by Kasia Perzynska on 19 Jun, 2018 ~10 minutes read

We have already talked about working from home in several recent publications, such as 9 Productivity Hacks for Working from Home and How to Set up Your First Home Office.

Working from home is currently trending in some industries, and this comes along with the rapidly advancing progress of technology, which allows people to communicate with their teams and supervisors beyond geographical boundaries.

This is especially true because B2B software, your work tools, are accessible regardless of your location. This gives you the absolute flexibility to schedule your workflow according to your preference, wherever you are.

As a result, some remote job opportunities might be coming your way form time to time. And I bet you’re wondering if this working style has been made for you.

Obviously there are some benefits any worker would enjoy. However, working from your home might be a mixed blessing. For this reason, I’ve decided to compare office work and remote work side by side to shed some light on the benefits and obstacles of each.

Let’s have a closer look at the most important issues when comparing working at home and working from an office.

1. Commuting

First, let’s take a closer look at the issue of commuting.

commuting

Working in an Office

The average daily commute for workers in Britain is 1 hour and 38 minutes. Scientists have found a link between the time you spend commuting and your job satisfaction. Ultimately, 20 extra minutes of daily commuting has the same negative effect on job satisfaction as getting a 19% pay cut. And what’s the average commute in your city?

Working from Home

When you work from home, there’s no commuting back and forth to work, so there’s no problem. You’re not wasting your time in traffic jams and your job satisfaction isn’t affected by it.

That’s one of the strongest benefits to working from home. Extra time saved here can be used somewhere else, you can have more me-time, for instance, or just spend it with your friends and family.

2. Flexibility

Second, comes the flexibility to schedule your workflow.

flexibility

Working from Home

As mentioned in the introduction, working from home provides you with the absolute flexibility to organize your day. Of course, you might need to stay in touch with the in-office team and then your schedule becomes more in line with those working standards, but still there is much more freedom in it, compared to a typical office day.

Working remotely lets you define your hours and get your job done in your productivity peaks -regardless of time. It doesn’t matter if it’s early morning, or late at night. The point is that you can deal with your tasks much faster, when you’re most alert and energetic, and that’s a huge benefit.

Working from Office

On the other end, office work demands alignment. You need to fit into those standard 8 working hours between 10 and 6. And you’re expected to deliver your highest alertness in that time. Despite the fact that you might not be effective at all then. This means you have to struggle against your nature, with no choice or freedom to set your working schedule.

3. Dress code

Third, dress code at work.

dress code

Working from Office

Depending on your profession, business industry or location, you are expected to dress accordingly. Typically, when you work in a modern business office, you shouldn’t come in ripped jeans and loose t-shirts. Usually, your office sets standards and you are required to wear formal clothes. Of course, you might be hired at a cool software company such as LiveChat, and then it’s your call what to wear, but still that’s a rarity.

According to a study, any company that enforces a dress code is perceived negatively by 61% of people looking for a new job. Still, we dress to impress, but resent being told what to wear.

Working from Home

In contrast to the office dress code, is the idea of working from home. Then, it can even get extreme. Working remotely might mean sitting at home in your sweats, on the rug or in your pajamas all day long. But, whatever makes you comfortable. No one cares, you can be naked if that makes you happy because it all comes down to the execution of your KPIs on time.

Plus, employees are more productive when the dress code is relaxed.

4. When you take care of others

whippet

Working from Home

Working from home is especially beneficial when you have to take care of others.

No matter whether it happens from time to time, when you have to babysit your nephews, or when you are a mother/father and you have babies to take care of.

Either way, staying at home and working remotely puts you in a very convenient position that allows you to fit some other duties, such as picking up kids from school or cooking healthy meals for them, into your day.

Furthermore, working from home is just great when you have animals. A dog will always appreciate your presence and help you introduce some breaks into your workflow. Simply because dogs need to be walked every 3 hours. And that’s, of course, healthy for you too!

Working from Office

When you work in an office, taking care of children or animals becomes a little more difficult.

Of course, this depends on the individual company you work with and the law that applies to your country. So you might get well-paid maternity or paternity leave when you are expecting a baby. However, it depends on your contract - not all agreements include the same conditions.

Afterwards, when you come back to work for good, you need to fit at least two roles into your daily schedule: being a business person during the day and a parent after hours.

Not to mention your poor animals that wait for you all day long before they can go out or get their food.

There are standard routines, and it’s possible to bring everything together. But let’s agree on something - there isn’t much freedom regarding these decisions, and you must settle into them.

5. Salary

salary

Regarding the salary for remote workers and office workers, we can say that normally, the money is equal in either case. Or sometimes the remote worker might get even better rates because a remote worker isn’t such a high cost for an employer because he/she doesn’t use the office space, water, lights, kitchen, kitchen supplies, garage or even computers. So the company can spare some maintenance money here.

