Is Remote Work Overrated?

I am a big fan of working from home, and I have been doing so for a few years. The idea of being trapped in an office when you could be anywhere else is not appealing to me. Having a sense of control over my time and where I work help me be more productive. Even in cases where a schedule must be followed, choosing where I work from makes the job more enjoyable.

I believe that whenever possible, companies should offer the option of working remotely to their employees.  However, we must remember that remote work is not for everybody, and some people might consider it to be overrated.

Here are some reasons why some employees consider remote work to be overrated and might prefer to work from the office.

You Get to See Your Friends

I have made great friends at work and, spending time with them makes work feel better. Being surrounded by people who can truly understand your day-to-day life helps you create a special bond you can only form with your colleagues. According to Christine Riordan, President of Adelphi University: “Employees report that when they have friends at work, their job is more fun, enjoyable, worthwhile, and satisfying.”

“Friends at work also form a strong social support network for each other, both personally and professionally,” according to Riordan. “Whether rooting for each other on promotions, consoling each other about mistakes, giving advice, or providing support for personal situations, comradeship at work can boost an employee’s spirit and provide needed assistance.”

The lack of face-to-face interaction could make you feel left out or isolated. For many people, maintaining a healthy connection with others is only possible when they see them in person. Unfortunately, when working remotely, that is not possible.

You Have a Better Setup

In previous articles, we have talked about how to set up a home office. Having a home office that more or less adjusts to my needs and wants makes it possible to stay productive at home. However, it is not possible sometimes to set a proper working station. Many people live in small spaces that do not meet all their needs.

With the right setting at home, you could probably be just as productive -or even more- as you are at the office. But, setting up an optimal working space at home is not possible for everyone. In most cases, your company will provide you with a better office space. You likely have everything you might need at the office; From a great monitor screen to a height-adjustable desk.

It Gets Easier to Disconnect

One of the many benefits of remote work is that it helps you with life-work balance. In many cases, remote work makes it difficult to separate your personal life from your work life. While managing to separate both is possible, you will need some practice to master it.

When you work in an office, it is easier to leave work at work. You can turn off notifications on your phone, leave documents at work, and you can decide to ignore anything work-related. Even though it pains me to admit it, I often find myself working while eating dinner, checking emails while working out, or even staying in for a weekend to do some work.

You Are More Active

Sedentarism is one of the 21st Century’s greatest issues. The benefits of having an active lifestyle are countless. Working in an office does not automatically guarantee that you will be more active. But, most likely, you would be more active in an office space than at home. In a previous article, we talked about how to sit less and walk more at work.

When I am working from home, I spend most of my time sitting down -probably not in the most ergonomic position-. I do try to move as much as possible, and I try to take breaks. But I do not walk as much as I would like to, and everything I need in my apartment is less than 50 steps away from me. It definitely gets worse when I work from a cafe or a bookstore.

As I mentioned before, every company should allow their employees to choose where they want to work. I wouldn’t want to be inside of an office the whole day, every day. But being able to get the best of both worlds is tempting. Either way, the most important thing is to have a working space adapted to the people and not the other way around.

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