The pandemic seems to get closer to its end and we see restrictions continue to loosen up. This change has started many discussions about working from home vs office. The closure of offices around the globe is no longer necessary and many managers want to require employees to return to the office. On the other hand, many employers continue to support a 100% remote or hybrid work model.
We are witnessing great changes in the workforce, where many companies will lose and many will win precisely due to their work from home/remote vs hybrid vs office stance and the mindsets of executives and middle management.
The pandemic changed our workplaces and work culture
Let’s face it – the pandemic just becomes more complex, the closer we think we are to figuring it out; it’s a paradox. And it doesn’t make sense, it has proven to be beneficial for the labor market. It’s given light to movements like the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle, empowering flexibility, productivity, and virtually anything the average job seeker is searching for. At the same time, you might have even taken a workplace personality assessment, or two, to figure out how this time of uncertainty could function with your career and work style.
To help prepare you in case your employer asks you where you’d like to work from, this article will provide you an overview of working from home vs office, the hybrid work model, and 4 ways you can find your fit among all the possible workplace personality types.
Working from Home vs. Office – What are the differences?
The typical first argument that comes up when deciding between working from home vs office is commuting, and the expenses that come with it. In the US, more than 14 million people spend at least an hour traveling to the office everyday. We all know the saying “time is money”, and we’re sure you can imagine how much money you’d save if you didn’t have to pay the metro fees or tolls for a year.
Aside from the cost of your commute, working from home means you’re probably able to avoid the hefty costs of eating out for lunch or happy hour drinks with colleagues. This, of course, may not apply to you if you are lucky enough to work for a company which provides perks such as free breakfast and lunch, transportation stipends, and plenty of after-hours sponsored events.
Now here’s an obvious answer to the question of “what are the benefits of working at home?” – flexibility! 9 times out of 10, working from the office means having to follow the standard 9-5 structure. You typically arrive in the office a bit before 9am, get your first cup of coffee in, and get to work until you pause for lunch at noon, before continuing until 5pm.
See, with remote work your routine is pretty much entirely up to you as long as you finish your deliverables on time and don’t miss the important Zoom meetings you prescheduled. And even if you follow a hybrid work model where you really must begin working at 9, you can still calmly wake up at 8:45 without worrying about commuting and potentially being late.
Aside from choosing your hours, you can also choose your location. Working 100% remote means you can earn a New York City salary while living in a lower-cost city. Now, you can enjoy a higher standard of life by moving to the suburbs, or going abroad to a remote-work paradise like Mexico City or Lisbon.
At the same time, flexibility still plays a part in the disadvantages of work from home. Depending on your workplace personality, you may be one of those employees that can’t switch off your work mindset, due to the lack of distinction between your room and office. Soon enough this may begin to harm your work-life balance.
Maybe it will work the opposite way for you, though. There are numerous reports showing the positive correlation between flexible work and work life balance, but it’s dependent on you being able to full-stop when needed. Therefore, you can get an idea of what flexible work and work life balance can mean to you by taking a quick, workplace personality assessment to see if you possess more of a remote mindset.
To provide you some advantages of office work, let’s discuss communication, and especially networking. For starters, most people prefer to engage with their coworkers via face-to-face communication. From experience, we can confidently say that brainstorming sessions are much more powerful when everyone’s in the same room. And when questions arise you may feel like you’re annoying your coworker with dozens of Slack messages or emails which come off unclear.
That all is tied to the type of relationships you form with your teammates. Seeing them in an office everyday makes you feel more connected to them and often produces more collaboration. Additionally, one of the other disadvantages of work from home is that you miss out on networking with many stakeholders, unless you’ve somehow managed to master the concept of virtual coffee chats.
What are the benefits of working from home?
If you’re still not sure about the benefits of remote work, here is a quick list of some more reasons to work from home.
- Improved productivity – A study conducted by UC Irvine showed that a typical office worker is interrupted every 11 minutes, and it takes them 25 minutes to regain that focus. Imagine just how much more you could get done if you had more control over your work conditions.
- Opportunity for inclusivity – Companies with a remote work culture are able to leverage a diverse pool of talent which means you get to work with incredible people from all different sorts of backgrounds and locations.
- Higher financial savings – With an absolute level of flexibility you are able to reduce nearly all of your daily expenses, and can choose to work from a location that has a low cost of living. We are positive your budgeting efforts will actually work this time!
What are the advantages of office work?
On the other hand, let’s clarify a few more advantages of office work.
- Decreased fatigue – Zoom-ing all day definitely hits harder than a day full of in-person meetings does.
- More clarity with management – We are actively experiencing the first years of managing a remote workforce. Unless your company’s leaders use the ideal tools and are extremely trusting, they may quickly question “what are the benefits of working at home?”
