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Is Working From Home the Future of Work?

  1. Red Bearded BA (Jason C.)
    US Brand Ambassador Jan 13, 2021

    Red Bearded BA (Jason C.) , Jan 13, 2021 :
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    In case you haven’t heard, 2020 has been kind of a crazy year. Quite a lot of things have changed. For most of us, almost every aspect of life has been affected, including our work lives. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread around the globe and governments began to shut down public places to help stem the spread of the virus, companies were asked to have as many employees work from home as possible. For quite a few people, that meant heading to our desk at home with our coffee after breakfast instead of fighting the traffic to make it to the office. While there are certainly quite a few wonderful things about working from home, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.

    The ‘new normal’

    If you’re like me, you have been working from home for a good chunk of 2020 (hopefully you’re also not like me and ended up losing your job due to the pandemic). As a writer and digital content specialist, quite literally every aspect of my job could be done from home or really anywhere I had a laptop and an internet connection.

    Even before COVID was a thing, there was a lot of talk about the benefits of working from home. Every now and then I would read about a worker or company owner who would recommend working from home as a very viable option. I even have several friends who have worked from home for years and have quite enjoyed it.

    In the past, I’ve worked for several bosses (including my most recent CEO) who were of the mindset that you had to be in the office to be working and that if you weren’t at the office, you were clearly off somewhere goofing around and not getting your work done.

    One of the most ironic things about our entire company working from home is that after a few weeks of it, he told us how impressed he was with how well we were doing as a company. He said he was impressed that we were actually more productive as a company now that all of us were working from home!

    Imagine that.

    Even as the beginning of the end of the pandemic may or may not be around the corner, I’m willing to bet that working from home, or at least some hybrid version of it, will become standard practice for as many companies that can support it for the foreseeable future.

    And why not? There’s plenty of benefits on both sides.

    The good

    Commuting - or lack thereof.

    I hate commuting. I hate it. There’s no way around it, I absolutely hate it. To me, in the most exact definition, it is a complete waste of time. I know some folks who have learned to deal with it by listening to podcasts or something else, but I never liked it, and barely tolerated it.

    The main thing I hated most about it was, as I mentioned above, I felt like it was a complete waste of time. Even on a normal day of a 45 minute commute I would arrive at work stressed, frustrated, and definitely not in a mindset to put in a good day’s work.

    Same thing going home. I would arrive at home barely in time to help give my son a bath and put him to bed. And again I was stressed and frustrated. Not at all how I wanted to be in the few precious minutes I got to spend with him every day.

    Working from home eliminated all that. I got to relax and take my time in the morning and enjoy breakfast with my family and in the evening, all I had to do was walk downstairs after my work was done and get a few stress-free hours to play with my son.

    It was awesome.

    Productivity

    One of the most interesting things about working from home has been how much more productive I’ve been and the same goes for my entire company. Before the pandemic, our CEO was definitely of the mindset that you had to be in the office to be able to work but he mentioned to us after a couple months how impressed he was with how much more productive the company had been while working from home.

    I certainly noticed it for me. Where usually I would get to the office between 8:30 and 9 and leave around 5 or 5:30, while working from home I would usually start my day around 9 or 9:30 and be able to end it around 3:30.

    I wasn’t doing any less work or doing any less quality of work, I was just able to accomplish all of my daily tasks within a shorter amount of time.

    I think this was mainly due to lack of meetings and distractions. If your company was anything like mine, almost all of your meetings that you were “required” to be at could have been handled with a couple of emails. Being forced to communicate via chat, email and video call actually enabled meetings to be quite shorter because we were all laser focused on the topic at hand.

    Also, since my desk was right on one of the main hallways in the office, it was inevitable that I would have several impromptu meetings throughout the day when a co-worker would stop by my desk on the way to the break room or wherever and we’d end up in a 15 minute chat, for no reason.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed hanging out and getting to know my co-workers but I was amazed how much more time I had to work while at home.

    Time

    To me, one of the hardest parts of working in an office wasn’t necessarily the propensity for micro-management from the higher-ups (although that was certainly something I strongly disliked), it was more that I never really felt like I was in control of my own time.

    I didn’t have to clock in or out thankfully and our time in the office wasn’t monitored or measured, but it still always felt awkward having to leave during the day if I needed to run errands or go to the doctor.

    Working from home has really made me feel like I am in complete control of my schedule. If I want to step out to grab some coffee or go for a walk, I can do it. If I need to get something on my car repaired, I don’t have to wait until lunch time.

    I mentioned it earlier but I have also thoroughly enjoyed all the extra time I’ve gotten to spend with my family. When I need a break, I simply walk downstairs and play with my son for 15 minutes. I don’t have to rush around stressed at the end of the day to try to eek out a few minutes for him during bath time.

    I get to eat lunch with my wife every day.

    These are times that I will never get back and can never replace.

    The not-so-good

    Distractions

    Not having co-workers or bosses down the hall can unfortunately be a bad thing sometimes as well. When I’m working on something particularly boring knowing that my PlayStation is just sitting there, less than 5 feet from me, just begging to be played, it’s hard not to grab the controller and game for a bit.

