Working from home allows you to work in a comfortable and relaxed environment, without the constant noise of ringing telephones and colleague chatter. It sounds great, doesn’t it? But the novelty might begin to wear off when you suddenly realise you have nobody to talk to but yourself, you have nowhere exciting to go to after work because you are already home, and lastly, you end up spending every day in your pyjamas because you have no good reason to get dressed.
Although some people may argue that they are more productive working at home, here are some reasons why working at an office can be more beneficial:
You only work your office hours
Most office jobs work within a specific time frame, whether it is an 8am or 9am start and 5pm or 6pm finish, you rarely stay later than the given working hours.
However, working from home hours are dependent on your motivation and productivity skills. It is much easier to become distracted at home and you may find you do not have a cut-off point. The problem starts when you cannot distinguish the difference between being at home and being at work. At least in an office, when you leave work you can switch-off for the rest of the day.
Also, because your co-workers know that you work from home, they are more likely to treat it as if you can work all the time since you have no start or finishing hours. This can lead to working late nights and not realising it has turned 11pm.
Interaction with others prevents boredom and encourages creativity
The more you settle into working from home, the more you realise how important it is to see different faces and hear other voices than just your own.
When you cannot distract yourself from working for a quick 2-minute chat with the person sitting next to you, you find other ways at home to disconnect from the computer screen. The biggest problem with that is the 2 minutes you initially needed, has now lead to cleaning the kitchen and watching a bit of T.V. now you have just wasted one hour on accident!
Being creative all the time on your own can become challenging. An office environment, surrounded by others, allows you to bounce ideas to one another until you get that one suggestion that will spark a whole new concept.
Importantly, cohesion helps to retain sanity. Sharing a joke and casual conversation with colleagues is vital for morale and brain activity. After all, having only your pet for company all day might become mind-numbing.
Access immediate feedback or guidance
The worst apart about working from home is the inability to ask a quick question if you are stuck with a system or project. Instead, you have to send an email or make a phone call which can prove difficult if the person is busy or does not check their emails immediately.
Managers and directors are much harder to reach via email or phone, but inside the office, you can quickly pop your head into their door and ask that 3 second question that you had. Also, you may find that the person next to you in the office can help you out with your problem, rather than seeking advice from the hierarchy.
Not being able to communicate regularly can lead to a breakdown in communication and in trust. Since no one can see you being productive, some people find it harder to trust the work at home colleague. Distrust and bad communication can affect productivity and worth ethic negatively.
Technology cannot always be trusted
Not only does working from home mean trying to change a bedroom into an office, but relying on the internet and devices of your own and those at the office can be more frustrating than you realise.
Skyping is all well and good when both parties have a good internet connection. However, when the connection is unreliable and neither end is able to understand what one is saying, it can truly test your patience. Or, trying to explain something over a messenger service is much more difficult that being able to demonstrate in person.
Companies tend to use their own systems and programs that are only available on the office computers, therefore it may be hard to complete jobs when you do not have the necessary tools and technology.
Is it all that bad?
Working from home has its own benefits that an office worker desires while sitting at their desk every day.
For instance, you get to spend more time with children and have the flexibility to pick them up from school and take to sports clubs without panicking about coming out of the office.
There is NO commuting! There is no stress to wake up 2 hours before work to get ready and ensure you beat the traffic to make it on time. You are already at work as soon as you wake up!
For those who get irritated by others and prefer to work in a peaceful environment, your own home cannot beat that tranquillity.
If you have the power to motivate yourself to be productive then working from home would not be an issue for you.