With countries all over the world under lockdown, the working class seems to have split into two distinct factions. Many of us have become great fans of working for home and are hoping that such working arrangements will continue well after lockdown eases.
After all, once we have relished the greatness of working in your formal top with pyjamas pants on your bed, who can tolerate the idea of going back to a stiff and possibly suffocating work environment like an office?
Unfortunately, every rose has its thorns. For the rest who enjoy social interactions more than anything else in the world and possibly have had traumatic experiences of kids squealing in the background as you struggle to focus on your Zoom meeting session, we can’t wait for the lockdown to be over.
Regardless of which faction you’ve pledged allegiance to, it is an undeniable fact that lockdown has its pros and cons. And today, we shall explore some of these pros and cons together.
Pros of Working From Home
1. Low Cost
Working from home means that the public transport fares and the exorbitant Grab fares (especially if you’re working in the CBD district) you have to pay to maintain your punctuality streak are obliterated.
Moreover, working from home means that you are more likely to cook at home – which translates to saving money on food.
The need to replenish your wardrobe with the latest office fashion has disappeared along with our freedom of movement – all you need is a presentable office top for your Zoom meeting!
2. Great Flexibility
This is possibly the most irrefutable argument presented by the pro-WFH gang. The luxury of waking up 5 minutes before a scheduled meeting is simply irresistible to especially millennials, who are known for sleeping more hours of the day.
Short afternoon naps and multiple trips to the kitchen to satisfy our cravings – without attracting glares from colleagues and bosses – are finally a reality! (Unless your company requires you to be on teleconferencing platforms with video turned on the whole time.)
In fact, for companies that embrace flexibility, working from home means that you can choose to work at the time when you feel the most productive. Fellow night owls, it is our time to shine!
3. Work-Life Balance
The highly sought-after, yet elusive “work-life balance” is finally within our reach with work from home. The flexibility work from home brings about gives people the authority to manage their commitments – be it work or family-related.
Perhaps you’ve always been the kind of person who becomes more productive if you can take a break whenever you hit little milestones – eg. one episode of Itaewon Class after reviewing a few proposals. This may not have been possible in the office, but can be a reality during work from home!
Cons of Working From Home
1. Requires Strong Self-Discipline
I write this point with great weight on my conscience. This article should have taken me a few hours to finish, yet I have spent 2 weeks on it. Without pressure from my supervisors and fellow colleagues, the sloth within me reveals itself. I am a strong believer that the relationship between stress and productivity can be represented with an optimal curve.
Too much stress burns people out, but too little stress results in a lack of motivating force. Work from home, to me, definitely falls under the latter.
Despite the fact that we may have had some beef with our colleagues while working with them, it is an undeniable fact for many of us that we miss having social interactions with them.
This can create feelings of isolation, which can be detrimental to our health and productivity. In fact, according to the study “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, a group of researchers from University College London found that limited contact with others increases a person’s overall risk of death overtime.
Consider scheduling a virtual coffee time with a coworker or friend over teleconferencing platforms or just join an online community to socialize with people who you ‘vibe’ with.
3. Lack of Distraction from Kids
Perhaps work from home has made parents realise that their kids may not be as angelic as they seem. Or perhaps, working + kids is the recipe for disaster.
As much as kids are great blessings to some of us, their immaturity and willfulness may cause some embarrassing moments in front of our colleagues – a classic example being “BBC dad’s kids disrupt his interview yet again – Metro News”.
Essentially, how far you can relate to the pros and cons of working from home depends on an array of factors – from your personality to your financial stability to your home environment.
As the famous English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking once said, ‘One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect.’ Precisely because nothing is perfect, we humans have to adapt and improvise accordingly, in order to mitigate the damages of the cons.
Since we are all stuck in our homes, instead of relishing in the good old times of working in offices with decent levels of human interaction, why not take this opportunity to better prepare ourselves for the post-Coronavirus era?
If this sounds like your kind of #StayAtHome activity, do check out “5 In-Demand Skills To Learn During Lockdown” Blog Article!