    It’s surprising how easy it can be to find excuses for little meaningless errands to run just because I can.

    Also, as lovable as my dog is, she can sometimes have the worst timing for needing my undivided attention.

    As great as it is being able to work from the comfort of my own home, it can be quite difficult to not be distracted by the comforts of my home as well.

    Boredom

    This honestly wasn’t one that I expected but I noticed that after a couple of months of working from home, I would get soooooooo bored sometimes.

    I would literally catch myself just staring at my monitor sometimes with my mind completely blank.

    Some days I would catch myself many times rushing through my daily tasks as quickly as possible just so I could be done for the day and move on to something else.

    It didn’t happen all the time but there were definitely days when it was incredibly hard to stay motivated to finish the day.

    Collaboration

    One thing that was a bit trickier at times was collaborating on work with my colleagues. While in the office, my teammate sat right next to me and it was easy to simply ask him a question about something and we could look at it together.

    While working from home, it’s certainly been more difficult to collaborate on things and sometimes work has had to slow down a bit as I await an answer from a colleague or manager via email or text as opposed to being able to simply walk down the hall and ask.

    Overall this didn’t affect my particular job too much but I do have some friends whose jobs are much more reliant on immediate communication so working from home can certainly be challenging in that respect.

    The future of work is here

    I think it’s fairly safe to say that for office workers, working from home will be the way of the business world for the foreseeable future.

    Many major, global companies have already made working from home a permanent or at least indefinite part of their work life.

    Aside from the obvious health aspects of allowing employees to work from home, it also can save companies potentially millions of dollars in office space, office supplies, equipment, coffee, etc. There are so many dozens of little things needed to keep an office environment going that many companies won’t have to spend money on anymore if the majority of their workforce is working from home.

    If there’s one thing I know about the business world, it’s that companies will always do whatever it takes to save money.

    Unfortunately, as we begin to adjust to this work from home model, or at least some hybrid version of it where folks might be asked to come in a couple days a week and work the rest from home, it will most likely translate to pay cuts down the road.

    One of the reasons companies are willing to pay a bit more is because it’s worth it to have you come into the office to work with your team in person. As those benefits slowly fade away or at least shift online, accounting departments will find more excuses to offer less pay to those working from home.

    All in all, I’m excited about working from home for the foreseeable future. Honestly, I do like the idea of being able to go into the office and get some human interaction aside from my wife when I need to but I definitely look forward to being able to spend more time working in my jammies with my puppy sleeping on the couch next to me.

    What do you think? Are you working from home? Do you like it or not? What have been some of the best and worst things about it for you? Let me know in the comments!
     

    #1
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  2. Yash Pratap Singh.
    Jelly Bean Jan 13, 2021

    Yash Pratap Singh. , Jan 13, 2021 :
    Don't know about work, but school should definitely not be online.
    I miss Offline schools:(
     

    #2
  3. sfomin
    Nougat Jan 13, 2021

    sfomin , Jan 13, 2021 :
    I love it when people claim they are more productive at home... with their 15" laptop screens... vs 2-3 22"+ screens in the office...

    I prefer coming into the office, but i would like a hybrid arrangement. A few day working from home, a few working in the office...
     

    #3
  4. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jan 13, 2021

    Dresa91 , Jan 13, 2021 :
    Hey @Red Bearded BA (Jason C.) :)
    Fortunately, I am able and have been given the opportunity by my employer to work from home since mid-March 2020.
    Initially, I had thought that this would take maybe 3 to 4 weeks.
    Therefore, my wife and I had kept our rhythm in the morning (the alarm clock rings at 5:30 a.m.) so that we would not have a hard time getting up "normally" when it was time to go back to the office. Almost 10 months later, we have kept that.
    The advantage is that I have a more relaxed breakfast in the morning and start work just under an hour earlier because I don't have to commute an hour to work.
    So I also get off work sooner and can enjoy the end of the day sooner.

    However, I miss my colleagues. You can no longer drink coffee with them or talk, events are cancelled.
    At the moment, I'm saving the monthly subscription for my train ticket, but I'm incurring more costs at home.

    Be that as it may, it looks like, and I support this, that in the future there will be some kind of mixture. Some days in the office and then the rest of the days working from home.
     

