In March 2020, organizations worldwide were put in a new and (in that time) uncomfortable position: working from home or closing down operations.
When the pandemic started, those businesses who had the capacity and resources moved from working in the office to working from home. Working from home has its advantages, such as saving time and money on commuting, more sleep, or time for a morning exercise, but it also has its drawbacks. We asked our followers on LinkedIn what their plan was after restrictions are lifted: the majority of the voters want to mix working from home and in the office and do their daily responsibilities 1-2 days from home and the rest of the days in the office.
COVID-19 forced businesses to adapt rapidly to the circumstances by sending their employees home with mostly their laptops to carry out their daily work. Employers slowly understood that WFH works and employees can be productive at home from their living room or study.
In April 2021, we posted a poll on LinkedIn, asking our followers about their intentions on working from home. 3,185 people took part in the poll which gave us a stable indication of how people see the working life in the future.
Majority of the respondents (34%) said that they want to work from home 1-2 days a week. The second biggest group was those who want to work from home 5 days a week with 25%. The next group was very close with 24% wanting to work from home 3-4 days a week. The lowest proportion was amongst those who said they want to work in the office full-time with 18%.
COVID-19 is not the only reason to work remotely. Why?
Skipping commute saves time and money: people can have an extra hour of sleep, a chance for a morning workout, or for a healthy and nutritious breakfast. Working remotely also helps to avoid high rent and mortgage areas especially for those who work in industries like tech where big companies are located in expensive, metropolitan areas. Working from home enables people to live in a cheaper area but work for a global company.
Another big plus of WFH is that businesses are able to hire a diverse team which will bring in different perspectives and approaches.
Not leaving the house 5 times a week also reduces negative environmental impacts – such as greenhouse gas emission.
The biggest disadvantage of working from home is reduced communication. Sometimes communication can be difficult from home, especially when you have questions to ask. In a WFH situation, in order to have your questions answered and be able to proceed with your tasks, you have to write an email, a message or call your manager – this takes more time than turning around in your chair and asking them directly.
Another common thing managers worry about when sending their employees to work from home is the loss of productivity. People can be distracted by many things at home: putting the TV on in the background, going to the kitchen for snacks, the postman delivering a parcel… these are all distractions employees are faced with which could make the tasks to carry out longer. For example, something that would take 5 minutes in the office could take half an hour at home with all of those distractions.
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