Working Remotely vs. Working In-Office: Things to Consider

Woman sitting at desk and working at computer hands close up

Over the past 5 years or so, there has been a noticeable increase in remote work options within many organizations across many industries. This increase in working from home was accelerated significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic that swept across the world throughout 2020, and continues to impact businesses in 2021. 

Suddenly, even organizations that had not allowed or even considered remote work were forced to find solutions in order to keep their employees safe and their companies on track. Working from home became a necessity for an extended period of time.

Now, as the pandemic is winding down and restrictions are being lifted, many companies are exploring their options when it comes to establishing remote work policies and practices for the foreseeable future. 

Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of working remotely and working in-office so you can weigh the options and find a solution that works best for your business. 

Advantages of Working Remotely

As many employees and employers have discovered, there are dozens of advantages to remote work, including: 

For employees: 

  • Flexibility 
  • No commute
  • More freedom
  • Better work/life balance
  • Increased productivity
  • Added convenience
  • Decreased office drama

For employers: 

  • Flexibility
  • Increased competitiveness with other companies that allow remote work
  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased overhead
  • Reduced costs
  • Higher employee retention
  • Higher profitability

These advantages have made it tempting for many employers to continue allowing – and even encouraging – remote work, even after it’s no longer necessary due to the pandemic. 

Disadvantages of Working Remotely

That being said, there are some disadvantages to remote work as well, including: 

For employees: 

  • Possibility for increased distraction
  • Blurring of line between personal and professional life
  • Isolation
  • Challenges with communication
  • Lack of sufficient work space

For employers: 

  • Decreased employee visibility
  • Lack of community and organizational culture
  • Challenges with communication
  • Management and accountability challenges
  • Logistical issues
  • Security concerns

While it seems that the advantages of allowing remote work do outweigh the disadvantages in many cases, especially for employees, for some organizations the downsides of remote work have made it tempting to require the entire team to return to the office. And, truth be told, it’s unlikely that offices as we know them are going to disappear, despite the shift towards remote work.

Advantages of Working In-Office

With that in mind, here are some of the key benefits of working in-office: 

For employees: 

  • Possibility for fewer distractions
  • Clearer line between work and home responsibilities
  • Human connection 
  • In-person communication between team members
  • Easier collaboration (and opportunities for impromptu collaboration)
  • Easier access to management
  • Increased ability to network

For employers: 

  • Increased employee visibility
  • Increased accountability
  • Easier to cultivate workplace culture
  • Easier communication
  • Easier access to employees

Disadvantages of Working In-Office

Although in-office work has been the norm for decades, there are some notable potential disadvantages to this type of workplace set-up.

For employees: 

  • Time consuming commute
  • More structured schedule/decreased flexibility 
  • Office drama
  • Ineffective office set-up 
  • Lack of privacy
  • Inconvenience
  • Increased noise and interruption
  • Encourages sedentary lifestyle

For employers: 

  • Increased overhead costs
  • Less competitive when compared to employers who allow remote work
  • Decreased employee retention
  • Decreased productivity 
  • Reduced profitability

The Ideal Solution? 

So what’s the ideal solution when it comes to working remotely vs. working in-office? The truth is that the ideal solution differs for each and every organization. In fact, for some organizations, a mix between the two is the way to go. 

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons for your specific business (and the employees who work for it) to find the solution that works best for your company. Don’t be afraid to give something a try. You may find that what’s best for your business in terms of how and where people work isn’t what you’d expected.

Leaning towards remote work for your business? Here are some resources to help you get started with a successful remote venture: 

How to Recruit & Hire Virtually – Getting started with a virtual workforce? Here’s how to recruit and hire successfully even from afar.

How to Onboard & Train Virtually – If you’ve designed roles in your organization that are geared towards remote work, you’ll want to develop a strong virtual onboarding and training program.

How to Have Effective Virtual Meetings – Effective online meetings are a must if you have a remote workforce. Here’s how to go about navigating virtual meetings.

Tips for Working From Home Effectively – WFH doesn’t always work for everyone. Here’s how to set yourself up for success if you’re planning to work remotely for the long term. 

Headed back to the office? Here are some resources to help you and your employees get re-acclimated to in-office life: 

Returning to Work After COVID-10: What to Expect – Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of returning to the office after months of working remotely? Read our predictions for office life following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tips to Help Employees Feel Comfortable Returning to the Office – Looking to make your employees feel welcome and comfortable in-office after working from home due to the pandemic? These tips will help you start things off on the right foot.

Tips for Improving Your Office Environment – Explore easy options for making office life better for those working on-site rather than remotely.

Regardless of whether or not you’ll let some or all employees work remotely, it’s beneficial to have a dedicated office space for your business. In fact, there are even significant office space benefits for solopreneurs.  

Looking For Affordable Office Space Near Boston?

We can help! Located in Wakefield, MA, The Lakeside Park offers office spaces appropriate for businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries. 

You can learn more about our lease options and our available spaces here, or give us a call at (781) 557-5555 to chat with us about the office space options that best suit your business.