March 2022 – 6 Min Read

Since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic working from home has become much more common than it ever has been before, with companies offering the opportunity to do your work from the comfort of your sofa to protect your family and colleagues. However, with the pandemic seemingly coming to an end, people expected the work from home lifestyle to disappear with it, yet it hasn’t even remotely. In this blog post we’re going to run through some of the pros and cons to both working from home, and working in an office environment, and how each person will react differently to different work settings.

An important contributing factor to people preferring working from home is the loss of an unnecessary commute to the workplace. The average worker is said to spend 60 minutes in total commuting to and from work, and whilst this lifestyle works for a good portion of people, it can be detrimental to some people’s routines as they’re losing out on extra sleep which may add extra unnecessary anxiety when they end up in a rush in the morning. There is also the aspect of commuting time being wasted time, that could be adequately spent being productive work wise.

Work-life balance continues to be the phrase on everyone’s lips, as companies are constantly trying to create comfortable environments for their employees, and with no one really enjoying the nature of having to commute to work, this could have a direct negative effect on something employers are permanently trying to improve.

One of the biggest pros about working in an office environment, is the ease of communication with your colleagues. Face-to-face communication is something you only get in an office space. It’s not only beneficial when planning for business, but it strengthens relationships with other employees. Over the work from home period, we’ve seen businesses transition into video-conferencing opposed to traditional phone calls in an attempt to maintain and build these working relationships employees are missing out on whilst being at home.

Possibly the biggest benefit seen from employees adopting a new work from home lifestyle is the flexibility it offers to their lives in general. When working in an office, everyone has a set schedule they follow each day that when a commute is included, can begin a few hours before their work hours do. However, when working from home it allows flexibility for workers to miss out or include extra things before starting their job, and it allows for things such as walks at lunch time, and extra time with family that one doesn’t get in an office. These added valuable hours to a persons day can swing their opinion drastically when deciding which work style suits them.

Arguably the most important argument against working from home is the potential effect it can have on productivity in workers, as at home you are surrounded by potential distractions in your family and the comfortability you feel being in your home environment that you are most familiar with and associate with relaxing. However, whilst this might be true, studies have shown that the average employee who works in an office is interrupted every 11 minutes and takes 25 minutes to get back into a proper working rhythm. There are productivity arguments that favour both sides of the coin, but it’s clear it is down to the individual to figure out what works best for their personality when it comes to work.  

Here at NSTR we decided to carry out our own research on the topic via a post on LinkedIn, where we used a poll to test how our followers felt about the different types of work environment, receiving 151 votes in the process. We included 4 different options to choose from in our poll, these being “it’s great to be back”, “I preferred working from home”, “I’m happy to do either” or “Hybrid work is perfect”. Unsurprisingly, our followers voted hybrid work as their preference when it came to work environments, with 82 people choosing this option. Second place was a preference for working from home full-time, with 40 people choosing this option. Thirdly we found people were thrilled to be back in the office, with 21 people voting for this option. And lastly, 8 people voted that they weren’t overly bothered whether they worked from home or in an office.

From our own research we found that most people favoured a style of work that allowed them the flexibility to choose when and where they worked. Despite what our research told us, we at NSTR much prefer a company culture that is centred around being in an office environment, as we believe it helps us to feel more like a family than a business and as a result of this, brings about a much higher level of productivity within our industry. When working from the office became viable again, everyone was extremely in favour of returning full time, desiring the friendships and connections we had all developed beforehand. Some parts of the recruitment industry are much more suited to being in office, which poses the interesting question, is the most suitable working environment and culture entirely different depending on which industry it is?