Though as restrictions begin to ease in some states, the most recent news in VIC has got us thinking what’s next? Will people start to head back out into the world? Will we ever return to the traditional office workspace post-COVID? Or keep encouraging remote work? Maybe a combination of both?
Here are the pros and cons of working at home since COVID-19.
Eliminate The Commute
One of the key downfalls of working at an office would have to be the commute. The early rises, the endless traffic, and uncomfortable rides on public transport - the whole endeavor can feel stale, especially if you’re travelling a long distance.
Though that’s the beauty of working from home - no commute. Some employees may eliminate 2 hours of travel time per day if not more. Generally, we should see better productivity & work life balance. All you need to do is wake up, get dressed (no-pyjamas please….), and walk to your home office space. What’s not to love?
Not only will you be saving time by working from home, but you’ll also be saving money.
The most obvious costs you can remove would be fuel, car maintenance, tolls, parking, and public transport - since there’s no daily commute.
It doesn't stop there. For those that have a habit of buying lunch every day, cutting out the takeaway costs and eating what’s in the kitchen can be a great money-saver for employees.
For many people, the number of distractions in an office workplace can hinder productivity. This could be from talkative co-workers, surrounding chatter, continuous meetings, or anything in between.
Though by working from home, you can eliminate these distractions altogether. Sure, there’s still likely to be online meetings from time to time, though the absence of distracting coworkers will help you get into the groove of a deeper workflow.
Reduce Work Absences
Remote working may also hold the potential to reduce sick-days, helping to get the most out of your employees.
For example, if someone had to take the day off to look after sick kids, they may still have the capacity to work from home while they do so. Or, one of your workers may not feel well enough to get ready and drive into the office, but they might feel comfortable working a few hours on their laptop from home.
Initial Home Office Expenses
Though working from home will save you money on the commute, the initial costs of actually buying everything you need can be jarring.
For example, after you buy an adequate computer/ laptop, desk, work-chair, and any other office supplies you’ll need, the total cost can be a surprise. Who is responsible for this equipment? The business or employee?
It’s easy to overdo it when you’re working from home. After all, when you’re surrounded in a familiar, comfortable setting and are in a deep workflow, it’s not hard to lose track of time.
This may initially sound like a good thing, though overworking yourself can cause an assortment of health issues - like weight gain, fatigue, and difficulty relaxing.
While some of your employees may thrive in a home-office setting, others may find a home workspace to be too big of a distraction.
After all, it can be easy to get side-tracked with house-hold chores or be tempted with a nearby smart-phone or television.
With all of these distractions in the mix, it can be hard to complete daily tasks.
Difficult To Manage From Afar
Without the know-how, managing your workers from afar can be difficult
As you’re preparing your employees for remote work, there are a series of tasks you’ll need to do to make the process as productive as possible. This includes setting expectations and implementing a variety of tools to monitor progress. You’ll need to schedule daily calls and check-ins with your workers to assign tasks and share relevant news.
Since every workplace is different, it’ll take some time to find what practices are working best for you and your team.
What’s Worked For Us at Origin Tea
At Origin Tea, we have been working two days in office and two days working from home. All in all we think it has worked quite well for us & the team has adapted great to the endless Zoom / Microsoft Teams Call. The real bonus is we get Friday’s completely off thanks to JobKeeper.
We sitll continue to run our Weekly Sales & Management Meetings every Monday face-to-face with is critical part to get realignment & focus amongst the overall business objectives and targets.
Will Origin Tea fully convert and remain as a Monday-Thursday business with employees enjoying long-weekends forever?
Stay well & happy sipping,