In the age of laptops and instant communication, the nature of work is becoming more flexible than ever before. People can still be working and collaborating with colleagues even while on the other side of the world, and with workplaces becoming increasingly digitalised the need to be physically present in the office is becoming redundant for many industries.
The capacity to work remotely has led to the rise of flexible arrangements, such as home-working and hot-desking. As a relatively new phenomenon, the debate over the pros and cons of both continues. Read on to find out more, and to see if working remotely is the right option for you and your organisation.
Working from home has many benefits, with the most obvious one being that home workers are spared the arduous morning commute to and from the office. It allows people to spend more time with their families and presents a quieter atmosphere with less distractions.
However, home working is not without its detractors. Many home workers have said they can feel isolated and out of the loop with the rest of the organisation due to the lack of time spent with colleagues. Additionally, some often point to the fact that, without supervision, management cannot be certain whether employees are working at full capacity or not.
With the skyrocketing value of property in the CBD and prime locations, it can be unviable for businesses to buy or lease office space — especially if they are smaller organisations.
Enter hot-desking, an arrangement where desks and workstations are shared by multiple people at different times. This means that valuable space is not dedicated to individual employees that are not at their desks often enough to justify it. It is also deployed as a tool by some organisations to encourage collaboration by having employees sitting next to different people each day.
Some of the downsides attributed to hot desking are that it actually decreases productivity, as a significant portion of time is spent by employees having to set up and pack up their things every day. Some people also complain about the lack of familiarity and comfort that comes with having to sit at a different desk each day, feeling like outcasts with no place in the office to call their own.