05August 2020

Working From Home: The New Office

Your office chair is your couch. Your commute to office is the length of your hallway. Your snack drawer is your entire pantry. Work-from-home is now very much a reality for a lot of people in Canada. With this pandemic leaving a scare for crowded space, remote work will see an increase in the coming next years. But is working from home more beneficial than working at office? How does it affect both the employer and the employee?

An increasing portion of the population has emptied packed offices for living rooms and bedrooms in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. Working from home can have a few downsides but it also has many good points. You are saving a lot of time commuting to work both ways. If you look at the broad picture, it also helps the environment in controlling the output of pollution by travelling less. You walk to work and settle down for a peaceful, productive day with your favourite colleagues: a house plant, the fridge, the sofa and Spotify. No more lunch boxes or buying food for lunch, why not cook that recipe for a quick lunch you always wanted to try. By 6pm you’ve finished everything on your list, made a healthy lunch, done a mindfulness yoga session and cleaned up a bit while working on your next project or maybe a presentation. But many also face a growing disinterest towards work, in simple words; a lack of motivation, leading to decrease in work performance. To avoid such things, it is usually noticed that people change one of the corners of their house into a work space to maintain the work energy. Or it could be that you might be pressured to work even harder and you are more motivated since there are no distractions at home.

For the employer, they are saving on electricity and maintenance expenses but an empty office everyday may be a downfall for them. For such cases, we hear about shift rotations. People come to offices in rotation (once or twice in a week maybe) to avoid empty offices and running the business operations as needed. It is also very important for the employee to have proper resources to support work from home for so many employees at the same time. I mean who didn’t spend hours doing nothing while the VPN was not working or the system was down.

Obviously after working from home for couple of months you will miss working in the office. When you’re at work, you miss your blanket and warm couch with your pets. When you’re at home, you remember making jokes with your co-workers and not to forget the office lunch. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. But given the situation, your new office is your home for now.

How are you coping with your new office or are you back to the old one?