You’ve guessed it, I’m writing this while working from home. Yes a bit cliché however I’m a huge advocate of why having this option can really benefit you and your workplace in a multitude of ways. It’s not very often I work from home, quite rare due to the nature of my role however other members of my team do and it works for them, it’s all about flexibility.
I’m old enough to remember the standard 9 to 5, an hour for lunch culture, and delighted that many organisations have now moved away from this restrictive view of traditional working hours. Are you one of the converted? Or still need some convincing that this can work for your organisation? Perhaps you’re trying to implement (or convince!) your employer of the benefits?
As a compiler of lists, I thought I’d share this list of advantages and disadvantages and would welcome your additions too, please let me know your thoughts and experiences.
Ditch the commute: without the daily grind of traffic build up, taking public transport to get to work, then facing it all to get home again you can comfortably begin your day stress free with a great attitude.
Better Balance: that time saved from the commute, or being distracted by colleagues can be put to good use, improving your work/life balance. Going to the gym, spending more time with the family, doing something new, even just being home for dinner will really benefit you in a positive way.
Saves Money: reducing your travel expenditure, and those costly lunches!
Reduces Sickness: having a key employee recovering from an operation, or with a broken leg could result in significant downtime on projects – if they wish to continue with their work from home they will stay in the loop, reduce the downtime and improve productivity.
Reduces Stress: at some stage you may have team members who find the working environment a challenge, working from home offers an opportunity to address the pressures and phase back into the working environment when ready.
Gives you Headspace: ahhhh quiet! Not something in great supply in my office, it’s a good thing being part of a busy, vibrant environment …. until you need to put a lot of thought into an important proposal or presentation, if it’s an option to work from home to prepare, then it’s an ideal opportunity to clear your mind and focus 100% on the task in hand.
Go Green: without doubt you can increase the ‘feel good factor’ and reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your commute and potentially office space – hot desking really can work, it does for us.
Home Alone: if you’re working from home long term you can begin to miss that human interaction with colleagues
Out of the Loop: you may be missing out on opportunities and crucial conversations, think of how many times you’ve been in the right place at the right time. Collaboration and getting heads together can still happen, through technological advances in screen sharing and on-line meetings but nothing really replaces getting together around a table and hammering out ideas.
I’ve asked some colleagues and connections how they balance working from home, and the majority agree with our Tutor Helen’s thoughts, “I find that working from home, eliminates the stressful time I spend commuting to the office, there are no distractions that I encounter being in the office and am therefore more productive in my output. It also strikes a good work / life balance enabling me to be flexible if the need arises”. That says it all really!
My thoughts in a nutshell? I believe a healthy mix of on-site and off-site working can benefit both the employee and the employer, interested to hear your thoughts and experiences.
PS. For more information on Working from Home Day 2019 visit https://www.workwiseuk.org/
Article by Jacky Stansfield-Smith.
With an extensive background in various management roles, Jacky is used to working in a fast-paced, lively office environment. Using her own personal experiences, Jacky looks at the benefits and drawbacks of working from home, something that is becoming increasingly popular with modern employees and businesses alike.