Have you become accustomed to working from home? Is it better to have a home office? In that case, you should probably consider setting it up by buying a modern home office desk, chairs, etc.
Contrary to popular belief, working from home is hardly a new concept. The development of modern technologies has been paving the way for a switch to a remote working environment for a while now. And due to recent global events, it has been rapidly adopted across all business sectors around the world.
That is why many individuals and businesses today have emphasized the aspect of setting up a home office. And while there are obvious advantages to it, certain disadvantages have to be considered as well.
The recent pandemic made working from home easier for many but the strengths and weakness of this trade have long been in the making. If you would like to find out more on how to run a business and how to claim home office if you work from home do check our previous article.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
Is It Better To Have An Office At Home?
To determine whether it is better to set up an office at home, we first need to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks. In this regard, the different pros and cons of working from a home office have been described below. Before that, you can check out our article on whether the simplified home office deduction includes the internet or not.
Pros Of A Home Office
1. Save Time
One of the biggest advantages of working remotely from your home office is that it saves you a lot of time. In the conventional model of working from an office, you are needed to dedicate a lot of time to other tasks. These include getting ready for work, commuting to and from your workplace, or any other trivial tasks that are necessary before starting your workday.
But in the case of a home office, you won’t need to dedicate any additional time to such tasks. Moreover, you need not get dressed in formal attire, which is often the norm in the conventional working model. You can work in your casual home attire!
Besides, you don’t need to leave your home for remote work, which saves all the time you spend traveling. However, we do not suggest working in your pajamas every day. You should take some time to shower and freshen up before you start working. But you can do it at your own pace since there is no rush.
Regardless, the time you save working from a home office will eventually help you to improve your work-life balance. You can utilize all that time for other productive activities be it personal hobbies or exercise. Or, you could just spend more time with your family.
2. Save Money
Another major advantage to working from your home office is that it can help you save money. In the conventional model of working from an office, the costs of commuting to and from your job location alone make up a big chunk of your monthly expenses. These include the costs of gas for your vehicle, or if you commute via public transport, the cost of tickets.
Apart from that, you will need to maintain your vehicle regularly, which is an indirect expense. So, if you set up a home office, you can cut back on all of these expenses.
Besides, you can write off all the office furniture and office supplies as tax deductible. However, this is easier to do if you are self-employed. If you are employed at another organization, you might find this a bit difficult to accomplish, but it is not impossible. Regardless, you can save a lot of money in this way.
As a result, all of the savings can be used elsewhere. For instance, you can invest it somewhere to generate an alternative source of income or simply buy stuff that you like.
3. Increased Flexibility
Working from your home office is undeniably a lot more convenient than working from a dedicated office space. It provides more flexibility in terms of your working hours since remote workers can easily set their own work timings.
This is easier to do if you are self-employed, as it is easier for small business owners to set their own convenient work timings. If you are employed at a large organization, setting your own work timing may depend on the company policies.
However, an increasing number of organizations are adopting flexible work schedules for their employees. So, employees at these large organizations who are working from home offices can easily set their work schedules as per their convenience.
In any case, working remotely from home allows you to balance work and home life better than conventional work models. For instance, if you are a night owl, you can work late at night without any issues. Or, if you are suddenly required to take a quick trip to the nearest grocery to get daily supplies, you can conveniently do so.
4. Design Your Own Workspace
Working remotely gives another added advantage of being able to design your own workspace. You can allocate a dedicated space in your home and use it as your home office by refurbishing it as per preferences.
You can remodel it such that it gives you the vibe of a typical office setting in a home environment. Or you can simply keep it as it is to retain the homely vibe. That said, if you like working from somewhere other than your home, say, for instance, a coffee shop, you can do that as well.
Meaning, you can experiment a bit with your working space to suit your liking. In a conventional office, everyone is needed to conform to a similar type of work environment, such as a desk or a cubicle. But not everyone may feel comfortable working in a similar type of workspace.
Therefore, working from a home office gives you that flexibility. Just make sure that the workspace is suitably designed to improve your focus and productivity. So, if you like working on a kitchen table or a standing desk, you can do so, provided it is ergonomic enough.
Cons Of A Home Office
1. Lack Of An Office Environment
Even though a home office may be relatively more dynamic and flexible, it lacks the amenities and facilities you get in a conventional office space. For example, you won’t have a separate conference room to hold meetings in as all your meetings will be virtual.
In addition, there are several other perks to working from an office. You get access to food and lunches at the cafeteria with colleagues, to the gymnasium if there is one, or enjoy celebrations and events together. All of these perks are not available if you are working from home.
