According to Finder, before March 2020, 1.54 million people worked from home in some capacity compared to the 23.9 million today.
So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Does it make us more productive and do the benefits outweigh any potential drawbacks?
Hybrid ways of working have become extremely popular in the UK with research suggesting productivity increases with flexible working in place. A whopping 75% of workers surveyed said their level of productivity would increase at home without office distractions and it has been reported that two-thirds of remote workers are more productive compared to in-office workers.
More free time
In the UK, the average daily commute takes 59 minutes which is equal to nearly 5 hours per working week. This extra time could therefore be used more productively during the working day whether that’s exercising to increase concentration or catching up on sleep if family life is a bit hectic.
Working remotely can cut down travelling costs including fuel, train, tube, and bus tickets, and buying lunch. Working from home can help create a bit more money to spend on the things that make you happy.
Finder has highlighted that if remote workers worked from home only 6 months of the year, this alone could prevent 54 million tonnes of greenhouse gas from being produced into the atmosphere, which is ‘equivalent to taking 10 million cars off the road’. The benefit to the environment is exponential, proving that working from home regularly can drastically improve air quality and limit pollution.
Working longer hours
More time in the day can also have its drawbacks as a remote employee, with over 20% of workers finding it difficult to separate their work and home life. Working from home can result in fewer breaks and longer working hours which can lead to burnout if continued over a long period of time not to mention hours of unpaid labour.
One significant disadvantage of working from home is the potential for loneliness. As finder highlights, 30.9% of those working remotely struggle with feelings of loneliness. An office environment provides social stimulation you may not receive at home especially if you live alone. This can make work unappealing or lead to depression. It has been reported that 62% of remote workers would like updated technology to stay better connected with their teams.
Like loneliness, the home environment isn’t something that can be easily altered. Although many remote workers say that working from an office is more distracting than working from home, it can also work the other way in the form of pets, social media, and neighbours.
The space and furniture available can also affect productivity with many remote workers having to work in their kitchens and living rooms with poor ergonomic environments.
Access to the internet
Internet connection is a major factor when it comes to remote working, with many employees in the UK switching to mobile data during important calls because their home broadband is unreliable. Usually, office premises include faster and more consistent connections than homes which means internet problems can create more stress for those working remotely.
Working from home does have both pros and cons but flexible work offered by employers provides a personal choice that can increase productivity, create balance, and save money.
If internet connectivity is an issue in your home, check out the Fibre Heroes postcode checker to see if full fibre broadband is or will be available in your area.