Working from home seems comfortable, but is it worth the comfort?

Why You Should Ignore the „Working from Home vs. at the Office“ Debate

You’ve seen the articles: „25 Reasons Why Everyone Should Work from Home“ or „25 Reasons Why Working from Home is Actually the Worst.“ But finally, there has been a conclusive study proving once and for all that working from home truly improves work-life satisfaction and productivity.

Just kidding. This study claims working from home is actually not all it’s cracked up to be.

What’s the real story and who should you believe?

Aside from issues with the studies themselves, the general debate largely ignores the multiplicity of options that exist today. There’s no single solution that’s best for „everyone,“ and workers don’t always have to choose one or the other. More and more companies are giving their employees the flexibility to work from home for part of the week and in the office as needed.

For people who are self-employed or freelancers, working at a typical office isn’t an easily available option. While some set up a home office, others camp out at cafes or use coworking spaces.

If you’re lucky enough to get to decide where you work, ignore the polarizing debate and find options that fit your needs (and your business, if you’re a business owner). Consider the pros and cons of the following options, and if your employer (or your work type) allows, mix it up a little and consider splitting your work hours at home AND at the office.

  1. Typical Office

Pros:

  • More organized space from the get-go
  • More oversight to encourage focus
  • Professional space for meetings available immediately
  • Interaction with coworkers and bosses is more immediate
  • Professional/corporate phone number already set up

Cons:

  • Less flexibility at the office itself
  • More difficult to relax
  • Commuting
  • Less time with family
  1. Home Office

Pros:

  • Less in-office distraction
  • Less pressure
  • No commuting
  • Flexible time – spend more with family
  • Saving office rent (for business owners and freelancers)

Cons:

  • Little to no socialization
  • Less immediate feedback
  • Must coordinate other space for in-person meeting
  • Household chores/distractions
  • Receiving phone calls
  1. Cafes

Pros:

  • Less isolated
  • For creatives and artists, more flow and more to „observe“
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Smell of coffee can keep you more awake

Cons:

  • Noisy
  • Can be crowded
  • Must coordinate other space for in-person meeting
  • Difficult to Skype or hold virtual meetings
  1. Coworking Spaces

Pros:

  • Exchange ideas with professionals in other industries
  • In-built networking
  • Save money in rent
  • Meetings are ongoing and informal
  • Easy to use for new businesses

Cons:

  • Might take away focus from primary projects
  • Difficult to Skype or hold virtual meetings
  • More social distraction
  1. Virtual Office

Pros:

  • Save money in rent
  • Have a professional meeting space available
  • Require little capital to run (For business owners)
  • Easy to use for new businesses
  • Professional/corporate phone number and receptionist available

Cons:

  • This is usually combined with working from home or in a cafe
  • Office space does not have unlimited use
  • No interaction with other professionals

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