*Work from home (WFH) vs Work from office (WFO)
As the world begins to transition into our new reality in the aftermath of the pandemic, employers and employees alike are being faced with the question – should we go back to the office? Many companies have begun allowing room for dialogue to open up the possibility of letting staff decide for themselves which they prefer. If your workplace has started hashing out this discussion, then you know that this debate is fraught with pros and cons.
So how do you decide? Career Contacts is here to help! We’ve compiled some key factors to consider as you weigh your options, and we’ve provided an interactive checklist to help you make the best call for your current lifestyle.
WFH vs WFO – How to decide which is best for you
Here are some aspects to think about:
Commuting is perhaps one of the most widely deliberated topics when discussing the pros and cons of WFH vs WFO. Depending on how far you live from your workplace, and how strenuous the drive or transit is, commuting may be one of the biggest factors that you consider when deciding where you want to work. That being said, though some find commuting to be stressful, others find that they often cherish those moments on the way to and from the office. Some may even feel that their morning and evening drives or transit are a welcomed time to clear their head before or after the day’s work.
Another topic of conversation that has grown in relevancy throughout the pandemic is the isolation that comes along with working from home. The workplace is often a hub for our social interactions, acting for many as a primary place to form personal connections, friendships, and relationships. Losing this source of connection can have an effect on job satisfaction and overall mental health, making this an important factor that should not be overlooked when making a decision.
In addition to social interaction, the WFH vs WFO debate has opened up a conversation around boundaries and work-life balance. As more people start to work from their homes, there has been a realization that the flexibility in their schedule, while it is a pro, has also blurred the line between their work life and their personal life. In the same regard, working from home can also blur the line between their workspace and their living space, making it more difficult to transition in and out of “work mode” throughout the week.
Teamwork and collaboration are vitally important for a well-run company. If a large portion of the staff members are working from home, how will this effect collaboration in the workplace? While some people collaborate best in face-to-face interactions, some feel as though working remotely has encouraged more virtual meetings and interactions, perhaps allowing for even more collaboration and interaction than there would be working side by side in the office.
Childcare, though not a factor for everyone, is an important element in the decision-making process for many. Working from home allows flexibility in childcare that some may have a great appreciation for. Alternatively, working from home could present obstacles if you have a child at home that needs your attention during work hours.
Aside from the logistical and tech support issues that could play a part in the argument in favor of working from the office, another factor to consider is productivity. While being in your own space can provide a certain level of comfort that can be conducive to being productive, there’s no denying that working from home can lead to distractions.
What about the bigger picture? How will working remotely affect the future of the workplace and your personal career journey as a whole? Professional networking in person at the office can have advantages. For instance, speaking face-to-face may help you make a stronger impression, but are in-person introductions the only way to form new connections? With today’s technological advancements, people are interacting with work colleagues all over the world via video conferences, virtual meetings, and even virtual work parties and events. Some may even argue that these video events, along with platforms such as LinkedIn and other online networking sites, has allowed them to cast an even wider net in their professional network being that they can interact with people from all over the world instead of just the office.
Taking all of these factors into consideration and thinking about how they play a role in your current lifestyle can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created an interactive checklist to help you organize your priorities and to help you make your WFH vs WFO decision with confidence.