Home Office: The 5 most important advantages and disadvantages
Many workers are doing their job in their home office: the alarm clock rings later, no canteen food and childcare is also provided. The home office may have benefits. Yet on the flip side, in addition, there are clear disadvantages – also with regard to their career. We’ve listed the pros and cons.
Jobs can also be completed in the home office: It has advantages, but also serious disadvantages.
Work when and where you would like. Eat garlic spaghetti without your coworkers turning up their noses. And no bothersome office mates that are constantly talking your ear off. That sounds good.
But like almost everything else, the trend towards the house office has its own dark sides. For instance, there is no one to speak to in the house office. At least not face to face. That may get to your nerves.
After all, we humans are social beings, and chatting in the java kitchen reinforces social bonds. Whether the pros or cons outweigh the disadvantages is dependent upon each individual – and obviously on the job.
While producing jobs are usually not acceptable for working from home for obvious reasons, many of the traditional desk jobs offer better chances. If everything goes well, everybody sticks to the rules and does not fall into all the traps that the home office version entails, both employee and company can benefit.
Home Office: 4 out of 10 employers offer employees jobs with this Choice
Many German firms responded and introduced home work work. The Bosch supply company, for instance, offered its workers a free option of task as early as 2014.
But according to a research from the German Institute for Economic Research, just a couple Germans needed to work at home at that moment. The numbers were declining.
Some companies like Yahoo had already stopped working from home at the time. Nowadays, home office is again (or still) considered an employee goodie (from the perspective of the companies) and a standard requirement of a contemporary office (from the perspective of the employees). In times of Corona, the subject has once more taken on a whole new meaning.
Woman with a small child and phone at the ear in the desk
Home office in times of Corona.
However, the amount of people who actually made use of this option has been rather small in recent years. At a British Telecommunication company for example, many employees use a version in which they are able to occasionally do their job from home but spend most of their time in the office.
The present proportion of permanent home office employees is just 17 percent. And that is despite the fact that all employees have the option of working from home – if they are not doing jobs that require personal presence. Nevertheless, 50 percent just work from house sporadically.
For example once the children come home from daycare sooner or when the S-Bahn (suburban train) traffic is once more at a standstill.
But Corona has obviously driven the development – quasi from necessity. A Bitkom analysis by Mäz 2020 revealed that at times nearly every second employee was at the house office.
Presumably there are fewer in the summer, in many businesses the workers return to the workplace for a couple of days.
However, the mostly good experiences remain and an increasing number of employers will probably change their thinking in the medium to long term.
The basis for the rapid switch between stationary work in the workplace, mobile work on the street and home office is not least the technological progress. “Digital technologies make it possible to work at any time and from any place.
Home workplace is becoming the standard in companies,” comments Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder. Trust is demanded from the firms, self-discipline in the workers.
Self-discipline is your Foundation for home work
In the home, you can really let yourself go: sleep in and have a great breakfast. You do not have to dress up either. After all, nobody is interested in if you work in a bathrobe or within a baggy sweater with holes. However, it shouldn’t be too casual.
The expert for goal attainment, will strengthening and procrastination counsels to set working hours.
And to dress how an individual would dress to the office. Simply to get into the ideal mood. That is essential. “Normally you invest in your spare time at home and are conditioned accordingly,” states Ballach.
This leads to the threat of being too easily diverted.
After all, if you’re already home, you might too hang up the lamp, clean the apartment or cook something delicious to eat.
Whereby we’re already at the next point.
Does home office productivity endure?
Many supervisors fear that their employees are less productive at home. Also 56 percent of Bitkom respondents are afraid that the productivity of work in the home office will decrease without immediate interaction with colleagues.
That this isn’t necessarily the case is shown by the analysis”Does working from home work” by which 16,000 workers of a Chinese travel agency took part. It discovered that home employees are 13 percent more productive.
However, all too often the worker pays a high price. A UN study has shown that colleagues at the house office do more outstanding work and therefore are more inclined to suffer from tension and sleeplessness.
In addition, home workers are sometimes seen severely by their own colleagues.
“As a consequence, many a home office employee puts up with too much. Right down to burnout,” says Ballach. Because of this, many employees are back to regular office work.
If you work at home, you should definitely produce a working atmosphere and be distracted as little as possible.
The freedom to work according to your own biorhythm
But if you understand the risks and know how to deal with them, you are able to make good use of the freedom of jobs in the house office.
Mothers can work when the kids are asleep or at the daycare centre. Individuals that are no longer physically mobile can get compensated more readily. In the end, 1.38 million people in need of maintenance in Germany are looked after within their homes by relatives – and the trend is rising.
In contrast, home workers can adapt their working hours to their personal rhythm. Incidentally, Jülich scientists have found that these differences aren’t only sensed, but are also very real in the brain.
For Yilmaz, it is clear that the operating world ought to react to this. Because:”People who are no longer subject to the social jet lag of the prescribed working hours usually work more efficiently and provide results more quickly“.
Home office: Recruitment specialists from all over the world
For companies, the free choice of job has another benefit:”Businesses can select from a larger pool of candidates,” says Yilmaz.
Especially in cases of lack of skilled employees, this may be the decisive thing that places a company ahead of a competitor.
After all, few men and women wish to commute several hours every day for their job or need to choose between family and career. “If the existence in the workplace is not required on every day, the job becomes interesting for applicants that reside at a greater distance in the business headquarters,” says Yilmaz.
And for parents who haven’t discovered a full-day place in the daycare center of their choice. And for workers whose relatives need maintenance.
Beware of the planet’s most expensive coffee at the home office
There is a circumstance which everybody evaluates differently: Unlike some office buildings, a home office doesn’t have a canteen.
