What’s the worst part of the working day? It’s got to be the commute at the beginning and end. Whether you drive to work, braving the rush-hour traffic, or have to wait around for the bus or train to turn up, commuting is a chore. For many people, it’s a necessity to go to work – those who operate specialist machinery, for example – but for office workers, sales operatives and many other desk-based positions, is there scope for working from home?
More people now work from home than at any other time. Some companies allow employees to take so many days away from the office, and some remote workers are full-time. It’s not difficult when we have communication via the internet, mobile phones and other technology that enables us to work remotely, While it does have its advantages, there are also some negative aspects to working from home.
Before we have a look at the pros and cons of working from home, it’s worth mentioning that home working is very much in the news right now. The concern over Covid 19 – the coronavirus that has been declared a worldwide pandemic – is expected to prompt companies in many countries to instruct staff to work from wherever possible. This is where the likes of the PMC Telecom emergency home working kit will help. Communicating via voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) systems, plus the likes of Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and other such platforms, is made easier when using a headset and microphone. So, let’s move on and talk about those pros and cons.
The Advantages of Working from Home
We began this article by talking about the drudgery of the twice a day commute. It is a chore, and it is one of the main advantages of working from home. It’s also a cost saving element – no petrol needed, no travel tickets necessary – and a time-saver too. There are many other advantages, so here’s a closer look at the main ones:
No Travel involved
we’ll talk about this a little more as it is an important advantage of working from home. Already, we know that by not commuting, you save time and money. Furthermore, you’ll get to work ready to get going, stress-free having avoided the morning rush, and hopefully more focused. Then there’s the ecological element. The rush hour traffic contributes greatly to pollution – in every city across the world – so you’re doing your bit for the environment. OK, so you’re just one person, but you’re not the only one working from home.
Here’s the scene: you’re at your desk, and there’s a phone ringing on someone’s vacant desk. You need to answer it, as that’s policy. Or, a colleague passes by and stops for a chat. Maybe you get called into an impromptu meeting that impacts on the task you were in the middle of. Working from home, you won’t have any of this. Meetings will need to be scheduled, and you have complete isolation from the general daily background noise of the average office.
Of course, you will know your office well and – hopefully – feel comfortable at your place of work, but it’s not your home. Your home is your space, one that you have laid out as you wish, and even in your home office you will be surrounded by your own furnishings. It’s a comfortable place to work, one where you feel – for want of a better word – completely at home.
Everything to Hand
Everything you need to do the job will be close at hand; your PC or laptop, your smartphone and if you want to be fully equipped, your PMC Telecom work from home headset kit which means you can answer or make calls while working, hands-free and without fuss. Not a lot is needed to equip a good home office, and likely have most of it already.
Dress Down Days
Do you usually don your best business attire for a day at the office? There’s no need to if you work from home! Remember, however, to make sure everything is tidy and you are presentable for when the boss makes a video call!
Great for the Disabled
For disabled employees, those with impaired movement, the ability to work from home is an absolute Godsend, and opens the door to more opportunities.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are simple to use time-monitoring systems available, in which you effectively ‘clock in’ at work and out again when you are finished. This allows for management – and the individual – to keep track of working hours.
Now, let’s have a closer look at a few of the negative aspects of working from home.
The Disadvantages of Working from Home
Working from home, you will use more electricity and gas for power and heat. This can mount up over time and is worth keeping an eye on. It may be offset by your saving on travel costs. There is plenty of advice online on how you can mitigate energy costs.
It can be lonely home working, and you may miss the interaction with your colleagues. It also means that networking is less effective, although you can communicate over the internet and phone.
We are assuming there are no children in the home, but there’s the dog that wants feeding or taking for a walk, or the cat that insists on sleeping on your lap. These are distractions you won’t get at work. Also, the doorbell rings so you need to see who it is, and occasionally, a friend my see you are home and decide to pop around for a cup of tea! That’s great, but you’re at work, so make sure they are aware!
Lack of Supervision
If you’re not great at working to your own initiative – and you’re not alone as many people need a push here and there – working from home may be less productive for you.
That’s a few of the possible downsides of working from home. We’ll conclude by saying that if you think you may need to work from home in the near future – or you are a business owner or manager who is looking to prepare for staff to do so – check out the range of accessories at PMC Telecom and be prepared.