Work from home: The pros and cons

Posted on 20 Mar 2020
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By Vigneswar Rajasurian

Work from home: The pros and cons

Nations across the globe are making efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, including imposing a quarantine or a complete lockdown in some instances.

In Malaysia, the government has introduced a restricted movement order starting from March 18 to March 31 that requires government and private services to be closed unless they are essential services.

Many companies here in Malaysia and across the globe are now allowing employees to work from home.

Here are the pros and cons of working from home:

The Positives

The added comfortability of working from home includes working from bed in pyjamas.

The added comfortability of working from home includes working from bed in pyjamas.

 

  • Flexibility and independence

The absence of direct supervision gives you more flexibility and autonomy to manage your time. It’s a good way to cultivate self-motivation and discipline.

Showing your bosses that you can work independently with minimal oversight could also lead to more freedom in the office once the movement restriction order is over.

  • Your own working environment

Set up a mini-office, lay on the sofa or work from the bed - it does not matter as long as the work gets done. After all, who’s going to stop you? Your home has more creature comforts that any hip co-working space or modern office can offer.

  • Skipping the daily commute

Considerable amounts of time and money are saved not by avoiding the need to travel to work. Wave goodbye to traffic jams and crowded trains and say hello to waking up just five minutes before remote working hours start.

  • More time on your hands

The added hours saved from travelling to and from work can be used for something productive. Cook a healthy meal, start mild exercises at home or spend the time upskilling yourself with books and online resources.

  • Precious family time 

The hustle and bustle of working a 9-to-5 job means that there is barely any time to spend with your family. Take this unprecedented scenario to bond with your loved ones at home and start with having daily lunches with your family instead of the usual office colleagues.

The Negatives

Create a mini-office space at home and isolate yourself to avoid distractions.

Create a mini-office space at home and isolate yourself to avoid distractions.

 

  •  Greater misunderstandings via electronic communication

The tone of digital communications can be often be misinterpreted when communicating via text; however, sorting measures out via a voice call would be prudent.

While trying to explain complex situations to a colleague may be more tricky without face to face communication. However, you can turn to alternatives such as video calls or laptop screen recordings via platforms such as Skype or Zoom to better clarify matters with your colleagues.

  • Lack of physical separation between work and home

The lack of physical separation between an office and home means some workers can find they are always at work without clear limitations.

Without a separation between personal and professional matters, house chores and other commitments also form interruptions. A solution here is to isolate yourself in a mini-office at home and stay focused on work matters during the usual working hours.

  • Distractions are aplenty

The temptation of a comfy bed or an interesting tv show alongside kids or household pets vying for your attention can make it hard to focus on work.

As mentioned before, discipline and self-motivation are key to productivity, not just when working from home but in the workplace as well. Make it clear to loved ones that just because working arrangements have changed, your obligations to office matters remain during working hours.


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