The very term “home office or work from home” is pretty self-explanatory: your own four walls function as both office and workspace. The workstation can be moved, for example, to a desk at home, to the local library or to a favourite café. This is a way of working that is primarily reserved for office workers – because of course a nurse, construction worker or cashier can’t take their work home with them.
Working from home probably sounds like a dream for many employees. In fact, a home office has many advantages too.
1. Increased productivity
Department colleagues are talking while you are trying to work high concentration alone. A colleague is talking about her holiday and the phone rings somewhere: ‘Especially in open-plan offices, the noise level is often high. Colleagues distract you and you notice how your concentration suffers. This can be avoided when working from home. No one is there to distract you. You can make the working atmosphere much better than you need to be productive. With absolute peace and quiet, your favourite music in your ear or the window wide open. Open offices in particular have some disadvantages that affect productivity.
2. Save time and money
The shorter the commuting distance, the faster you can get to work. You don’t have to drive 20 miles in morning and evening traffic. This can save valuable time for the employee. Also, the fewer distances travelled, the lower the cost of car and public transport and you can save money.
3. Work when it suits you
Some prefer to start an hour earlier to take advantage of more of the day, others prefer to work into the evening or take an extended lunch break. This allows you to achieve a great work-life balance as you are much more flexible than with fixed working hours. Especially for employees with children, a home office offers advantages as they can spend most of their time at home with their loved ones.
“What am I wearing today?” – This question belongs to the past. When working from home, you can dress, groom and behave however you want, because in the end, it’s all about the work.
There are two sides to every coin – and so is working from home. So what are the disadvantages of home office ?
1. Self-discipline is a must!
Even though productivity is often higher, there are still plenty of distractions lurking at home: you need to wash the dishes, prepare lunch or watch an episode of your favourite show, and then it’s time to get back to work. But at the end of the day, this setup costs you more time than travelling to work. Therefore, a high degree of self-discipline is essential, even when the boss is in sight. After all, working in your home office is based on trust, which means that your boss trusts that you can actually do all the work required.
2. Separation of work and private life
When you combine work and private life in the same space, there is a high risk of combining the two. In the evening you want to “just check your mail quickly” , which is often the case. Therefore, despite working from home, you should always review the hours you have worked and spend them as productively as possible
3. Pressure and overtime
Working from home is not yet established in many companies. Workers often feel pressured to avoid the prejudice of not working at home. This often results in unpaid overtime and additional stress.
So is home office good or bad?
In general, it is impossible to say whether working from home is good or bad. Working at home should be neither too strict nor too relaxed to ensure an optimal work-life balance. So you can take advantage of the advantages and eliminate the disadvantages. In addition, there are many tips and tools to make working in a home office even better, more productive and more successful.