2. No Social Interactions
If you like socializing, then working from a home office may not be suitable for you. You won’t be able to talk with your colleagues or other office workers while working remotely.
While you can interact with your co-workers through telephone or video calling, it is simply not the same as interacting with them in real life. As a result, this can give rise to feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
You can mitigate it to some extent by setting up a co-working space or working from an outdoor location, such as a café. However, it might not be a practical solution in the long term.
Such arrangements can be made for a couple of days in a week and not daily. Moreover, if you use a desktop computer instead of a laptop for your work, the above solution won’t be feasible.
3. Longer Working Hours
If you are working remotely, chances are you will end up working longer hours compared to a conventional office job. Since you don’t need to commute to the workplace, you may feel inclined to utilize all of that saved time for your work. So technically, you end up spending more time working, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of burnout and work-related stress, leading to a decrease in productivity.
4. Additional Costs For Working Remotely
While you can indeed cut down travel expenses in case of remote work, you incur additional expenses elsewhere. To be precise, you will need to spend more on your internet and electricity bills.
You’ll need to ensure high-speed, unlimited access to the internet at all times. As such, you will need to spend more on your internet connectivity. And since you will be using your computer throughout the day, your electricity bills may increase as a result.
In contrast, you don’t need to worry about these costs if you work in a conventional office. Now some companies may cover these additional costs of working remotely. But in most cases, employees are required to bear these expenses themselves.
Is A Home Office Better?
Now that we have discussed both the pros and cons of a home office, we arrive at the all-important question – is it better? Well, if you were to ask us, we would say that yes, it is definitely better.
We agree that there are certain disadvantages to working remotely from home that can be off-putting at first. But in retrospect, the benefits of working remotely far outweigh its drawbacks.
You can save both time and money, and there is no additional hassle of commuting to and from work. Besides, you can set your own work schedule so that you can work way more flexibly compared to a conventional office job.
On top of that, you get to design the work space according to you liking. That can never be possible in a conventional model of working.
There are some additional benefits of working from home as well, such as better focus and enhanced efficiency. Due to these aspects, working from a home office is considerably better.
However, we understand that not everyone may have similar preferences. So, if you think the disadvantages are too significant to ignore, then we suggest that you settle with the conventional model of working.
Is It Better To Have A Home Office Frequently Asked Questions ?
Where Should You Set Up Your Home Office?
You should preferably set it up in an area of your home that has good lighting. Make sure that there are sources of natural light, such as windows. This will also keep your office space adequately ventilated. Moreover, you should have overhead lighting if you prefer to work at night.
Apart from that, it should be set up in a place where there is enough room to keep your office supplies and furniture. And make sure that it ensures privacy so that there are no distractions.
How Do You Make Your Office Space Comfortable?
If you work long hours, it is important to make your office space comfortable and ergonomic. Use a good chair that is ergonomically designed so that you have sufficient lumbar support to prevent back pains.
Also, make sure that the desks and other furniture are of suitable height. You should place your monitor such that it is at proper eye level.
What Should You Have In Your Office Space?
As a general rule, you should have all the necessary supplies and equipment within your dedicated home office. Make sure you have access to Wi-Fi so that you can stay connected. Apart from that, get printers, touchpads, monitors, or any other necessary equipment that your work requires.
Ensure that there are enough power sockets to plug in any electronic devices. If you want, you can also install a noticeboard on the wall to make notes, create to-do lists, or mark important dates, which will help with work.
Should Your Office Be A Separate Space?
You can set up your office at any place that suits you, provided it’s a separate, dedicated space. That way, you can focus solely on your work and stay away from distractions.
How Do You Adjust Between Your Work And Personal Life?
Since it is in the same shared space as your home, working from a home office may also negatively impact your work-life balance. That is why you need to set boundaries between your work and home life.
Shut down your system entirely or lock the room where your office is set up. That way, you won’t be required to stay there after work hours are complete. Similarly, you should invest time towards developing hobbies or engaging in other activities with friends or family to take out the stress of working remotely.
Is It Better To Have A Home Office Final Words
And that was our take on whether it is better to have a home office. While it is definitely better due to the advantages it offers, we understand that not everyone may have similar preferences.
Thus, we have listed the different pros and cons so that you can decide on what suits you best. However, setting up a home office is not as easy as it sounds. That is why we have also addressed some of the most common questions that people ask when setting it up.
And now, we have arrived at the end of this brief article. We hope that you found it helpful and enjoyable to read.
With that, it is time for us to wrap up. Stay tuned until next time!