    #4
  5. Tobikage
    Nougat Jan 13, 2021


    #5
  6. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jan 13, 2021

    Dresa91 , Jan 13, 2021 :
    Haha 😂
    I can see the threads coming 😂😂😂
     

    #6
  7. Red Bearded BA (Jason C.)
    US Brand Ambassador Jan 13, 2021


    #7
  8. Neeraj_Porwal
    Honeycomb Jan 14, 2021


    #8
    Antonio_Luis likes this.
  9. Dipesh619
    Gingerbread Jan 14, 2021


    #9
  10. sumitMZ007
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jan 14, 2021

    sumitMZ007 , via OnePlus 6 , Jan 14, 2021 :
    I have two opinion on work from home and other on college from home :
    Advantage of WFH:
    1. no hurry to wake up !
    2. Lots of time is saved which got wasted in commuting! Minimum 3 hrs are saved of commuting!
    3. Wearing a nice formal shirt does the work for whole day while sitting in your comfortable pajama does the work.
    4. You feel more energetic since office is at 2 step distance so no additional energy is wastes in taking stairs or lanes.
    5. in breaks you can take food, coffee or anything which makes you happy!
    6. To make dedicated office at home company gives you refund for setting office at home! said:

    Disadvantages:
    1. If some doubt occurs you need to consult your team which sometimes doesn't happen online in proper manner to get the solution of problem!
    2. Sitting at one place makes it monotonous and sometimes feels boring, if like minded people aren't around for talking on work related issues!
    3.some people doesn't have dedicated office rooms so other noise hinders the environment set up for office work and distraction occurs in between!
    4.at afternoon times people feel sleepy and as bed is nearby a power nap is taken sometimes.
    Now for college from home:
    Advantages:
    1. During offline classes I used leave my home in morning 6.30am and reach college at 8am.and while coming back from college additional 2 hrs used in commuting .so total 4hrs approx were saved by online classes!
    2. Lunch break of 1hr is unnecessary in college when it was offline any Person can eat food within 20 minutes .
    3.im more energetic and the time which used to get wasted in commuting I use it that for exercise and keeping my body fit! Which wasn't possible during offline classes!
    4.all books and related study material is at reach so no more Carrying loads on shoulder!
    5.no necessary uniform to follow & wear your comfortable clothes for the online classes!
    6. Wear your wireless headphones and roam in your house and still you can keep up what Teachers is saying!
    Disadvantages:
    1. I miss listening to music while enjoying the bus ride to college.
    2. Some subjects required physical presence for proper execution of subject and practical.
    3.distraction occurs sometimes due to surrounding environment!
    office work from home might not be good but for college students it's a nice way around!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021

    #10
  11. Tokolozi
    Most Original Avatar Jan 14, 2021

    Tokolozi , Jan 14, 2021 :
    Those are just poor people but in all honesty our work allowed us to take any office equipment home if needed, including displays.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021

    #11
  12. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jan 14, 2021

    Venky61 , Jan 14, 2021 :
    I hope not, especially for my wife :p
     

    #12
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  13. Tokolozi
    Most Original Avatar Jan 14, 2021

    Tokolozi , Jan 14, 2021 :
    Pretty much the same here, the social interaction is what I miss the most, but we make it up with some after-work online drinking.

    The savings in gas for the car will make up for the extra heating cost, but at least the company is covering a part of our internet costs now to make up for those.

    I see the future for most companies that can do it work with some sort of 50/50 or 60/40 structure for home working.
     

    #13
  14. Innerindia , via OnePlus Nord Gray Onyx , Jan 14, 2021 :
    Working from home might be an option but studying from home isn't... Even though I am good at studies i manage myself to push through but there are some students who have gone from 70 percent to 30 !! ... Their scores have dropped like crazy !
    Our School is trying its best to teach but I really think that for efficient learning we NEED TO HAVE SOCIAL HUMAN INTERACTION ! They are part of learning too ! co-ordinating with others , Sitting with friends to solve questions ! it's just wayyyy more fun physically
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021

    #14
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  15. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jan 14, 2021

    Dresa91 , Jan 14, 2021 :
    Yeah:)
    Sounds good:)
     

    #15
    C1602143462496 and KaranRIyer like this.
  16. SRD.
    KitKat Jan 14, 2021

    SRD. , via OnePlus 7T , Jan 14, 2021 :
    Working from home spoiled me. 😁 After 8 month I wore a shirt and it feels weird.
    But it was proved that jobs can be done without going to work area ( well for many cases) / Management takes it in a different way ( Job can be done without you 😉)
    Wonderful thread @Red Bearded BA (Jason C.)
     

    #16
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  17. Tokolozi
    Most Original Avatar Jan 14, 2021

    Tokolozi , Jan 14, 2021 :
    We still need to wear our shirts on the VC's so kept that habit.
     

    #17
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  19. derLenno
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Jan 14, 2021

    derLenno , via OnePlus 8T Aquamarine Green , Jan 14, 2021 :
    Hopefully not.
    Home Office was all fun and games until we got a new team lead who just couldn't find a way to get warm with all of us. I wouldn't want to join an all-digital team as a newbie either. Been doing the majority of my University and professional work from home and I think I would have killed myself had that continued. Luckily, I found a co-working space that allowed me in - sitting around at home, restricting the area of your life to the 3 meters between the bed and the writing desk, is not for me. Never.

    Once the whole thing is over, my workplace will have the following rule in place: Being in the physical office will be mandatory on Mondays, plus a day where the whole team is physically in the office guaranteed. That's 2 days of mandatory office work and I think it's a great way to use the benefits of mobile work and at the same time to stop the negative effects of it.
     

    #19
  20. DineshNagpal
    Gingerbread Jan 14, 2021


    #20
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