Working from home has been a hot topic in recent years, often tauted for its benefits in lifting work productivity and overall work-life balance. So what are the cons and pros of working from home?
Pros of working from home
1. Avoid traffic congestion during peak hours
There is no need to squeeze with other commuters in public transportation or get stuck in frustrating traffic jams.
2. Flexible working hours
Employees get to dictate their working hours that maximize their creativity and productivity, as they can freely opt to work at hours where they perform at their peak.
Typical Singaporean working professional V.S Australian working professional
3. Less stress
Another benefit of working from home is that employees have the luxury of running solo - Nobody is directly supervising or watching and the environment is free from common work distractions such as phone calls or other non-relevant work discussions that happen around the office.
Cons of working from home
1. Other Distractions
The freedom of being able to dictate what you can do during your working hours does not come without a set of its own issues. A lack of discipline and focus could cause employees that are working from home to dabble in non-work related things. In addition, the lack of a conducive work environment at home could lead to reduced productivity, as employees may feel less motivated to work due to the lack of interaction with similarly hard-working peers during the course of a workday.
2. Hard to separate personal and work life
Having flexible working hours sound great but if it could also mean that the lines between your personal and work life will be blurred. Not being able to strike a proper balance could lead to employees feeling burnt out and reduce overall work productivity.
3. Miscommunication between employer and employees
The nature of working from home could lead to limited communication and interaction between fellow employees and the employer. While emails and video calls are ubiquitous and easily available, the lack of face-to-face, in-person interaction could lead to miscommunication or gaps in peer-to-peer bonding.
HOW TO DETERMINE IF WORKING FROM HOME IS SUITABLE FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION?
As you can see, there are pros and cons for working from home. But, how do we determine if it is suitable for the organization and the teams that you manage?
Here are some factors to weigh upon:
1. Does your team(s) have a lot of self-discipline?
2. Are your employees easily distracted?
3. Are your employees organized?
4. Are your employees able to work without constant supervision?
5. What are your employees’ preferences – Do they like to work at home or would they prefer to work together in the office?
Are you ready to work from home or are you not?
Working from home may boost work-life balance and work productivity, but it comes with its own set of challenges as well. Perhaps the best way to get started on exploring if working from home is a viable option for your employees is to set aside some time to kickstart the conversation with your team on this, and how it can help create a better workplace environment today!
Business Insider SG [Online] / auth. Rakin Ethan // Business Insider SG. - April 18, 2018. - September 24, 2018. - https://www.businessinsider.sg/work-life-balance-has-become-the-top-reason-why-singapore-employees-leave-their-jobs/.
Human Resources Director Asia [Online] / auth. Syed Nurhuda // Human Resources Director Asia. - April 20, 2018. - September 24, 2018. - https://www.hrdmag.com.sg/news/singaporean-workers-are-quitting-in-pursuit-of-this-incentive-248992.aspx.
7 Simple ways to make work-life balance a priority for your staff [Online] / auth. Half Robert // Robert Half. - June 2, 2018. - September 24, 2018. - https://www.roberthalf.com.au/blog/employers/7-simple-ways-make-work-life-balance-priority-your-staff.
21 work from home pros and cons [Online] / auth. Digital Nomad Soul // Digital Nomad Soul. - September 24, 2018. - https://www.digitalnomadsoul.com/work-from-home-pros-and-cons/.