Pros and cons of working from home – for employees and employers

Pros and cons of working from home – for employees and employers

Working from home has many advantages for bothemployers and employees, but there can also be some pitfalls that both partiesneed to balance carefully. What once was more of a rare occurrence, is nowbecoming the norm, and it’s important that the benefits and disadvantages of remoteworking are considered when jobs are either being created or applied for.

The benefits of working from home for employers

Reduce costs Employers who can offer their employees the opportunity towork from home may find that they can scale back on office space and thereforereduce their overheads on rent and costs. 

Higher output Arguably, there are distractions at home. There’s always awash to put on or some cleaning to be done, but on the whole, most employeesare very conscious that they need to prove that they are not slacking off, thatthey end up working harder and with longer hours. Whilst this can have adetrimental impact on the business long-term, in the short-term, it can createan increased output.

Cons of working from home for employers

Difficulty with communication Since the pandemic, advances in technology have had to beembraced and, whilst many companies have adopted some form of hybrid working, ithasn’t necessarily been straightforward. Many have found that teamwork andcollaboration have become harder and that employees are lacking both work relatedand general conversation - It’s not as easy to chat with colleagues whilstmaking a coffee when you’re the only one in your kitchen!

Team morale Having employees working from home and potentially onlyseeing each other once a week can drastically impact the team motivation andmorale. The lack of face-to-face time can also make it harder for juniormembers of staff to learn from and ask questions to those more experienced, whichnot only impacts their progression but also their sense of being part of ateam.

The benefits of working from home for employees

Lack of commute One of the biggest advantages for employees is the reducedcommute, with some saving around 1.5 hours a day in travel time. Whether thetime saved is used for going to the gym, spending time with family, or sleepingin for longer is entirely up to the individual, but it can help reduce stressand generally improve well-being. Also, if the commute is only from the bedroomto the home office, there’s a substantial saving on fuel costs too!

Increased flexibility If employees are not restricted to the office “9-5” hoursand the additional commute on either side, they might have more flexibility as totheir working hours. Most employers have taken a relaxed stance as to theactual hours worked, providing they are kept up to date and the work iscompleted, which can allow employees to pop to the shop during the working dayor have a longer lunch break if needed; both of which can increase morale.

Cons of working from home for employees

Mental health Whilst some employees are fortunate enough to have aseparate home office, some need to work from their dining room table or bedroom,so it can be difficult to separate work and leisure time. The lack ofseparation can not only impact mental health but can also cause difficulties‘switching off’ as the lines between work time and home time can becomeincreasingly blurred. Whilst that might be great for employers, arguablythey’re getting more time out of their employees without paying them more, theconsequence on their overall health and wellbeing could be drastic.

Increased electricity bills It turns out, opening the fridge every five seconds forsnacks adds up and many have found that their bills have increased since workingfrom home. Of course, the added electricity costs of powering laptops, heatingand lighting which previously would have been footed by the employer has alsoincreased employees’ bills.

How to find balance when working from home

There are pros and cons of working from home for bothemployers and employees, and it is vital that a balance is sought if thearrangement is going to work effectively for both parties. Employers might needto be more flexible and implement different arrangements for different peopleas we are unlikely to see a reverse where office working fully returns, and so,they should focus on optimising the arrangements they have in place.

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