Working outside of a "traditional" office environment has been an upward trend in businesses worldwide for some time. This can take the shape of shared co-working spaces, cafes with wi-fi, or working from ones own home. Depending on the industry, many more businesses have in recent months, and out of necessity, initiated the 'work-from-home' option for their employees in an effort to comply with Covid-19 social distancing and lockdown regulations.
There are, of course, pros and cons to working from home. Let's take a closer look at both.
You’re more flexible with your time
This means that you’re able to take care of those errands and appointments that in-office work never really allowed time for. You’re now also around in case of emergencies with the kids or the family pet. In some cases, you might even be able to start cooking dinner a little earlier, or put a load of washing in while you work. There's a flip side to this flexibility too, which we'll look at later.
You can customize your environment
Move your desk into that sunny spot with a view out the window, or wrap yourself in a toasty blanket. Put your favourite tunes on in the background, and wear those super comfy sweatpants that you'd never dare leave the house in. Keeping in mind workflow ergonomics, you can create a workplace that is comfortable and constructive to work in.
You may be more productive
Some people thrive in the work-from-home environment. They get things done thanks to limited interruptions from co-workers and those pesky meetings that should have actually been emails. Once they’ve wrapped up for the day, some find that they’ve got more time on their hands, which allows them to go for a run or spend quality time with the kids.
You don’t have to commute anymore
No more unproductive time on the commute, nor dealing with traffic at peak times. Not having to wake up an hour earlier to sort the whole family out, while simultaneously getting ready for work, also adds to the increased time on your hands. Plus, you’re saving petrol and it’s less wear and tear on your car.
Flexibility means more accountability
Whether you work from an office or from home, the primary focus is still just that - work. So while a flexible work schedule at home is great, it can require more willpower and self-discipline to get your work done and meet deadlines. If you're someone who battles with sticking to a routine, the distractions of the home may be difficult to overcome...just one more episode on Netflix before starting that report...
You might fall into some pretty bad habits
This naturally follows on from the point above - working in your pyjamas, not showering until 12pm and only eating your first meal come lunchtime… This is a rabbit hole you certainly don’t want to go down. Set some healthy habits and get into a good routine of sleeping, waking, working and leisure. Make a point to shower, get dressed and have a good breakfast before you check your emails and get cracking on with work.
Electronic communication isn’t all that…
It’s easy to misread tone and cues when you’re communicating via text or email. If you can, rather call or video chat so that you can get the true meaning of intended communications. This will cut the confusion and help you get things done. Similarly, there are times when you need a quick answer in order to carry on with a task, and for whatever reason, you can't get a timely response.
It’s tough to separate work and leisure
When you were at the office, it was easy to shut down your computer, grab your bag, push in your chair and go home. When you’re working remotely, it’s tough to know when to stop work for the day. This takes some practice and some boundaries to keep a healthy balance. Set yourself working hours and don’t check emails after a certain time. Let the kids and your spouse know that you can’t be disturbed unless it’s absolutely necessary. Need a little help? We've created some 'don't disturb' door hangers that will send the message loud and clear. Choose yours now when you click here.
Lack of connectedness
There's often an energy at the office, and a sense of being part of a team. This is missing when you're working alone at home. Let's be honest, those chats around the office coffee machine at tea break were a welcome bit of adult human interaction.
It's important to be mindful of the pros and cons of your work place. If you have the choice, consider which environment you'll be most productive in. If you're self-motivated, adhere to a routine well, and don't entertain distractions, then working from home is the right choice for you. If you thrive on social interactions, and stay on track best in a structured environment, then choose the office.
Whether in-office or remote working, The Inky Shop has all your printer consumable needs taken care of.
At The Inky Shop, we give you the choice to shop in-store or online. If you’re needing to stock up on those essentials and would prefer to visit us in person, please locate your nearest store here: https://inkyshop.co.za/pages/store-locator Our staff are all practising social distancing and strict hygiene protocols, so there’s no need to worry. Should you feel more comfortable shopping from home, you can visit our online store here:
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