Working from Home versus at the Office. Pro's and Con's.
Updated: Oct 5, 2022
1993 to 2022
I have been a home office since 1993 when it was not the trend and I still am a home office in 2022. The perception used to be that it was a small practice and not the same as a bigger office because of the location of the office space.
Fast forward to the Covid19 times, it magically was discovered that people can work at home and be productive. The new mind set change and now my home office and physical location was looked upon as desirable. However, the technology had eliminated distance issues a while ago once email became popular, VPN for secure online communication, and a good scanner was developed for those pdfs. Those technology improvement had already removed the location barriers of the past and made location a lot less relevant as in the 1970's and 1980s.
Also, with the event of Zoom and Google Meet the world has adapted to not being in person, but still having the feeling of a bit of live meeting with these newer software developments. Doing these meetings you can see the person and have some body language as part of the conversation which was great when the health scare was prevalent.
Home Office Savings
For some people this was great as they saved commute time and transit costs, cost of work lunches, and still remained productive at home without all the distractions. For others not so great as some people do need to go to the office and have that personal touch with their colleagues. Some people even have cabin fever when only working at home which is an issue.
Top Reasons to Remain at Home
Mr. Wonderful, aka Kevin O'Leary posted a good read on why home offices are here to stay which I found interesting in the changing times as follows;
"Here are the top ten “push back” issues Human Resource professionals are now having to deal with when trying to convince a recruit that they will have to work in an office.
1) Do not want to increase their carbon footprint by having to commute.
2) Do not want to work in high rises where the air is "poison".
3) Have already proven that they can be productive remotely.
4) Rather raise a family in affordable communities hundreds of miles away from HQ.
5) Many team members already working in other countries.
6) Not interested is paying for office wardrobe.
7) Large cities like NY, Chicago, SFO are "war zones" and unsafe
8) Won't ride on subways, trains or busses where they will get the latest variant of Covid
9 ) Not interested in paying the cost of commuting or wasting the time.
10) Meals too expensive at HQ, rather prepare better cheaper food at home office.
The debate rages on. I think #talent wins. Everyone, get over it, the train has already left the station!"
The pros are a) I like less commute and less wear and tear on my car, b) better office air (I have a window office), c) not as tired from commuting 2 hours a day, d) use courier for paper documents, e) email and a scanner for pdfs make it easy to work at home, and f) with Google Meet I now can do live meetings easier than ever before.
The cons are you occasionally have oil drips in the drive way when some clients park in the drive way, a bit of cabin fever if you are in too much (business lunches work to get you out), perception you are small time (things are a changing) or that person dropping in on you at a random hour say 10pm on a Thursday night when normal hours are closed for most businesses. Also, I do miss the contact of co workers.
For me the home office has balanced the work and personal life that has worked for me for more than 25 years. However, it is not for everyone especially if your family distractions are not managed or you just can't focus at home on work.
Hopefully, employers will remain flexible with employees and a compromise may be here of only working 1 or 2 days a week at the office with more time at home for those that can do it productively. Thus, the best of both worlds might just work well in the post Covid19 office work environment. ______________________________________________________________
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Date: September 22, 2022
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