The remote worker needs to create a working space on his own and adapt his/her flat, or even join a coworking space when the flat isn’t suitable.

Also, for remote employees it’s much easier to optimize and minimize costs of living.

6. Working Environment

working enviroment

On the other hand, as a remote employee, you don’t always control your work space.

When you are trying to focus in your home, there are sometimes unexpected difficulties that distract you and lower your efficiency.

For instance, let’s say you moved into newly built apartment and there is construction going on all around because, apparently, your neighbors haven’t finished their flats yet.

So you have to deal with the annoying drilling noise almost everyday.

I know that’s awful.

But that’s beyond your control, and in such a case you have no other choice but to move to a cool coffee shop.

coffee shop

However, the coffee shop might not always will fit into your business expectations either.

For instance, you might be not too very welcome when you just sit with one cup of coffee all day long. In a coffee shop, you are expected spend money there and order several times during those 8 hours of work.

Then your bill is growing, and makes it all totally unprofitable (I know what I am talking about →breakfast + lunch + big bottle of water + coffee at a fancy freelancer-friendly spot - will cost you a lot)

Then, it all usually ends up in the coworking space nearby.

Fortunately, these are becoming more and more popular and accessible, so in a city you just need to do some research and you’ll surely find several options to choose from.

7. Your Taxes

taxes

Working from Home

Working from home often implies setting up a sole proprietorship. Then you technically become an entrepreneur, so you issue invoices, pay taxes and can generate some extra costs to decrease those taxes.

When your home becomes your office, it empowers you to include some household expenses as business costs too.

And that’s good for you because this way you can spare some extra pennies here and there.

Working from Office

On the other hand, you still need to handle taxes in an office, and in my opinion that’s always something annoying and undesirable on your to-do list.

Personally, I hate paying taxes, especially because I don’t have that many extra expenses that would save me a lot of money.

Paying taxes bugs me each month. Therefore, I see it as another duty to remember, that I’d better see on my employer’s end.

Working at office, you don’t have to play with creative accounting, and even if you’re not saving those pennies, your head is free from this painful job.

8. Someone is watching you

someone-is-watching-you

When you work from home this is not the case anymore.

No one sees you, and no one judges you for your personality. This might be healthier, since it makes your business relationship neutral and simple. And you don’t have to mix your private life with it.

Simple as that!

One disadvantage here reflects the fact that when you work from home your supervisors can’t see that you work hard and put in tremendous effort into some tasks. Then you are judged on tangible results only.

Above all, this social aspect depends hugely on your mindset. There are introverts who avoid meeting new people at all costs, and on the other hand there are social creatures who are always hungry to bring new people into their life, just to make reality more exciting.

I think new people are always nice to meet. After all, this is what lets us evolve in life and and get to know yourself better.

9. (Self)Motivation

Finally, there is the issue of motivation.

self-motivation

When you are working from home it takes a phenomenal amount of self-discipline and motivation to start work when you know you don’t have to be at the office by 9 in the morning.

For this reason you might become lazy, start neglecting your work routine and as a result fail to deliver your tasks on time.

10. Sense of solitude

And there’s the case of solitude too.

Sense-of-solitude

When you’re not a part of a work community, you can’t go out for lunch with your work colleagues, since you have no work colleagues around.

In this way you might become bored with your daily routine and miss out on some inspiration for ways to spend your leisure time either, and find out about the events in the neighbourhood that you usually get from other people.

Of course, you might be super social in your private life, however people tend to stick more to work-friends over time and this may make your private friends drift away from you.

Also there is a case of feeling lonely in the crowd too that reflects employees of corporation that barely know each other in reality. But working from home adds some extra social limitations anyway.

11. Travels

When you work from home you can be a traveler. You can change places everyday and do your job from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Costa Rica, the Galapagos or wherever you want to travel. The only necessity is strong internet connection so you can work on the way.

A remote job is the best possible opportunity for an avid traveler, who on one hand needs to continually earn money and on the other hates staying in one place.

Conclusion

Both remote and office work have some advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your individual needs in the particular period of your life you’re in, you might prefer one working style and then another.

So consider this and remember you can always test it out and go back to the office when such autonomy isn’t working for you.

About the author:

Kasia Perzynska

Hi,

I’m a content marketer at LiveChat with the 4 years of experience in the SaaS universe. When I’m not writing, then you can find me traveling, watching Netflix, shopping and spending time with my dog, Vincent. I have an undying love for vegetarian food, yoga and meditation.

Get in touch with me at Twitter or LinkedIn.

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