- Networking is made simpler – There is no denying the power of relationship-building in your company and industry. Meeting others and building lasting connections with them is much more do-able when you are actually able to invite them out to a coffee or chat with them during an in-person event.
What is the hybrid model of work?
We know there is no such thing as just having something be black or white. There has been plenty of reimagination when it comes to the subject of the post pandemic workforce. With that, the notion of the hybrid work model has been ideated.
You might be thinking “what is the hybrid model?” Spoiler alert – the name says it all! Firstly, rhe hybrid work model aims to combine the advantages of office work and work from home. It consists of an environment where some employees are on premise, while others work from home during different hours of the week. Therefore, you may find yourself coming into the office on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but working from home during the following days.
However, it does eliminate one of the major reasons to work from home: no location-dependency. In a hybrid work model, you still need to remain in the city where your office is located since you’re required to turn up to the office during some days. This ultimately means you’re going to have about ½ the flexibility and costs that a fully remote work model brings you.
Examples of companies turning to hybrid work
In 2021 and 2022, most major companies are going hybrid, but here are some top players who were first to implement a hybrid work model.
The music giant’s My Work Mode Program allows all employees to work fulltime in-office, from home, or in a hybrid work model. The exact specifications of the hybrid arrangement depend on what the specific employee and their manager deems appropriate.
Adobe has announced four key principles in response to the future of work.
1. Being digital-first will be critical
2. Flexibility will be the default
3. We’ll gather for the moments that matter.
4. Remote work will expand.
Our favorite FAANG has mandated that all employees return to office buildings three days a week, with the option to work remotely twice per week. This is clearly the most common combination which other brands such as L’Oreal, UBS, and DoorDash have also adopted.
Aside from asking employees to spend at least 50% of their time in-office, Uber is still aiming to add the benefit of geographic flexibility through allowing employees to reselect their preferred office locations. Currently, they’ve compiled a list of dedicated team hubs which employees can choose from instead of remaining at the office they worked at pre-pandemic.
What kind of worker am I?
In conclusion, we’ve already summarized most of the key differences between working from home vs office for you.
Like we’ve mentioned, some of these differences are actually super dependent on the type of person you are. For instance, flexible work and work life balance might witness a positive correlation for your career as long as you are independent and capable of successfully getting your work done on time in the specific amount of time you allocate for it. But, this is not the case for everyone.
You’re likely thinking “what kind of worker am I?” Your personality says so much about what type of worker you are and what style of work would be best for you. Being aware of your workplace personality will allow you to select a career and work style that fits you both personally and professionally. With the options of working from vs office vs hybrid work model, you should carefully choose the match that will bring you the most success and happiness.
Luckily, here at Gyfted, we have spent quite some time and resources to help you answer the question of “what kind of worker am I?” There are many workplace personality types, so to figure out yours, here are 4 ways you can find your fit.
- Survey your past and current colleagues
Take some time to connect with around 10 of your colleagues which you interact with most. Explain your objective behind surveying them and ask them to be fully transparent.
Some questions you may want answers to can include
- How would you describe my personality in the workplace?
- When did I shine most at work? Which of my tasks, deliverables, or contributions stood out to you, and why?
- What do you think my ideal office culture would be? Why?
Finally, reflect on the answers they gave and try to pick out the most consistent themes.
- Consider what your perfect workday would be like
Each person has their own definition of success, and with that, each person certainly has their own definition of a perfect work day. Take approximately an hour to reflect on the following characteristics:
- Do you prefer working from home or office?
- How many hours per day and which hours would you like to work? Do you want to stick to the traditional 9-5, or would you prefer to begin later and work into the evening?
- What does your dream office setup look like?
- What is the team hierarchy like?
- Do you prefer working more independently or collaborating heavily on each activity?
- Write down your expectations
After you’ve done step 2, it is also essential to take your responses and formulate them into a short doc that encompasses all of your employer expectations. We’ve sure you’ve seen thousands of job listings by now. Well, now it is the time to sort of create your own.
Listing your expectations for your perfect work setup and also the ideal company culture will get you one step closer to finding your fit. This is because you’ll be able to cut through all the noise of job listings, to find your optimal one.
- Complete a quick workplace personality assessment
Finally, the last and probably most crucial step is to take some short personality quizzes. Think of it as a Buzzfeed quiz, but one that has been designed by expert psychologists and cognitive scientists, giving you an overview of the traits that are most relevant to your environment.
The top two ones we suggest for you to take today, completely for free, are a workplace personality test and a remote work mindset test. Both tests will take you max. 20 mins to complete, consisting of choosing amongst a few statements that reflect your ideals. It’s an extremely simple way to discover more about yourself, be able to personalize your job search, and eventually, land a job that fits you like a glove.
By following these 4 steps to find your fit, you’ll surely be able to pick your side in the debate of working from home vs office, and be able to determine what kind of worker you are.