Working from Home versus Office: The Better Option

Chahna Baksani
Chahna Baksani
Chahna Baksani is the Social Media Manager as well as a Content Writer at The Address. If you ever happen to visit The Address' Ahmedabad offices, do not miss to stop by and say Hi to her.

The debate about working models – work from home vs work from office – has gained a lot of attention since the COVID-19 pandemic. The employees who prefer work from home (WFH) argue that it is more productive than work from office (WFO) while the supporters of WFO believe otherwise.

In this post, we will evaluate the pros and cons of both of these working models to give you a better idea about which might be the best for your company.

Working from Home – Pros and Cons

Pros of Working from Home

1. Enhances productivity

Working from home allows your employees to be more productive as they will not be interrupted by talkative coworkers or feel distracted by the noisy office environment. It provides them the flexibility to create their schedules thereby dedicating a complete focus to the assigned tasks.

2. Ensures work-life balance

Working from home can improve work-life balance by allowing employees to manage their work and personal lives better. As long as the work is completed on time, you can offer your employees the flexibility to choose their work hours at their convenience. This flexibility in the work schedules helps employees to attend to their personal needs on time without being distracted at work. 

A good work-life balance among employees can lead to more productivity and less burnout.

3. Reduced commuting

Employees who work from home do not have to worry about traveling to the office every day. They can save several hours a week on commuting depending on where they stay. They no longer have to stress over rush hour traffic, public transport, driving costs, parking fees, and more.

This free time can be utilized to get some rest, spend time with family, exercise, and more. It introduces work-life balance to their lives while boosting their efficiency and productivity.  

4. Reduces operational costs

You do not have to invest any capital otherwise needed for setting up office spaces or spend hefty amounts for power, water, and other expenses. The remote working model helps in cutting the additional expenses incurred by your company, such as cleaning and maintenance, security, and more, allowing you to invest the saved money in the betterment of your company. 

Further, by limiting fuel and energy consumption, you are reducing the carbon footprint and contributing to making our environment cleaner.

5. Provides access to global talent

If you follow a permanent work-from-home policy, you can consider hiring global talent for your company. You can broaden your recruitment to different cities or countries as remote work can be done from any part of the world. All that your employees need is a strong internet connection and a good computer setup. 

A larger talent pool will introduce your company to diversity and specialized skills that will prove to be an amazing addition to your team.

Cons of Working from Home

1. Increases distractions that impact productivity

Work-from-home setup can often be distracting and demotivating. It may shift your employees’ focus away from their tasks and affect the overall quality of work.

Distractions such as house chores, pets, conversations with family members, social media, interruptions from visitors, and others may easily cause hindrances in the employees’ work. These disturbances hamper employee productivity and may set the entire team off-track.

2. Brings in risks of technical errors

Working from home may bring additional technical challenges, such as internet connectivity issues, computer crashes, printer issues, video and audio problems, and more. It also puts your employees at an added risk of cybersecurity attacks like malware infections, ransomware attacks, data breaches, and others. 

In case of a mishap, the remote employees are responsible for fixing the issues by themselves as no IT department could come and fix issues for them. This process could consume a lot of time leading to a loss of productivity and a disturbance in your company workflows.

3. Can lead to social isolation

Loneliness is one of the biggest struggles that remote employees face when working from home. The reduced social interactions can build up distress over time ultimately leading to a sedentary lifestyle, depression, stress, and other mental conditions. It hampers employee productivity and causes burnout that could adversely affect your company. 

4. Managing remote teams can be challenging

Managing a team of remote employees can be challenging as you need to figure out a balance between remote workers and on-site employees. You might have to reorganize the work processes to ensure task assignments, progress monitoring, and follow-ups are done on time. 

Moreover, coordinating with team members over the phone or via video calls can be time-consuming and disrupt the employees’ work schedules. Motivating your employees and boosting their team spirit and morale is often a daunting task when managing a remote team.

Working from Office – Pros and Cons

Now, let us look at the pros and cons of the WFO model.

