Certain aspects of our lives have changed beyond recognition for the last two years. New limits have arisen, and we don't have a choice but to learn how to live with them. Still, aside from drawbacks, pandemics also brought positive changes. We had time to reconsider our values and learn to see the beauty of life in small joys. Our work routine has evolved too - and for the better.
According to the Owl Lab research, 18% of companies globally are working fully remotely nowadays. Amount of remote workers in the EU rose to 12,5% in 2021, while in 2019, there were only 5%. The reason for such a facelift is in the convenience and effectiveness of the work from home. However, most companies don't support fully remote work, and many achievers, especially managers and CEOs, still have doubts about the productivity of working from home.
For example, 72% of the US managers would like their subordinates on remote to go to the office. That's why we've cleared out the pros and cons of different work options - once and for all. Read on and discover which one wins in the battle for better productivity and workplace happiness - working in an office vs. remotely.
Set your work priorities and preferences
Before considering each work type, decide for yourself - which one will suit your priorities and life goals. Keep in mind your life circumstances, too. So answer these questions to figure out which work option suits you better:
- Is it essential for you to be involved in the team and to interact with it regularly?
- Is commuting to the office take you much time?
- Do you want to have more time for your family?
- Do you have a place at home where you can work in complete silence and stay focused?
Each option has its perks and drawbacks. Some achievers may find it easier to work from home, while others get used to working from the office. So if you have decided on your work priorities, it's time to uncover which option - working from the office vs. home makes you more productive.
Pros & cons of working from the office vs. remotely
When you have a rough vision of your ideal workday, it'll be easier for you to understand the benefits of each work option. You could also easily decide which of them won't match your lifestyle. Let's look closely at each of them.
Pros of working from the office
Despite the growing remote work trend, employers continue to praise office work. Research claims that 39% of employers require their employees to return to the office full time after the pandemic. For some achievers, that means they're able to get back to their usual office rituals and communicate with their teams. For others, it could be a step back regarding their freedom and productivity. Still, office work has such perks:
1. Working from the office helps you feel more included
The one enormous benefit of working from the office is that you feel yourself a part of a team or even a loving family if your company has excellent team spirit. Survey has found that among people who got back to offices, 78% feel more included compared to how they felt on remote work. When you're in the office, surrounded by like-minded people working on the same project as you, you know that you're not alone.
By spending your work hours in the office, you know that you have a greater goal and don't waste your efforts. You can also take part in every office event, be it a simple team-building or an annual corporate party, which may increase your motivation and dedication to work. You could never compare that type of involvement to video calls on remote work.
2. Working from the office increases your self-discipline and time management
Another good thing that office work brings to your life and career is high-level self-discipline. Imagine the usual morning of the office worker: get up at a fixed time, half an hour for the quick breakfast, a cup of coffee, and news scroll, and it's time to go. Then, when you're at the office, you also could have fixed timings for every meeting, fixed hours for tasks, and even a fixed lunchtime. You don't have to push yourself to work - the office environment itself does it for you.
Chances that you'll skip the meeting are pretty low - because the members of this meeting are probably sitting next to you in the open space. Of course, you can still miss your deadlines or don't keep up with the work pace, but it depends solely on your personal and work skills.
3. Working from the office ensures efficient communication and collaboration
Pandemic showed us that there's no more precious thing than live communication. Office work grants it to you - you can talk to any of your team members without sending them online meeting invites or setting up your camera. Face-to-face communication also contributes to your creativity and may help your team develop more innovative ideas.
When your team gathers to find a solution for a current project or a fresh approach, offline communication has better tools for turning on your creativity. You can try brainwriting, mind mapping, or rapid ideation techniques to generate more ideas and allow every team member to express their opinion. You'll hardily achieve even half of such unity and creativity through an online meeting.
Cons of working from the office
Despite its benefits, the office work option continues to lose its popularity, especially after the beginning of the pandemic in 2019. Research has found that 56% of employees would look for a position with greater flexibility in work options. In addition, every fourth employee would leave their job if the company didn't allow them to work from home post-pandemic. Then, which drawbacks of working from office push achievers to prefer remote work?
1. Working from the office makes you inflexible
If you're working in the office, it means you won't be available to the rest of the world for 8 hours. It doesn't matter if your kids got a cold or you've just adopted a pet that needs your attention - you should go to the office daily. Office dictates the rules: when to wake up, eat your lunch, or accomplish your tasks. In a nutshell, visiting the office means that you don't have the right to manage your time while you work.
Meanwhile, the survey has discovered that 63% of all remote workers need to take care of their children. If the company doesn't give such people an option for remote or hybrid work, they are more likely to quit the job instead of waiting for changes to come.
2. Working in the office could be distracting and unproductive
Despite the work-inspiring and organized office atmosphere, it could still make you unproductive. Hourly small talks, coffee breaks, noises from your colleagues - such things make it harder for you to focus and get in the deep-work mode. Poly's study has revealed that 99% of achievers feel distracted when working at the office. 66% of them said that the biggest trouble is their co-workers talking around.
