Has Working From Home Gone Too Far?
Given the chance, many people may choose to work from home from time to time. It appeals to those looking for flexibility in their daily working life, as well as ironing out variables that have been known to affect attendance in the office.
The popularity of homeworking is on the rise as an easy, flexible solution to some of the issues of the modern working world.
It’s not a challenge to see some of the benefits of this arrangement – avoiding costly and stressful commutes, being able to pick up the kids on time from school being just a couple of them. But has this freedom to work from the comfort of our own homes gone too far?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why when it comes to the pursuit of achieving that ultimate work/life balance, sometimes all that glitters is not gold.
Being given the freedom to work from home can mean that the lines between ‘work’ and ‘life’ are blurred, creating a life that is all about work. Soon, the benefits of working from home are forgotten, as is having and finding the ability to relax.
Not making the time for ourselves as we would be by making the journey going to work away from home can often lead to burn out, which affects mental health and performance significantly, eventually impacting on the quality of work produced.
While it’s important to work hard for our money, it’s also vital to do that from a place of rest. From arriving to work, and then being able to switch off at the end of the day is an important personal differentiation to make.
Those who work from home may not have the same ability to be able to do this as people who work in traditional workplaces.
Naturally, it is easy to give in to distractions at home – ‘just one load of laundry’ can quite easily turn into an entire afternoon of cleaning, sorting and running errands, which also impacts on productivity. Employees who spend their time at work surrounded by colleagues are more likely to develop team working strategies, meaning that more tasks can be completed at the end of the working day. It also increases the likelihood that employees will go the extra mile to increase on the work completed within the day, rather than the minimum requirements.
While it is possible to communicate with employees who work in the office using technology, the information can often have a delayed response, which wouldn’t occur with the ease of being able to respond to a query quickly and easily. Working together in an office environment limits the potential for frustration with colleagues.
Choosing to spend all of the working hours working from home can be an isolating and lonely experience. Not having the power of a team acting as support, while on one hand can help with independent problem-solving skills, on the other means not having the wisdom, knowledge and experience of colleagues being there to encourage development in practices.
For self-employed workers, having this ability to ‘get things done’ is incredibly important for the success of a business, especially in the initial phases of business development. During this time, it is vital for business owners to develop their network- not something that can easily be achieved from home.
Co-working spaces, which allow you to rent spaces at desks or even small offices, could be a viable solution to the issue for people who opt to work remotely. Offering the option to rent either desk space, small offices and even large offices with access to their facilities is an affordable way of being able to work without the overhead costs of renting an entire office facility.
Choosing to use co-working spaces means being able to build working relationships with other organisations who use the spaces, which could be an excellent way of improving B2B relationships further down the line. Additionally, using a space where others are working will improve on productivity, therefore sharpening the differentiation between work and leisure time.
It is clear that working from home has a great deal of merit in modern society, and can even be a solution to many of the issues with going to work in an office can bring. However, it doesn’t come without some negative aspects which need to be addressed to promote workplace wellbeing and overall performance and productivity.
Using a co-working space can bring the best of both worlds: flexible finishing times and a productive work-centric environment.