That usually means you have to cook on your own. For many, this can be a drawback, for enthusiastic hobby cooks it’s more of an advantage. According to the injury statistics of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), many accidents occur within your own four walls.
The BAuA describes other things to quotes by the Robert Koch Institute, according to that 3.15 million accidents happened in the household sector recently. This compares to 1.13 accidents at work.
And there is another problem: when an employee receives a coffee at the workplace and falls, it’s an accident on the job.
But if the injury happens to the worker along the road from the kitchen at home to his desk, then he is out of luck.
The 5 most important advantages of home office jobs
Even though the colleagues who work in the office participate in the collective rush hour madness, you can stretch out and slowly wake up.
No more driving in crowded buses and trains or even standing in a traffic jam with a subsequent annoying hunt for a parking space. It has two advantages. Since public transportation is frequently the purest virus cab.
Along with the risk of being infected by colleagues is naturally higher in the office than at your desk at home. In addition, home workers save money on gasoline and life expenses by commuting and searching for a parking area.
If the daily commute to work is 10 m rather than 30 km, this quickly adds up to one hour per day. However, the subject of”Success” is on another page.
The son’s school performance is in the center of the day – why not devote an hour or two there and add the time in the evening? The craftsmen have declared themselves without even giving a concrete time?
For home workers, these appointments are much easier to coordinate than for the classic office worker. But, there are some rules to be noted: The workload has to be fulfilled, appointments are not a decoration at the calendar.
It’s also quite helpful to have a clear statement to your colleagues when you are in your desk and when you’re not – this makes it easier to organize and averts gossip.
The kids are too big for your own day care centre, but they should not be alone all day either? The care has vacations, the winter garden looks enticing or the dog needs company?
The home office offers the ideal basis for a fantastic work-life balance. Not least, this leads to a lot of parents returning from parental leave earlier with the option of a house office.
Of course, the term”equilibrium” is very significant: (Personal ) life must not take over. In case the offspring wishes to be more fit every ten minutes or the spouse constantly must talk, you won’t get everywhere. Periods of concentration and above all – chances are also obligatory at home.
Speaking of immersion phases: It may be quite so pleasant when your colleague is not constantly cracking jokes, the phone isn’t ringing indefinitely and you’re not constantly afraid of being overdue – for a meeting, for work, for an appointment.
When the boss is not constantly looking over your shoulder and also the noise in the open-plan workplace is getting on your nerves.
This makes the home office an effective burnout prevention – but only if you don’t have to be available around the clock along with the phone rings every 2 minutes in your home.
Work prices – not only the employer. Daily travel, clothing and cleaning expenses, canteen meals or even the traditional coffee break with colleagues are expensive in the long run.
Even the commuter allowance on your tax return can’t tear that out. These are all costs that aren’t incurred by house office tasks. But if you need a bigger apartment for your home office occupation, the extra money in your wallet is gone.
If you don’t have to renegotiate because the company doesn’t have to provide a desk and thus saves on office rent.
These are the 5 biggest disadvantages of home office jobs
Lack of social contacts
Anyone who needs the daily exchange at the canteen desk, the brief consultation with the colleague at the next table or the inspiration of a motivating team, sadly has bad cards in the home workplace.
The sometimes underestimated office corridor radio, in which you learn so much about developments and strategies, is no longer necessary.
At all peace and quiet to work: The house office favors the lonely. Pros therefore think it is reasonable limit home office time to two to two and a half times each week, so the remainder of the time could be spent in a team.
Strong diversion in the house office
The child yells, the leaf blower in the front of the window is annoying, postal services and parcel delivery solutions are at the ready, the Internet is constantly available and friends drop by , since you are”at home”:
The distraction factor in your desk at home should not be underestimated. If you don’t set clear rules on your own, nobody does – with corresponding effects for productivity and results.
So: Define and adhere to occasions, put friends off for a while and also make it clear for the neighbors that you want to receive a bundle, but do not want to replace the postal service.
Deficiency of motivation
When there is no group to pull you along, if you can hardly find the results of your job since you don’t have a very clear view of the big picture, and if you have”eternal time” and therefore it doesn’t matter when you begin, you will gradually lack inspiration.
Social control by colleagues could be annoying, but also inspiring: Team spirit. Discipline, intimate contact with colleagues and regular comments can help. And even though nobody sees it: get from your sweatpants and into your business clothes.
Provided that home office in the company is the exception rather than the rule, there are a lot of prejudices against those that are not on the business mat every day. “Lurking project”,”too little commitment” and”lack of livelihood will” are just a few of these.
Clear agreements on targets, tasks and availability, own subject and last but not least a rethinking of this superiors can help. It becomes problematic, however, if one works too much for fear of being considered idle.
Clear working hours should operate both ways.
Mixing of private and work life
The files lie at the entire dwelling, in the day at seven nonetheless calls of customers come and with all the cosy television day the ideas still circle round the job?
Anybody who works in a private environment runs the risk of never drawing clear boundaries – towards others towards themselves. Homeworkers specifically require a defined end of workday and a fixed place to work.
Conclusion: If is home office the solution?
Is the alternative to the workplace the great freedom or does it instead lead to person manipulation?
Because even without a home office, lots of people already work from home. Because smartphones and laptops for professional usage blur the line between private and work. And so the presentation is finished quickly in the day, although one is really off work.
For well-established organizations where work processes are clearly defined, home office can still be an option.
For businesses in upheaval or teams in the center of a hot project period, the house work of individual employees is quite obstructive.
“You don’t alter the strategic orientation of a business in a conversation,” Fraunhofer researcher Udo-Ernst Haner formerly told VDI-Nachrichten.
This sentence has lost none of its validity since that time.