Home Office VS Actual Office: Which One Is Better?
In the last couple of months, I’ve been seeing this type of post on LinkedIn over and over again:
‘Which one do you prefer: home office VS company office?’
The answers are quite diverse, with home office winning the gold in most cases, but always followed by exceptions that prefer to actually work at the company’s office.
Even at Exaud we have mixed feelings regarding remote work and office work. Some team members quickly and easily adapted to their WFH reality, while others (myself included), would rather prefer to work from the office and keep the homely cozy atmosphere separated from their productivity area.
That said, our main goal in this blog post is to compare and evaluate the pros and cons, the good and the bad, between a ‘Home Office’ and an ‘Actual Office’.
Skipping unnecessary meetings and quick solving through email communication has been a dream for most of us. And although home office privileges are a practical way to communicate through quicker and digital channels, there’s always a downside to it.
Not only you can’t read tone through written content, but Zoom meetings can be exhausting and go on for hours. In the end, nothing compares to face to face interventions, especially when you need a quick answer or to sit down with a colleague working on a mutual task.
Final Result: Let’s agree on a tie!
Working from the company’s office takes a toll on flexibility. There’s no denying that. Most companies have strict schedules and work hours, and so most people end up confined to their cubicle, desk and chair.
Working from home allows you to take your time, which doesn’t mean you don’t have a schedule to follow or respect, but you have the liberty of preparing your own working space and adapt it to your comfort, wear a pair of jeans or go for lounge wear and even eat cookies by the desk. Lunch hours are also up to you and you usually end up feeling less exhausted for tightly following a schedule.
Final Result: WFH takes this one!
Here’s another topic that causes a big fuzz: productivity. Some enjoy their perceived freedom from remote work and end up being more productive by feeling extra comfortable from their own personal space. I mean, the right Yankee Candle can spark the workaholic in you, I guess! Others struggle a lot because there’s so much out there besides work: a soft velvety couch, brownie recipes and endless puppy videos on Youtube. Or kids. Or demanding pets. There’s a lot of temptations and unwanted distractions out there that can mislead anyone from the path of productivity and hard work – which usually ends up on a pile of tasks and a lot of built up stress. It really depends on the person we’re talking to and to be fair, I don’t think this match doesn’t have a winner.
Final Result: It depends since both ways have their pros and cons. Some of us find the company office to be a safe space to get work done, while others prefer the comfort of their home.
Team Management 💡
Managing a team is not easy. Managing a team remotely can be even more challenging. Although everyone is at the right place at the right time while we’re in the office, it can be tricky to reach out to team members when you’re all apart. And despite all the tools you have on your side, it really isn’t the same. The thing we must keep in mind is that communication must be as curated as possible.
Final Result: It’s not impossible to manage a team from home but it’s important to consider all the resources available for seamless work. Office work suits management, undoubtedly.
Financial Costs 💸
Yes, the money talk. We can’t escape it. Maintaining an office involves a lot of costs, it’s being specially hard on companies who still pay rent and other expenses although their employees are working remotely. That means several companies are considering going fully remote. On the other side, employees are able to save a lot of money they’d be wasting on commuting and even meals.
Final Result: WFH is a clear winner because everyone appreciates saving money!
Besides the savings, skipping commuting allows employees to spend said time on other activities they might’ve been sacrificing for the sake of staying stuck in traffic. You can spend more time with your family, work out or just get a few more minutes of beauty sleep. Yet there’s always a fan of their home-office routine because it keeps things separated allowing a proper work/home balance.
Final Result: WFH wins once again since we can agree that there’s nothing worse than being stuck in traffic!
Employee Onboarding and Training 🥋
Welcoming new team members remotely is…difficult. There’s no way around it. Some things are done better in person and training and onboarding check that category. It really goes back to all the communication dilemma we already spoke of, with a hint of management. Making a new employee feel welcome remotely is challenging and Slack doesn’t provide the warmth and joy of having your first coffee at the new company or the easiness of speaking up about your doubts with a Senior colleague.
Final Result: Work office is definitely ideal for the onboarding process and training, no doubt about it.
Team Building and Work Culture 🏀
We have a whole article on how to get in touch with coworkers via Zoom and you can definitely check that because we agree that Work Culture loses its impact with remote work. Especially with teams that get along and already developed daily rituals and routines, it can really bring down the collective mood when home office becomes a reality. Team Building is another challenge although digital transformation is imminent even when it comes to that type of initiative, but nothing is as joyful and fun as going for a kart race or paintball challenge with your team.
Final Result: There’s nothing like enjoying time with your team and favorite workers. Positive energy overflows when you’re together at the office!
In the end, deciding the perfect professional setting is up to the workers and their companies. Reaching an agreement that is comfortable and safe for both, while we navigate these troubled waters, really is the best option for now!
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