More and more companies are moving towards offering remote working to their employees. It can mean an improvement in work-life balance, as well as saving the company some money in terms of decreasing the need for office space. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home, and could it benefit your mental health?
Flexible Working Pattern
If you need to pick the kids up from school at 3 o’clock or have to take a phone call or run to the doctors, all this can be arranged around your working time when you’re at home. You can eat lunch whenever you like, and no one will judge you for nipping to the loo six times in an hour or checking your phone. Of course, the flip side to this is if you are easily distracted, you might find that working in an environment where you can do what you like (within reason) causes you to lose focus on the tasks at hand and you fall behind on work. This could, in turn, lead to an increase in stress levels.
You can wear whatever you like when you work from home. No need to bother with dress-down Fridays when your couch can be your office! You can wear those cozy sweats or stay in your pyjamas all day if that’s what you fancy. There is also a negative side to this though, which may be that you don’t feel productive when you’re wearing your comfy clothes. They also don’t have the same association of relaxing attached to them and so what are you going to wear when you just want to watch the telly? Even comfier clothes?!
Especially if you live in a big city, the commute can be one of the worst parts of your day. This is removed entirely from your remote working lifestyle and, with the average commute time approaching an hour each way, you will also claw back valuable time. No downsides as far as we can see to this one. Just make sure you don’t just end up working over your contracted hours, starting earlier and finishing later. If you valued your commute time to read a book or listen to music, still ensure you’re incorporating this valuable time for yourself. Just in the comfort of your own home rather than standing on a crowded subway.
You’ll avoid the distractions of your co-workers, whether discussing business or social lives, and the noise level of your home office can be set to exactly the level you want it, which can make it easier to concentrate, whether you’re using a proposal template, preparing for a presentation or managing your calendar. The downside here though is it can be lonely. The lack of company and social interaction could cause you to feel uninspired and lacking in drive. If you’re finding this to be the case, use your lunchtime to call a friend or family member and catch up, or organise to go into the office physically if any meetings are required, rather than Skype.
There are advantages and disadvantages to working from home and above you’ll find just a few of them. It comes down to your style of working and how you know you can work at your most effective. If you think your stress levels would plummet and you’re environment would greatly improve, it’s definitely something to speak to your manager about giving a go.