Working from home is one of those things where it seems great in theory, but in principle it’s clear that the grass isn’t always greener.
When the government advised employers to encourage staff to work from home where possible, my company did just that. At the time I was relieved, no more commute and I could finally work in my loungewear without anyone judging me. However, now that I’ve been working from home for almost three months it’s starting to wear on me.
The Coronavirus Impact
Before I go in and weigh up the pros and cons of working from home and give my final verdict, I think we all need to recognise that we’re doing everything from home, not just work.
Before Coronavirus, I went to the gym every weekday before work, I saw friends at least five times a week and I had the freedom to visit pubs, restaurants and shops whenever and wherever I wanted to. If I were working from home during normal circumstances, I’d still be able to do all of those things.
We’re not just working from home, we’re working from home during a global pandemic.
In my opinion, there are endless pros to working from home. As someone working in social media and PR, my company works from a cloud system so I really can do my work wherever and whenever I want to.
The added flexibility to my hours means that if I’m struggling to concentrate in the day, I can take an hour or two off and head back to my work later on when I’m feeling more on the ball. I’ve also been sleeping better as I wake up an hour before I need to start work, rather than spending that hour in the car on my way to the office or, even worse, at the gym.
There’s, of course, the amazing benefit of being able to work in whatever you fancy. For me, it’s been trackies and cosy jumpers when the weather is rotten and cycling shorts and loose t-shirts when it’s warmer, neither of which I’d wear in the office. Speaking of the warmer weather, I have the luxury of being able to work outside if it’s sunny, which is never something that’s an option in the office.
The grass is never completely greener on the other side. While I love the flexibility added to my working day, after three months I’m pretty sick of working from my bedroom. I’m still living with my parents, who both work downstairs, and there’s no way we could all sit comfortably around our kitchen table and take separate business calls. I really miss the office as it’s somewhere I can completely focus, whereas I feel working in my bedroom is quite tough.
I’m currently saving up for a house deposit and ‘spare room for an office’ has quickly made its way onto the priority list.
Again, in my opinion this is a ‘Corona problem’ as if I were to work from home usually, I’d head to a coffee shop for a change of scenery.
Another ‘Corona problem’ is that, while kids are at home, it’s difficult to get hold of working parents as easily as it would be in the office (obviously!). There’s no way we can expect parents to simultaneously home school and do their own work, so I’m often getting responses to emails wayyy after I’ve finished my working day.
I also miss the social aspect of working in an office. Sometimes you just want a moan about a task or to have a chat with someone who knows the industry.
The bit you’ve all been waiting for… do I want to remain working from home? Yes AND no.
My office block is due to open up in July, but thanks to the size of my office only one member of staff will be able to work in there at a time. We’re only a small team, so I’ve put myself down for one (possibly two) days a week in the office to begin with. Hopefully this will allow me to focus a lot more than in my bedroom.
I think my true answer is I’d like to continue working remotely. Whether that is from an office in my own home (and NOT my childhood bedroom) or a coffee shop… when things begin to reopen, remote working will reap the benefits such as being able to go to the gym at a better time, rather than squeezing in a workout, avoiding exhausting commutes and the fuel bill that goes with it and being able to take an hour away from your computer if your brain isn’t quite plugged in yet.
As an employee this definitely isn’t up to me, but luckily I work for a very flexible company who just want us to provide our best work whether that’s in the office or somewhere else. Perhaps you can get the best of both worlds?!