Working near home vs. working from home
Having a place of work near to where you live has several advantages, as does working from home. But what about the disadvantages? Is one ‘better’ than the other, or does it not matter when it comes to productivity, convenience, and mental health? Let’s look at each option below.
Working from home
The advantages here are quite clear. No commute, not having to dress for work, and more time for yourself family, friends, and home commitments. Working from home usually means commandeering your spare bedroom, or the kitchen/dining room table to use as your office. Or, if you’re lucky some of you might have a purpose-built garden office. Whatever your situation is, your commute is likely to only be a few seconds.
You’re unlikely to need to pop on your suit, smart jeans, or stick to your office’s dress code either. You’re at home, so comfy sweatpants and a hoodie are acceptable attire, especially if you don’t need to speak to any customers on Zoom or Teams calls.
One of the biggest gains of working from home is time, and we all know how precious that is. Instead of sitting in your car or on public transport at the start and end of your working day, you can skip the commute and get straight to it. And once your day’s over, you can close your laptop and start relaxing. The rest of the day is yours. You can spend time with the children, go for a walk or to the gym, watch TV, or anything else that takes your fancy.
Another big saving is money. You don’t need to nip out for a fancy coffee and sandwich. Just pop to your kitchen and make them at home instead. Of course, you can always treat yourself to something once or twice a week if you’d like to. You also don’t need to buy new work outfits or other items specifically for the office, so you can make good savings there too. And of course, there are savings to be had on fuel and train or bus tickets, which can help you do your bit for the environment too.
Now. Onto the disadvantages. Working from home can be lonely and isolating for many people. Team building with your colleagues is much more difficult, and you can feel less motivated than in the office. These can take a toll on your mental health if you’re not careful.
Separating work and living areas can also be an issue if you’re tight on space, and distractions from pets and children can affect your productivity.
Working close to home
Again, there are obvious advantages here too. Being in a workplace close to home means you can walk or cycle rather than taking the car, which is also much better than the environment than driving. It’s a great space to meet colleagues and create a clear distinction between your home and work life. Your health – both physical and mental – will benefit as a result.
Brainstorming and collaboration are easier face-to-face too. Not just with your team, but also interacting with other businesses in your building. The best partnerships are sometimes formed over a morning brew in the kitchen, or from chatting in corridors.
There’s also no more battling with technology and dodgy wi-fi connections or having to share your screen just to look at a document in the office. As well as good wi-fi, most offices have specialist equipment you might not have access to at home, like printers, projectors, and video conferencing capabilities. The main advantage is that you don’t have to use any of your own stuff like you might at home – it’s all provided ready to use at the office.
Having onsite meeting rooms, breakout spaces, and catering facilities are an advantage too. They can help with productivity, getting your team together, or for grabbing a quick coffee to perk you up in the afternoon.
So, let’s talk about the disadvantages. Obviously, you won’t have as much time as you would working from home. You still need to travel, even if it’s a short distance. And sometimes you might need peace and quiet to get on with your work, which you can’t always get with people around you. There’s also the cost of coffees and canteen meals. They can soon add up if you’re not careful.
Now you know the pros and cons of working near home versus working from home, you can choose which one’s right for you, or whether a hybrid approach might suit you best.
Want to know more about The Base?
The Base is a Grade-A office and co-working space in the centre of Warrington that’s home to many market leading digital technology and advanced engineering companies. Whilst calling The Base your home, you will have access to free business support, including marketing, tax, legal advice, as well as help with innovation, research and development.