Pros of Working from Office

1. Provides a professional work environment

Work from the office offers employees a fully-functional and highly-optimized work environment that boosts creativity, supports innovation, and enhances productivity. A great desk coupled with the latest tech gadgets and modern amenities will certainly help your employees complete their tasks faster. Further, the distraction-free environment will help the focus on their tasks better, thereby increasing their productivity.

2. Improved communication

Working from the office allows face-to-face communication that strengthens employee relationships and boosts team collaboration. Proper communication would help employees to do their work effectively. 

For instance, sometimes having one-on-one conversations can help employees solve many issues in less time when compared to scheduling a video call and discussing the same.

Similarly, your employees can gather in the office cafeteria to spend some time together and get to know each other. Working from the office also promotes team building and fosters close friendships among employees.

According to the latest statistics, 47% of professionals confirmed that working in professional work environments such as corporate offices and coworking spaces has helped them improve communication and collaboration with their teams.

3. Introduces the team to a work routine

When working in an office, your employees are introduced to a routine. There is a certain time to report to work and a certain time to go home. It gives employees a chance to separate their work and personal life and handle their lives better. 

Having designated work hours helps your employees stay on top of their tasks and get work completed on time. It brings consistency to the entire team and supports the overall well-being of the employees.

4. Team management is easier

Working from the office allows you to work with your entire team together and facilitate a seamless workflow for all the tasks. You can get in touch with the employees to discuss the requirements or challenges and convey the expectations. By keeping an eye on the task progress, you can spot errors that the employees could make and guide them through the rectification process at the right time. 

Cons of Working from Office

1. Reduced flexibility

Although working from the office does introduce your employees to a routine, it takes away the flexibility to choose their schedules. With a set office schedule, they have to log in and out at the same time throughout the entire week, leaving no flexibility to enjoy things outside of work. Further, working from the office takes away your freedom to work from any place, such as a cafe, library, beach, and other WFH alternatives.

2. Requires employees to commute

Your employees will have to commute to the office daily. Whether it involves driving to work or taking public transport, traveling to work does take up your employee’s time that could have been utilized for other activities. Difficult commutes could cause stress among your employees which may adversely affect their productivity.

You might also have to shell out some money to provide travel expenses for your employees. Further, traveling also contributes to increasing the carbon footprint in the environment. 

3. Less control over the work environment 

In a work-from-office setup, you are expected to consider every team member’s needs. You need to follow a certain temperature setting, lighting, seating arrangement, and more. For example, while some employees may feel chills, a few others may feel hot which will certainly distract them from their work. Hence, you have to arrive at a convenient temperature setting that benefits both. 

Similarly, your employees might be allergic to the cleaning supplies that are used in your office which may aggravate their allergies and infections leading to sickness and absenteeism.

WFH vs WFO: Which Is the Better Option?

Working from home and working in an office setting both have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. You ought to understand your employees and their expectations and weigh the pros and cons of both these work models. 

If your employees can structure their day well, keep themselves away from distractions, and work under minimal supervision, working from home would be the best option for you. However, if your employees are someone who loves working in a professional environment and  socializing, going to the office to work would be beneficial. 

You can also enjoy the benefits of both these models (hybrid working) by striking a balance between the two. Your employees can work from home for some days of the week and work from office on the other days. A mix of both these working styles can provide the right work-life balance while keeping them productive and happy.

FAQs on Work from Home vs Work from Office

1. Why is working from home better?

Working from home is better if your employees can be productive and get their tasks done under minimal supervision. Working from home does not require your employees to travel to the office thereby allowing them some free time to spend time on themselves.

2. Is working from office more productive than working from home?

It is difficult to say which working model is more productive among the two. Both work-from-home and work-from-office provide different work environments to employees. So, it depends on you and your employees. 

3. What is hybrid working?

Hybrid working is a flexible work model that supports a blend of in-office and remote work. It offers employees the flexibility to work from home and the office for certain days in a week.

4. Is hybrid working beneficial?

Hybrid working is beneficial because it offers a perfect balance of both, working from home and working from the office to your employees. The hybrid working model improves work-life balance, eliminates social isolation, ensures efficient use of time, and boosts productivity.

5. Is hybrid working followed all around the world?

Yes. A survey conducted by TravelPerk on working professionals revealed that 76% of the companies these professionals work for have shifted to a hybrid working model.