With this remote working revolution caused by COVID-19, more and more employees are seeing the benefits and perks of working from home remotely.
Twitter already announced that its workers can work from home forever, and many leading companies globally have also followed suit in giving their employees the option to work from home in the future.
Of course, there will be certain job roles that require you to always be on-site, such as needing to access specialised equipment, but even if one could work from home completely, there are myriad factors that workers would consider before actually deciding if a permanent work-from-home arrangement is suited for them.
#1 Willingness And Ability To Communicate Well Remotely
Having effective communication skills is an essential trait in the workplace, and even more so when you’re working from home. Without the ability to see and talk to colleagues face-to-face physically, the difficulty of communication while working from home increases significantly.
When working from home, it is much harder to observe body language, facial expressions and tone of voice while in video calls or messages with co-workers. Messages and calls can easily be misinterpreted, leading to more problems in future.
Thus, if you think communicating from home might be a problem, it might make sense to insist on working in the office instead of from home.
#2 Level Of Support Or Collaboration Required
Some jobs, like writing and graphic design, allow for you to work solo for long stretches of time, without
distraction interaction. However, others might need lots of support from colleagues, such as job roles that require close collaboration and teamwork.
Also, for those who are new to the company or job role, it might make sense to work in the office where co-workers can more effectively mentor and guide them.
#3 Availability Of Conducive Work Environment At Home
Compared to the office, one’s home may not be as comfortable and conducive to work at the office. Factors such as the noise in your neighbourhood or lack of proper equipment might hinder your productivity.
And if you need to fork out a substantial amount of cash just to improve your work conditions at home, it might not make a lot of sense to do so.
Location is also another aspect of a conducive work environment. If you routinely need to meet clients or vendors at short notice, or need to process physical documents, attempting to do so remotely – especially from a not-so-accessible place might be foolhardy.
#4 Your Ability To Work-Life Balance Remotely
If work-life balance is important to you, then you would want to consider whether you can separate the two at home if you are working remotely. Remote work may blur those lines, and many have experienced it while at home for the circuit breaker.
Instead of clocking off at 6pm, you might end up working way beyond if you find it difficult to set clear distinction between work and play. Conversely, the commute to the office and the workplace setting provides a clear, time-tested boundary that some might appreciate.
#5 Company Culture And Growth Opportunities
In a shared office space, co-workers can interact with one another at scheduled events or informal chats. Working from home means that there are lesser opportunities to bond, as well as build or transmit the company culture to new hires.
Also, you might consider how working from home may affect your career growth and prospects. There are many accounts where remote workers among a team who works in office frequently get overlooked from promotions, perhaps as a side effect of not having the platform or opportunity to showcase their leadership or proficiency, compared to other peers.
Being at home also means that you might receive less feedback, and thus affect your professional development, since it is tougher to both give and receive feedback without physically being in the office.
#6 Family Support
Family can be a big reason whether you choose to work at home or the office. Some prefer staying at home to work as they can spend more time with their family, while others may choose to work in the office if they feel their family members might be a distraction for them while working.
When deciding whether to work from home, you should consider the needs of your family as well. Perhaps your presence and constant video calls might be a disruption of your family members’ personal space as well, not to mention the clutter of office files and multiple monitors.
Best Of Both Worlds Via A Hybrid Approach?
With the pandemic reshaping business practises and bringing forward the future of work, we would likely see a shift towards working from home.
As more and more companies and workers want to shift towards a work-from-home culture, you would also need to know whether you are suited for such work conditions.
As we discussed in this article, both choices have their pros and cons, and perhaps a hybrid work-from-home-sometimes might give you and your team the best outcomes in terms of productivity and happiness.
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