Written by: Annie Zygmunt
Since the start of Covid, a lot of people have had the opportunity to experience hybrid work – a split of working in the office part time, and part time from home. The work world as we know it has changed, since employers now know that their employees are able to work from the comfort of their own homes.
With that said, let us look at some of the pros and cons of the hybrid work structure.
Working from home does not require travelling to another destination. You can work from the comfort of your own bed, couch, or better yet office table. Lack of need for commute means you are saving money on travel. Whether you own a car or use public transport, working from home means you spend less money on tickets or topping up on petrol.
However, aside from money, you also save time. For example, let us say that it takes you 30 minutes to get to work in the morning, and 30 minutes to get back home. That means an hour journey there and back. Working from home means that you have an extra hour in the day for other obligations. An hour that could be used for needs and wants such as exercising, spending time with the family, or cooking. This leads swiftly to the next point.
When working in the office, you may find that you do not have enough time to make lunch at home before work. Or are too tired to make lunch a day in advance. This may prompt you to order takeout and settle for a less nutritious meal at lunch time instead.
Meanwhile, working from home (especially with that extra 30 minutes before work) means that you have more time to start preparing a healthier meal to enjoy for lunch, and are less likely to go out and get takeout services.
Hybrid work creates a balance where you are able to eat healthier, home made foods while working from home. Then, when working at the office, you are able to treat yourself to something store-bought.
Without having to worry about commuting, employees who work from home can start earlier if they want to finish earlier on in the day.
Early start means less stress about making it in time for work, especially in the winter when commuting may be jeopardized by weather such as icy roads or fog. Earlier finishing time also means less worry about being late to pick up children from school. This also means having more time in the day to use for appointments and meetings that may not be as accessible later in the day.
Being in the office may be the only time that some workers are around other people, or the only time they leave the house. This may lead to feeling isolated and depressed, due to the lack of face-to-face contact with others. Others may get anxious around too many people. Hybrid work offers equal opportunities for both types of employees.
Many office workers may also prefer the availability of routine. Following a routine every day (such as getting the same train at the same time every time) may make employees more comfortable. This is especially since disturbing the routine could cause major stress.
Due to the ability to work from home, parents may choose to keep younger children at home rather than sending them to daycare. This may lead to the parents tending to the child, and walking away from their workstation more often. This is as opposed to the child being at daycare, cared for by someone else, or if the parent was at the office. This may also mean decreased focus on work.
Depending on the job, working from home may mean using more utilities such as electricity, especially if doing so involves electronics such as computers. Due to this, the electricity bill may go up, resulting in the homeowner having to pay higher utilities bills.
Not everyone has access to appropriate office supplies or utilities. Some people may lack proper equipment such as office tables or chairs, which may lead to back problems down the line. This also accounts for those who do not have sufficient access to the internet.
The pandemic has brought along a lot of changes that we have had to adjust to. One of those changes was working from home as much as possible. With the government instructions to ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’, many employees were fortunate enough to be able to work from home. Thus keeping themselves and those around them safe from Covid-19.
Since then, we have learned that hybrid working is possible and many office jobs can indeed be done from home.