The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the world’s working population. Due to the social distancing and quarantine measures in place, most workplaces were shut down for months at a time, and their employees adjusting to remote working and other alternative arrangement to traditional workplaces. Working from home has been a valid alternative to traditional office working for some time but has been recently popularised and adopted in large scale due to the pandemic. Although the shift to remote working has been sudden, companies now have adjusted their operations and created arrangements to continue remote working in the foreseeable future. Many organisations have realised the benefit of having a remote work force compared to a traditional office culture and are moving towards maintaining remote working even after the pandemic is over. However, this has been met with some criticism and not everyone is of the same mind regarding working from home. Some argue against working from home and claim that it is productive or inefficient compared to traditional office working environments. Since the arrangement is relatively new, research is still divided but it seems to be in the favour of working from home.
Working in a leased office, or any other alternative as provided by organisations such as office space East Brisbane requires the physical presence of the employee. This results in professional and social interaction between the employees and the ability to work together more easily. Certain organisations and projects can find this advantageous if collaboration is routinely required.
On the other hand, physical presence at a location requires the employees to travel there, which, depending on where they live, can take a substantial amount of time. Costs may also be associated with travelling, depending on whether they drive, whether they have children etc.
Remote working allows employees to connect to the organisational network through the internet while physically being anywhere, usually their homes. It also allows collaboration among employees through IM and VoIP technologies such as Zoom, Discord, etc. The development of technologies has enabled more interactive and immersive remote working experiences which make it quite as effective as traditional workplaces.
The major advantage towards productivity in remote working is the elimination of a commute to the workplace. Employees can save several hours of their day by working from home and saves money on fuel. Moreover, employees are able to work at their own pace which is generally not opposed by organisations as long as their work is complete on time. Similarly, employees are able to schedule their own breaks, eat food whenever and are in a broader sense freer than working in a traditional office, which has had a marked improvement in both productivity and mental wellbeing.
However, social isolation imposed by the pandemic have negatively impacted most employees’ mental health. This is unlikely to be a part of working from home in a post pandemic environment as they would no longer necessarily be “stuck” home.