The pros and cons of working from home


It’s undeniable that many people’s working patterns have changed or shifted dramatically in the past year and will likely continue to do so in the future. Many of us have made the switch to working from home every working day, and this has highlighted both the benefits and challenges of the traditional working model. 

As employers, businesses, and employees plan a return to a normal working life, it’s time to re-evaluate the old ways and work out what may be better for us all in the future. This might mean changing the look and function of both our homes and working environments, in order to work in a more efficient way.

Working from home  – does it work?

While working from home was already a fact of life for many people in the past, a year of social restrictions and local measures meant that even those who would normally spend their working hours in the office had to shift to a new way of life. This has highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches.

For many people, going to work would have meant a costly and time-consuming commute, often using public transport or a private vehicle. Working from home meant that you could get to work instantly, without having to worry about making the train on time.  You could also easily oversee any personal commitments you might have, such as childcare or looking after pets, without needing to rely on external support as often.

However, home working has also meant that some of the benefits of sharing a workspace with others could sometimes be lost. Many of us find that we can build meaningful and important connections with colleagues, clients, and others in the workplace. When you can see each other in person, you can have casual conversations, share resources directly, or simply have a coffee together. While technology has allowed us to switch to virtual meetings and connect in different ways, it’s important not to under-estimate the value of in-person connection and the importance it has in our lives.

Finding a productive space

Another important point to consider when considering whether or not working from home is the best solution for someone is whether or not the home environment is most suitable to work from. While some of us are lucky to have a dedicated home office or study to work from in peace, many others will find themselves sharing a lounge, dining table, or desk with others that they live with. These people may also have their own work commitments, or in the case of children, may also be trying to study remotely too.

This can often mean that it is difficult to find the right environment to work from within the home, and it can be tough to focus when there are limited spaces, noisy distractions, and other issues to take into account. Your home may also not be designed to be the most efficient place to work from the long-term – having adequate desk space, comfortable furnishing, and clear, commercial track lighting all make a huge impact on making a workplace feel productive and inspiring.

Should you work from home? 

While the advantages of working from home are clear, it might be helpful to have a compromise with a choice of working environments or a flexible approach to choosing where you work. For some, the ease and practicality of being at home may be a huge benefit, allowing them to manage personal commitments alongside professional ones. However, they may, on occasion, need to come into the workplace for important meetings.

For others, the home environment may not be the most comfortable or practical to work from on a continued basis, or they may need the personal connection with colleagues and others in order to perform at their best. In this case, it can be helpful to have a mix of environments where they can come in on a regular basis to perform their duties while balancing requirements with changing local rules when it is necessary to do so.

Lastly, for anyone who continues to work from home, putting in some time and resources into making an efficient workspace can pay off dividends, even if you don’t intend to work there for longer than necessary. Having a space that is calm, allows focused, concentrated work, and a little privacy can be of enormous benefit. It can easily be created, even in the smallest of spaces, by using the layout of a room and furnishing it in a smart way.

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Decors Mag