So, we’ve all seen the funny caricature that The Oatmeal made about this topic. Yes, I love The Oatmeal just as much as the next person, believe me—the infographic about the 15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee is so aesthetically pleasing that I sometimes go back to it when it’s 3am and I have run out of fresh Instagram, Twitter and Facebook content to look at. Matthew Inman, you are a genius.
But today, we’re going to get down to the hard facts.
The dream to have a secure office career started fading out when Generation Y started taking over Generation X in workplaces. That’s because we’ve been brainwashed by the idea of “finding our passion and living a fulfilling life”, which means that most of us become extremely frustrated when we are forced to follow a predictable routine every day.
Why? Because it means we can’t spend that much time doing what we want—be it traveling the world, working out for that beach bod, or taking courses to further develop ourselves… you get the gist. Some think that’s a sign of being spoilt, I personally think that it’s a sign of big dreams.
Let’s break it down.
Advantages of working from home
1. You have free reign to design your office however you like.
Whether you like working from your bed, in front of your TV, or even from your bathtub, nobody can say anything about it! It’s all about what you want. You could even go all out and design an awesome work space that is customised to your needs. Go crazy!
2. You can work from wherever you want.
It’s normal to feel bored when you’re surrounded by the same environment everyday. This doesn’t just apply to conventional workplaces; you could feel equally bored working from home everyday. Solution? Go out! Find a spot that is comfortable (with good WiFi connection, duh) and enjoy a coffee while spending a few hours in the zone. I’ve personally done this many times and it’s a good way to get focused when you’re feeling restless.
3. Flexible working hours whether you’re an early bird or a night owl.
Most conventional office jobs require you to be in the office from 9-5 (or longer) and sometimes, these hours just aren’t productive for some. Yes, you can argue that one can adjust their biological clock to get used to new hours, but you can’t deny that some people are simply more efficient, creative, and motivated at “odd” hours. Working from home allows you the flexibility of choosing to work when you are most productive.
4. Time to spend with family and friends.
Work-life balance. Is it achievable? Or is it a faraway dream? For some, it’s a reality. We are all pretty familiar with having to miss more than a few special occasions due to clashing work commitments. Maybe your child’s Sports Day falls during a weekday and you aren’t allowed time off for it, or perhaps your best friend’s surprise birthday party takes place during lunch time but the location is too far away from your office. It’s easier to maintain a healthy social life without skimping on work when you are able to alter your working hours whenever you want.
5. Less stress.
I mean, just read the points above.
It’s pretty self-explanatory that this point is a given.
Advantages of working from an office
1. Time management.
Working in an office usually comes with set working hours that you need to adhere to. This will automatically teach you how to manage your time effectively. Punctuality is a very big telltale of how responsible you are as a person (Malaysians, let’s take note!) You’ll also learn how to manage tasks in a timely manner in order to be most productive during your set working hours so that you can relax when it’s time to go home.
2. You learn how to present yourself in professional settings.
Whether you like it or not, presenting yourself well is a powerful skill that communicates your personality. It’s no accident that you dress, talk and behave the way you do. Confidence radiates from individuals who present themselves well through physical appearance, mannerisms, dress, and of course how you speak. The professional image you present creates impressions on people you deal with instantly. You can’t make a first impression twice!
3. Opportunities to gain knowledge are abundant.
Because you are constantly surrounded by people, be it colleagues on the same level as you or people above and below you in the corporate hierarchy, you will always be around people with different capabilities and types of knowledge. Inevitably, your knowledge in various areas will expand and you’ll likely learn plenty of new skills as well. You may even have one particular person in your office that you admire and wish to emulate. Working in an office is a great way to develop yourself.
4. Healthy competition between colleagues.
Have you ever found yourself in a fitness class where you pushed yourself much harder than usual because your peers were doing well and you didn’t want to be the odd one who couldn’t keep up? This applies in offices as well. When colleagues observe each other doing well, it often stirs up a sense of competitiveness that pushes individuals to work harder and smarter in order to achieve more. Such competition, as long as it remains healthy, is good for personal and professional goal-accomplishment.
There are advantages both ways. It really boils down to what you value the most, and there isn’t a wrong answer. And hey, if you’re lucky, you might land a job that gives you the best of both worlds.
This article was originally written by Shakira Kavanagh with the title “Working From Home VS Working From an Office” and was first published on Wobb, a job application platform for millennials who value the importance of good working culture.