It’s been over a year now since Covid-19 hit the world and in that space of time so much has changed. How many people perform their day jobs now has completely changed – instead of going into an office 5 days a week, many South Africans are now working predominantly from home. Many of us have always wanted the flexibility of working from home, and for good reason, but what we have found out during this Covid-19 period is that working from home has its advantages as well as some downsides.
Before we get into all the advantages of working from home, let’s touch on some of the biggest disadvantages.
For employers, particularly large corporates, it has been an incredibly difficult time, having to get all their employees set up to the company software systems at their respective homes. With this huge administrative task also comes the difficulties in monitoring their employees’ performance on a day-to-day basis. This requires managers to have frequent calls with their subordinates, which is both time-consuming and often unproductive. On top of this, there is an additional telecommunication expense for both the employer and employee.
For employees themselves, another downside of working from home is that they never seem to stop working. Being at home can mean that you do not have a set start and end time to your workday, and you may find yourself working yourself into the ground, despite feeling that you have a level of flexibility. There are also a lot more distractions whilst working from home, especially if you have kids who aren’t at school yet or on school holidays every few months. Many people have stated how difficult it has been for them to balance their work demands and having to entertain/look after their kids.
Lastly, people begin to miss the social element of working in an office – being able to have chats with colleagues, enjoy lunches together and of course have meetings in person about work-related tasks, which is far easier to do than over a Zoom or Google Hangouts call.
Even though there are a few disadvantages, there are many upsides to working from home.
The primary advantage for many people is a huge one – not having to travel to and from the office, every day, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, causing unnecessary additional stress to people’s lives on top of their already stressful jobs. There are also major savings when it comes to your monthly fuel budget and the cost of the wear and tear on your vehicle.
The ironic thing about working from home, and perhaps a misconception, is that people will be less productive because they aren’t being monitored, but many people find that they are far more productive because they are a lot more comfortable in their own environment.
Many people spend a lot of money on childcare due to both parents needing to work, so working from home may be tougher while your kids are there, but you are still saving yourself a lot of money each month.
Many companies are starting to realise that they are saving huge amounts of money on office space and electricity by allowing their staff to work from home. Not only does this reduce company costs, but it also increases the job pool for employers to hire new people, because they don’t necessarily need to worry about the limitations of office space. This may well increase job opportunities, which is drastically needed in South Africa at the moment!
Are you working from home or have you had to return to your office? Let us know if you enjoy working from home or if you can’t wait to get back to an office environment each day.
Until next time.
The Wise About Life Team