Also, these distractions affect your productivity. Michigan University research states that even short distractions (like a loud noise or a message) could double your mistakes when completing a task.
3. Working from the office makes you face the "commuting horror"
Maybe, the worst evil of office work is the commute, especially if you're living in a big city. Endless traffics, earlier get-ups, fusses, queues - it could destroy your positive mood and work spirit in a blink of an eye. The Europe LTD survey revealed that every fifth EU citizen spends at least 1,5 hours commuting to work and back.
Meanwhile, long commuting could be the reason to be dissatisfied with the job. Study shows that achievers who spend more time getting to work are 19% more likely to look for a new job.With all its perks and downsides, office work is still not a choice but a necessity for most achievers these days. However, your career and position depend solely on your preference. Maybe, remote work is worth all the effort of changing jobs?
Pros of working remotely
Someone sees remote work as a horror of home routine mixed with work stresses. For others, this work option entitles freedom, comfort, and a chance to become closer to their family members. Take a look at the perks of working from home and decide for yourself if it suits your ideal workday image?
1. Remote work helps you become more productive - and happier
Over two years of remote work has shown us - remote work could be even more productive than working from the office. Research has found that 90% of achievers with remote work claimed that they were on the same level of productivity or even higher - when working from home compared to the office.
But productivity isn't the only marker of your career success - your emotional health affects it too. The survey found that 84% of achievers feel happier when working remotely. Every second of them is ready to earn less to have a remote work option. 79% of respondents said that working from home is less stressful and healthier for their emotional and mental state.
2. Remote work saves you time & money
Another reason to choose the remote work options is that you don't need to commute and spend money on gas or parking fees. That way, you save yourself a few hours in the morning and evening - which you usually spend preparing to leave. You may turn them into a few hours of focused work or spend it on your personal recharge rituals, like reading or working out.Remote work also helps you save money on clothes - since you don't need to preen and dress up to work from home. You could also save some coins on parking fees and eliminate unnecessary snacks or coffee waste.
3. Remote work gives you more flexibility and supports your relationships
When you're working remotely, it's up to you to distribute your work and free time. You can stick to your fixed work hours, choose when to work, and finish it. The absence of certain limits can help you feel that you're in control of your life and become more confident in your decisions. With remote work, you can freely move to another country without losing your position - what is it, if not a career miracle?
At the same time, remote work helps you maintain healthier relations with your family or partner since you'll be able to spend more time with them. By being present in your family circle, you contribute to your work-life balance, not focusing solely on your career. No wonders survey claims that in the future, 84% of job seekers will be interested in positions with options for hybrid or remote work.
Cons of working remotely
There's still a fly in the ointment - remote work isn't ideal too. With all its benefits, any achiever will face some inconvenience. Let's find out which downsides this work option may bring to your life.
1. Remote work may prolong your work hours and lead to burnout
With all the focus-enhancing benefits of the home office, you may not even notice that you work longer. Without spending time on small talks and coffee breaks, your brain concentrates easier but also receives a more significant workload. Research has found that 55% of employees work more hours remotely than at the office. A longer workday consequently leads to greater burnout. Gallup's study shows that 29% of achievers on remote feel constant burnout compared to 26% who work from the office.
2. Remote work leads to poor communication and lost connection
Even though most achievers on remote have already set up their home offices, we still couldn't compare an online communication to the live one. While chatting in Slack, you may find it hard to pertain your team spirit and group creative thinking. It could also be challenging to take part in long video meetings with many members when you can't figure out who's speaking or when you can express your opinion. Survey says that 70% of employees find it hard to collaborate and communicate through video calls.
Meeting online could never compare to a real-life gathering. So if you opt for a long-time remote work, be ready that you may lose connection with your colleagues and forget about company culture & spirit.
As you can see, working from the office is a good way to feel included and disciplined. That's because you have a routine and better communication with your team. However, it can distract you as well because there are so many noises and small talks in the office.
On the other hand, remote work is more productive because you can focus on your tasks without interruptions. You also save time on commuting and morning preparations, which results in higher productivity. Still, remote work is more likely to lead to burnout and worsen your communication with co-workers.
Now, when you know all the bright and dark sides of working from the office vs. remotely, it's up to you to decide - which work option suits you better. Still, keep in mind that you could also choose a hybrid option - combining office work with remote days. Whatever type you pick - may your career journey always fit the path of your dreams.
- State Of Remote Work (2021)
- 10 Effective Brainstorming Techniques For Teams (2020)
- Gen Z Says They Are Most Productive When Working Around Noise; Baby Boomers Say "Shhhh!" They Need Quiet To Get Work Done (2019)
- Brief Interruptions Spawn Errors (2013)
- More Than 20 % Of Europeans Commute At Least 90 Minutes Daily (2018)
- Remote Workers Facing High Burnout: How To Turn It Around (2020)