side, working from home can help employees cut down on commuting time and reduce fuel expenses. It can also help them save money on daycare and other services.
One of the biggest advantages of working form home for employees is an increased work-life balance. Remote workers tend to have an easier time finding a healthy work-life balance because they can usually choose their own schedule. This enables them to spend more time with their spouses, kids, or other loved ones.
Working from home gives employees complete control over their schedule. They can set their own hours, days, and choose which projects to work on. They can also work from any corner of the world as long as they have Internet connections.
Employees working from home tend to be more productive. This is likely because they do not have to deal with the distractions that come with working in an office, such as impromptu meetings, office politics, and loud conversation. A survey by CIPD (2021) confirms that homeworking increases employee productivity.
Disadvantages of working from home for employees
It is worth noting that there are also some disadvantages of working from home for employees. Working from home is not for everyone. People who crave social interaction and thrive when surrounded by others may find it lonely and frustrating to work remotely.
According to Lucanus (2021) many remote workers find it very hard to break away from work at the end of the day. Unlike working in an office where there is a specific start and end time every day, remote working often leads to employees working more hours than a normal working day. Consequently, some people may indeed be at risk of becoming workaholic.
Advantages of working from home for employers
There are many advantages to having a remote workforce for employers. For instance, employers can save a lot of money on office rent. Office buildings in cities such as New York, London, and Paris may cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. According to Statista (2022) the monthly cost of rent for office space in London is £117.5 per square foot which is indeed the highest in Europe. By having a remote work force, employers can save that money which can be invested in further growth and development.
Organisations can extend their business hours and days by having a remote workforce. As employees can start work at different times, this enables employers to ensure that someone is at work most hours of the day. In fact, remote working could be very useful for employers who intend to offer 24/7 services.
Allowing employees to work from home can help employers reduce the impact of their operations on the environment. It helps them reduce energy usage and carbon emissions which is environmentally friendly and certainly sustainable in the long-term.
Disadvantages of working from home for employers
Like advantages, there are also some disadvantages of working from home for employers. One key disadvantage is that it can be more challenging to monitor employee performance, given that there is no face-to-face interaction between managers and employees.
Another disadvantage is a lack of structure and accountability. People who work remotely may be at a higher risk of being disconnected from the team and the company’s overall mission and goals. This could lead to underperformance and unproductivity.
Tips for a healthier work-from-home environment
Before allowing people to work from home, employers should think about how to create a healthy work environment for remote workers. Some ways to do this include keeping team members connected and making sure that they have the right equipment and software.
To keep team members connected, employers might want to consider having regular meetings where remote workers can interact with each other. They also should make sure that they provide regular feedback to remote workers. This can help them identify areas for improvement as well as celebrate successes.
Employees must have a good internet connection, as working from home requires them to be connected to the internet always. They must have the right work ethic to be able to handle working from home. They must also have a passion for what they are doing. Working from home is all about passion. If they have it, then working from home can be a great option.
Conclusion: Advantages and disadvantages of working from home
Working from home offers many benefits, such as reduced commute time, fewer sick days, and greater work-life balance. However, it can also pose certain challenges for employees including isolation, and distractions. Employers can also save a lot of money by keeping a remote work force; however, monitoring their performance may turn out to be a difficult task.
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Last update: 27 July 2022
CIPD (2021) More employers reporting increased productivity benefits from homeworking….., available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/about/media/press/010421homeworking-increased-productivity#gref (accessed 26 July 2022)
Lucanus, A. (2021) The benefits and challenges of employee remote work, available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/03/04/the-benefits-and-challenges-of-employee-remote-work/?sh=7cc825c44da9 (accessed 26 July 2022)
Statista (2022) Average office rent per square foot in different areas in London, available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/873480/london-office-cost-of-rent/ (accessed 27 July 2022)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.