Working remotely used to be a privilege we felt was exclusively reserved for tech experts and other gurus in the digital space. However, the lockdown opened our eyes to see that anyone can work from home and excel at it. Job roles where you need to be physically present to accomplish the task (like cleaning, drilling, and, mining) are exceptions of course. From originally being “one of the perks of the job” to becoming a necessity due to the widespread of COVID, work-from-home jobs have gradually transitioned into the new normal and employees are opting for more remote work opportunities than on-site ones.
However, some companies have refused to conform to this new normal because they believe that working on-site under due surveillance will make the employee more productive. On this note, there is a constant argument about which system of work makes the employee more productive. In this article, we will be reviewing both systems from an unbiased point of view, so we can draw our conclusions on which is the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) between both.
What does it mean to Work from Home?
Employees who work from home are called telecommuters. When you work from home, it means that you perform all tasks specific to your job role from the comfort of your home, circumventing the commute from your house to the office and longer standing hours.
What does it mean to Work On-site?
Working on-site simply means physically showing up to work in a delegated office space every day. On-site workers enjoy several benefits such as free breakfast with fresh coffee and health insurance.
Advantages of Working On-site
1. Team bonding is Easier.
Working at the office allows you to see and communicate with members of your team in person, regularly. This constant interaction builds a connection that establishes long-lasting relationships. Having to tolerate your coworkers’ excesses daily also helps you develop behavioral and interpersonal skills quicker.
2. It facilitates Mentorship
At the office, you get to work face-to-face with your superiors and experts in other fields of knowledge in which you might be interested. It is easier to reach out to them when you see them in person every day and understand their schedule. In the workplace, it is easier to ask for help when you come across an issue you cannot resolve by yourself, knowing that your coworkers are less than three feet away.
3. Time Management is Easier
It is easier to manage your time when you work on-site away from distractions. In the office, you have a set routine, and the presence of a supervisor physically looking over your shoulder will keep you in check. The bandwagon effect will also help you get more work done when you are in an environment where everybody else is working. You push yourself to be more productive when you have a set amount of tasks to submit before you get to leave for home. Working on-site also helps you establish a good work-life balance by separating business from pleasure and leaving everything work-related in the office when you’re set to go home. It discourages unpaid extra time and longer working hours.
4. Employees connect Better with the Company’s work Ethics and Values
Working on-site gives the employees a better understanding of how the company works, and they can connect with the company’s vision and values better. A good understanding of the company’s ethics will make the employees stand for the brand’s integrity even outside of the workplace.
5. Information Security
Working on-site means that the employee has to worry less about information security because he will be working while plugged into the company’s network which is properly looked after by an equipped IT team. It is easier for him to report any incident of cyber insecurity directly to the IT guys because their office is only a few doors away. If he experiences issues with his computer, a quick trip to the department will have it fixed in no time.
Disadvantages of Working On-site Include:
1. Higher Stress Levels
Commuting to and from your workplace everyday in this country, you will deal with a lot. A lot meaning traffic jams, frustrated drivers, annoyed passengers, and bad news from possible major and minor accidents that could happen on the way. All these already leave you stressed when you get to work, and having to deliver piles of work with close deadlines when you resume only elevates the stress levels.
2. Cost-Effective for Employees and Employers
Transport fare and lunch money are only a few of the expenses you have to cater to when working on-site. If you drive, you have to pay for petrol, and sitting in traffic for long hours means you have to buy more petrol every day than the remote worker. At the end of the day, there’s not a lot of your salary left for you after payday.
3. Less Free Time
After a long stressful day at the office, when you get home you just want to rest and unwind. This means that your day shuttles between working and sleeping, leaving you with very little free time to do anything else. This is one area that work-from-home jobs have an edge over on-site jobs.
Advantages of Work-from-home Jobs
Working remotely allows you the privilege of working whenever and from wherever you want, without having to be your own boss – it’s like freelancing, but you don’t have to be the one sourcing for jobs! You are free to choose your private office setting and can work at your own pace without the presence of a micromanaging boss, the feeling is bliss. However, if the company you work for is new to remote work, you might be required to still work within the conventional hours of 9 am to 5 pm and check in with a supervisor every couple of hours to ensure productivity.
2. You can Freelance too
The whole point of working from home is so that you can be home more often to take care of your family, agreed, but you can make the most of hours you could have spent commuting and take on some contract gigs for extra cash. You should have spent it sitting in a traffic jam anyway, now you can use it to earn more money. Work-from-home jobs let you freelance in addition to working a full-time job.
Jack says, “my parents don’t understand how I can be home fixing the plumbing while working. My children though, they love it!” The best part of working remotely aside from the flexibility is the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones. The lockdown has taught everyone the importance of family and the beauty of spending time with them. When you work from home, you are not limited by being a nursing mother, or a pregnant wife, you can work and still be there for your child.
4. Increased Productivity and Decreased Stress Levels
Many employees have attested to being more productive working from home than in the office. Maybe that’s because at home you are more relaxed and have access to healthy food that helps reduce stress levels.
Disadvantages of Work-from-home Jobs
1. You Spend More
In Nigeria, remote work can save you tons of cash on transportation, but you spend your fair share on data. With all the apps and digital tools, you need to ensure productivity while you work remotely you’ll spend more money on data than on junk food. If anyone saves more from the remote work arrangement, it’s the employer by cutting the cost of Wi-Fi and cleaning the office complex.
2. Team Bonding is Limited
Flexibility becomes a bad thing when it comes to team bonding. Everyone may no longer have the same hours when working from home, so communication is strained amongst team members. Work-from-home jobs may be perfect for bonding with your family, but detrimental for bonding with your team.
3. Work-life Imbalance
Many employees confess that they struggle to balance work with personal life when they work from home. Usually, working in the office allows you to leave work-related things behind when you close for the day. However, when your home doubles as your office space, it can be hard to draw the line on working hours. If you are not intentional, working from home could greatly cripple your social life.
Critically examining both forms, we realize that each have beautiful advantages and annoying disadvantages. The way to bridge the gap is to strike a balance and try hybrid work. Although 70% of employees prefer to work remotely full-time, an arrangement where they show up to the office some days and stay home on others would be the perfect solution to even out the odds.
If you are looking to get started on your remote work journey, see these articles for a head start:
I hope this helped!