Between working from home and working from the office, which one is more efficient and productive? What are the pros and cons of WFH?
The outbreak of Covid-19 in December 2019 created many new norms for various work sectors and people’s daily life, including changing a working culture where employees work from the office. Presently, a large portion of companies across the globe are allowing their employees to work from home or work remotely in order to combat the spread of Covid-19.
According to the World Economic Forum, before the outbreak, approximately 7% of American employees had the privilege to work from home, mainly those whose work is more dependent on specialized skills and knowledge utilization, such as chief executive officers (CEO), IT managers, and financial analysts.
Since Cambodia did not experience a severe outbreak as some European countries did, some businesses have permitted their employees to work from home, while others did not extend the same option to their employees.
Vann Net, a content creator for a digital market company located in Phnom Penh, said his company adopted a work-from-home policy due to Covid-19, but has now returned to the office. WFH has been a desire, as it is safer to not interact with unnecessary people and does not require wearing suits and worrying about proper behaviour in the office, adds Vann Net.
“I prefer work from home because I do not have to worry about my attire, and I am more efficient and productive,” continued Vann Net.
Not all jobs can be done from home, however, including ones like banking and blue collar jobs.
Ley Dompanhaboth, a branch operation officer with ABA bank, mentioned that he has never experienced working from home because his job is not suited for it.
He added, “I never want to work from home as I reckon that working in the office is more convenient for my position. I have to submit daily reports about the branch activities and I am responsible for the headquarters’ email.”
With the increased number of employees working from home, the topic of whether WFH has replaced working in the office for some positions will be debated, with some companies likely allowing their employees to continue to work from home after the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided.
Forbes magazine has analyzed the possible shift in working norms and found that the preferred future working environment remains unclear. Rather than adopt full-time work from home policies, companies and institutions might mix both WFH and working from the office, which requires more schedule management.
Although the future working environment norms remain uncertain, you can be prepared by understanding WFH’s pros and cons.
- Provides additional time for other tasks: Working in the office full-time can hinder you from completing some important day-to-day tasks such as taking your children to school, having doctor appointments, or exercising. Working from home can free up some spare time, so long as you deliver company work on time.
- Save time and money: WFH can help negate commuting time and minimize time spent picking out attire. This can lead to more sufficient time to sleep and have breakfast, with a gas budget becoming unnecessary without a commute.
- Reduce stress: WFH is more likely to help lessen the risk of stress from the working environment. Plus, it provides you more control over time spent on certain tasks compared to working in the office, reducing the pressure to get things done.
- Limited face-to-face communication with others: You will have less chance to meet your co-workers and have discussions, possibly negatively impacting your communication skills.
- Many distractions: It might be difficult to balance working and break hours. Some people could be distracted with other tasks during work time as they do not have strict self-discipline. Without a clear line drawn between work and play, distractions may begin to impede work progress .
- Misinterpretation and misunderstanding of messages: Face-to-face communication can help you recognize tone and expression more clearly. Text-based messages like emails or instant messages may lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretation of messages and cause conflict.
This post is also available in: KH