Blog Post 02/11/2023
Written by Miljana
Home office is a term that we hear a lot lately, that many consider when looking for a job (especially parents, or people from smaller towns/villages) and which encounters many differences of opinion. But what does home office mean in the first place? Is it a new phenomenon, a new way of living and working, created mainly by the Covid 19 pandemic?
Many may think so, but this work model has been around since the 1970s and 1980s. With the growing increase in dual-earner couples, this option was touted as a way to make family responsibilities easier to manage. The transition to a more digitized work environment has also led to more flexible structures in companies, and after the 2000s, work was increasingly outsourced from the office to make it easier for employees to work and provide better services to customers. Home office has therefore experienced a slight but steady growth in several sectors worldwide. The number of employees who work from home at least occasionally, i.e. at least once a week, has increased from 250,000 to 1.1 million between 2001 and 2019. This is a very interesting fact.
So why is the option of working from home so controversial? Is it just the employers who prefer to see their employees in the office after all, or is there a negative attitude among the employees themselves as well?
I have been in the working world for 10 years now and have experienced both models. I have been working from home for almost 4 years. Setting the alarm earlier every day to prepare for work in the office, among colleagues and on the road is not something I miss at all. The daily routine is much different than it used to be when I took my child to kindergarten and raced to work. There is no longer a need to think about the weather or worry if you have a headache in the morning. It is quite enough to have a quiet place at home (or wherever you are) to be able to concentrate on work. Here you can wear the pajama outfit, make yourself a cup of coffee and start the day. Many, like me, are also of the opinion that the productivity of the individual, in a familiar environment, without the all-round stress, can be greater.
If I had to make a pros and cons list for home office work, the stress, time and productivity factors would definitely be at the top. Of course, we could expand the pro list and go more in-depth on this topic by addressing the issue of reducing pollution or even the significant cost savings for businesses. These are all notable points in favor of the home office work model.
But what are the negative views that we can witness? First and foremost, and in my opinion most importantly, is the social aspect of this way of working. Many can’t cope in the long run with not having anyone around to share thoughts or have a coffee during a break without colleagues. You are more or less on your own in the home office, teams and other programs are the only possibility to talk/chat a bit about ideas, questions or even news. So, by definition, home office is a flexible work option, as workers can perform their activities and tasks independently, deciding when and where to work. How we perceive and feel this responsibility, whether we see this as a good opportunity is therefore up to everyone.
From my point of view, the most important thing is that every good employer should be open to this option and give employees the freedom to decide for themselves.
Greetings from my home office workplace 😊