Should I work from home or go back to the office?

On the 16th March 2020, the UK government took action against the spread of COVID-19 and announced that employees should work from home where possible. According to studies, 60% of the UK population followed guidelines and are now working from home during the lockdown. As the UK lockdown restrictions begin to ease, many UK workers are faced with the decision to either remain working from home or go back to the office. As with any decision, there are pros and cons which we have listed so you don’t have to!

Disadvantages of Working From Home

Lack of socialisation and loneliness

From 3rd April – 3rd May 2020, 1 in 5 of people within the UK said they felt lonely being at home. Not being in the office has a large part to play in that. You don’t realise how many people you see on a day to day basis and how much you socialise with your colleagues.

Having that stripped away can make you feel closed off from society and alone. If you are feeling like that, there are always people out there to help, whether it’s giving your neighbour a call, talking to a charity like Samaritans or even chatting to a stranger you meet at the park.

Training Needs

Training is imperative to your success in a job. No matter if you’ve just started or have been there for a while. As people have different approaches to learning, remote training can prove to be difficult when working from home. In the office, you’re surrounded on a daily basis by your colleagues, and being fully immersed into the business’ processes.

Creative Block

For those in creative or innovative roles, where thinking outside the box is key, working from home can affect your creative process. You are not receiving the same mental stimulation as you would by being surrounded with people, taking daily journeys to work and coming across a variety of environments.

In addition, virtual chats have proved to be difficult. There will always be the awkward silence before anyone talks and times when everyone talks at once. The ability to make a point or bounce ideas off others seems to be missing that edge. This is down to not being able to read people properly and truly embrace their body language and expressions.

Difficulty forming and maintaining relationships

Humans thrive in social settings and being able to relate to your colleagues virtually may be difficult for some, especially when you are starting a new job. Though there are things thatyou can do to help build relationships virtually such as team building activities, it doesn’t beat the real thing.

Technology & Communication Issues

Wi-Fi dropouts, laptop malfunctions and phone mishaps are all common issues that working from home has to offer and unfortunately, these are things that are simply out of your control. With a heavy reliance on technology, any technical issues can put a spanner in the works and can have a ripple effect across the company.

Advantages of Working from Home

No early morning commute

Being able to roll out of bed and rock up to work in your loungewear or PJs is an appealing benefit that comes with working from home. Not only does it give you the flexibility to make the most out of your mornings, but it also ensures that you are never late for work. No more wrestling with early morning traffic!

Increased productivity

If you asked businesses 5 years ago their thoughts on working from home, their response would have been that productivity would plummet. It’s belief that with more distractions around you directly correlates with decreased productivity and efficiency. However, researchers have found that this is not actually the case for all employees despite their homely surroundings. 70% of people found that they were either as productive or more productive than when working within the office.

Improved work-life balance

Working from home provides you with the flexibility you desire. You can manage your time to match your routine, while keeping that important balance with family time as well as physical and mental well-being. Taking time out during a typical workday can improve your productivity and prevent burnouts. Moderation is key to a healthy work-life balance.

Saving money

The one point that makes us stand up and take notice is that working from home saves you money! Without having to think about splashing the cash on fancy lunches, travel fare and workwear, employees are saving money left, right and centre.

The below map showcases the amount of money that people have saved statistically across the UK every week, whilst working from home.

finder.com – Working from Home Statistics

London: £58 per week

Wales: £50 per week

North West: £47 per week

South East: £46 per week

East Midlands: £44 per week

York/Humber: £43 per week

East England: £42 per week

Northern Ireland: £42 per week

West Midlands: £39 per week

North East: £36 per week

Scotland: £35 per week

South West: £37 per week

Limits the spread of germs

Working from home limits the contact between you and other people. This results in a decrease of viruses and bacteria spreading from one household to another. This is the very reason why working from home was implemented and has shown a slow down in the spread of, not only COVID-19, but other common illnesses such as seasonal flu.

When making the decision to either go back to the office or continue working from home, feeling assured that companies are abiding by government guidelines and procedures is key. Regardless of this, employees must review their own situation and decide based on what is best for them. Some people have thrived throughout the Working from Home period, whereas others may have found their homes to be too distracting or lack access to a good working environment.

Here at Express Recruitment, we offer a vast range of office and home-based opportunities. You can find our current remote jobs on our website or you can contact our award winning Recruitment Agency on 0115 924 0010 where our expert team can help you find the perfect fit.

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