Working from home may sound like an ideal situation. What could be better than simply rolling out of bed and arriving at your home office in moments, without the hassles of first making yourself presentable and then commuting to a workplace with a boss and colleagues who may drive you crazy? In reality, though, just like working in an office, remote work comes with pros and cons.
Convenience and flexibility vs distractions
BY NOOR SYAHHIRA HADY & SARAH HAFIZAH CHANDRA
The 21st century has helped create a plethora of new jobs in the workforce, as more and more positions continue moving to the digital realm.
One of the biggest advantages the advancement of technology has brought to the workforce is the added ability to work from home. This allows businesses to save money on office space, and has shown to increase productivity and overall happiness in employees.
Although home office and working from home is not a new concept, it is fast becoming a trend especially among the young generation.
The Covid-19 pandemic along with the availability of smart home office gadgets, advances in communication technology and better internet access are some of the contributing factors to this trend.
Eunoia IT Solution, a company specialising in information technology (IT) and design services is following this trend as they allow employees to have their own home office and work from home.
Director of operations, Aliaa Syamimi, 26, said that the concept has given her colleagues and herself more flexible working hours which are desirable, especially in this era.
“Despite working around the clock, my colleagues and I actually do not have specific work shifts. This flexibility allows us to work accordingly when it is comfortable for us.
“Through this concept, it is important to work during our comfort time because some prefer to work late at night and others prefer to work at other times. I believe that this helps our company’s performance,” she explained.
Although there are different views on home office and working from home, the advantages and disadvantages actually comes down to the individual.
“Both working in an office and at a home office have pros and cons. It takes time to get used to either one of the set up. In an office, you have a space solely for work while in a home office, your personal space is there too. So, getting used to having a work space and personal space in one can take some time,” she said.
In the meantime, director of finance cum graphic designer, Nadine Yan Man Ye, 25, said that a home office is more cost efficient when compared to an office space.
“A home office is more cost efficient in terms of rent. With an office space, you must commit a certain monthly budget to pay for the six to eight hours daily that you spend there.
“When you work from home, your only budget is paying for your own house and electricity to get work done. All of the other expenses are negligible,” she explained.
While working from home may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Yan said that it is important to have discipline in order to be productive.
“Working in a home office can be more productive compared to in an office.
However, you must discipline yourself to separate home life and work life.
“Sometimes the two may blend into each other and the temptation of slacking off is always there. This is why it is important to set boundaries to overcome it as well as to ensure that your living and working space are separate,” she explained.
Aliaa and Yan agreed that respect and communication are essential components in order to make working remotely a success for their team.
“Working remotely with your colleagues means you must be aware of what the others are doing. So, you must have frequent communication and it is important to update each other on completed tasks,” Yan said.
“Our colleagues are from different parts of the world. So, we usually conduct Skype meetings every day and this definitely makes it easier for us to get updates on our projects,” Aliaa added.
Eunoia IT Solutions also has branches in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and their portfolio of services include websites, mobile applications, graphic designs, personal computer applications and digital marketing.
“For those who are thinking of starting a home office, it is definitely a good investment because it offers both convenience and flexibility,” advised Aliaa.
“Though it is important to have an office space that separates your working life and private life, it is also crucial to make it a comfortable space to work in,” Yan added.