Working from Home (WFH) or working virtually is not a novel concept. Widely practised by digital nomads and freelancers, WFH only became popular during the pandemic. But with the pandemic waning, is it here to stay?
How did the rise of Working From Home happen?
WFH gained massive traction when the global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns as companies are forced to adopt to ensure business continuity.
With the world returning back to some semblance of normalcy, companies, too, have started to move back to traditional office workflows. Today, there are still companies, enriched from the pandemic’s many lessons, who continue to adopt WFH or flexible working arrangements. Many who have experienced WFH, especially those who are early in their careers, tend to prefer WFH over office working.
Read on to find out why many feel this way while also highlighting the drawbacks of only wanting to WFH.
What are the benefits of WFH?
WFH has many benefits, not only for workers, but for the company as well.
More freedom in your schedule
With WFH, workers get to be more flexible with their schedules. Personal responsibilities, such as childcare, appointments or other commitments, can be fit into their schedules easier. Which may lead to a healthier work-life balance as they are unlikely to see themselves rushing from one thing to another.
Less spending on the commute
With WFH, employees get to ditch the time spent commuting to and from work. With travel expenses and time cut out from the equation, employees who get to work remotely tend to have less stress. This is also particularly advantageous to those drive to work; hooray to no longer getting stuck in traffic jams.
More productive workers
The removal of office distractions also means that workers get to focus on their duties, increasing productivity in the long run. Workers can also personalise their own workspaces to be more conducive, further enhancing their productivity.
More new experiences
Many remote workers choose to travel while working. Science has shown that getting outside of your comfort zone and experiencing new things allows the brain to work better. Therefore, being able to travel is a double bonus, as it is not only fun and exciting to do so, it also helps with brain health.
What are the benefits of working from the office?
Despite the many benefits from WFH, working in a traditional office setting has its own benefits as well.
More organic growth
Working in the office and having face-to-face interactions with colleagues and supervisors lead to greater learning. These spontaneous interactions may lead to personal growth among the workers, as well as allowing superiors to get a better idea of what the workers are like. Early career progression sometimes relies more on interactions and perceptions of workers rather than the work itself. Some workers have found that they have a feeling of missing out on opportunities when they work remotely, as everything is more binary.
Clearer work-life boundaries
Work ends when workers “clock out” or are no longer in the office, and this can lead to clearer boundaries. The physical separation of the workplace from the home also allows workers to properly relax in their homes.
More connections made
Much like the above point about organic growth, the spontaneous interactions with colleagues and superiors that can only happen in a face-to-face environment are an important factor in making connections or even friends. Going for lunch can be one of the best ways to get to know your colleagues and superiors better. Seeing your colleagues face-to-face instead of on the screen also makes it easier to not feel so isolated, which many have reported feeling when doing WFH.
WFH or Work from the office
Both options have their benefits, and the decision usually comes down to the worker’s personal preference. This article hopes that it has shed some light on the benefits of both options and help those who are considering between the two to make a more informed choice.
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*The views expressed in this article are the writer's own and do not represent Young NTUC.