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Pros and Cons of Working from Home

WFH, WTF?

The new normal, the new trend, the new comfortability, the new… way to work for corporate? We’ve all heard just how awesome and freedom-like working from home can be, but, is it productive? Or, is the new generation of labor force, for lack of better term, just lazy?

According to an article by apollotechnical.com, “An estimate by Upwork states that 1 in 4 Americans which is over 26% of the American workforce is expected to work remotely through 2021.” 1 in 4 people working from home is not a few. That affects many aspects of the economy, whether is be commercial real estate, gas demand, and maybe even nicer apparel companies such as those that sell formal dress wear. Apparently, however, there can be many pros to working from home. The article goes on to say, “A study by Standford of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working from home increase productivity by 13%. This increase in performance was due to more calls per minute attributed to a quieter more convenient working environment and working more minutes per shift because of fewer breaks and sick days. In this same study workers also reported improved work satisfaction, and attrition rates were cut by 50%.” 

Prior to the outbreak pandemic of Covid-19, work from home was taboo. The term “work from home” itself was hardly spoken in the same breath as the word “productive.” The quick spreading and public fear of the contagious covid-19 virus caused companies to rethink how to work since; after all, the world couldn’t just shut down entirely. In comes the ever-forbidden “work from home” idea, and it seems to be… working? The same article states “Working Remotely Can Increase Productivity up to 77%. 77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same period of time according to a survey by ConnectSolutions.” It appears comfortability and productivity really do go hand in hand. Reports from surveys taken in the past couple of months show working from home is producing a better turnaround on projects, and increasing productivity. Great Place to Work compared employee productivity from March to August of 2020, the first six months of stay-at-home orders, to the same six-month stretch in 2019. Remote work productivity was stable or increased when working remotely from home, according to a 2-year study of 800,000 employees. Prodoscore reports an increase in productivity by 47% since March of 2020 (compared to March and April 2019), and have deciphered when people are the most productive. The report states workers are the most productive on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; and between 10:30am and 3:00pm. The average workday still reflects an 8:30am to 5:30pm schedule, and more workers are using emailing and Customer Relationship Management software to stay in contact with co-workers.”

But it can’t be all sunshine and rainbows, right? Surely, not everyone is suddenly more productive now that they don’t have to drive to and from work every day. According to indeed.com, working from home can cause increased isolation, higher home office costs, risk of overworking, distractions at home, workplace disconnect, disproportionate work-life balance, and less physical face time with others. 

The argument to whether working from home increases productivity is a tough debate, and one I’m sure won’t be going away any time soon. Get used to the idea of working from home, though, as many are now viewing it as the new normal, new comfortable job style, and new way to work for corporate.