I have been working from home for 1.5 years now, with 2 different companies, and from 3 different homes. After all this I have come to the conclusion that I actually PREFER working from home and going back to the office doesn’t sound appealing anymore.
Here are the 3 main reasons why:
1. It saves me money
The biggest point here is obviously the travelling costs for the commute. Whether I’m driving to work, taking the train or using any other public transport, it definitely costs extra money. If you’re living in a busy city like Kuala Lumpur (which is where I am right now), transport costs can add up to a lot. Now that I’m working from home – I no longer have to worry about!
Besides the commute, I’ve realised that I can also save money on work lunches. When you’re in the office, you’re more likely to just grab food from outside that is more expensive than cooking at home. I can even say it saves me money in terms of clothes because I no longer have to spend on work appropriate clothes that need to be worn on a daily basis.
2. I can avoid commuting
The process of driving, taking the train or bus to get to work is something that can honestly be really stressful. You have to worry about the traffic if you’re driving or taking a bus, and the anxiety around missing the train, or even feeling unsafe while taking public transport (depending on where you live).
Besides that – working from the office can also be a pain just because of how much TIME is stolen from us. Which brings me right into my final and most significant point:
3. I get ownership over my time
We already spend around 9 hours a day at work itself, so spending another 1 or 2 more hours travelling to and from work seems so unnecessary now. When I think back to my life 3 years ago – I was in a job where at least 2 hours of my day was spent driving. And more of that time was spent waiting for traffic to get better before I even get in the car. All this just seems insane compared to my life now where it takes all of 5 mins for me to walk over to my desk and open my laptop.
This has given me so much ownership over my time and the ability to decide what I want to do with MY time. This change has opened up so much for me, I have started getting back into things I was passionate about such as writing and art. I’ve even started a YouTube channel, that wouldn’t exist if I wasn’t working from home.
An example: These days during my 1 hour lunch break, I can take 30 mins to eat, and the other 30 planning my next video, or working on my painting OR even just taking a power nap because I need it that day. And of course, it also gives me more time with my family, so that has been really nice.
Those were my reasons why I prefer to work from home. But I do understand working from the office brings it’s own benefits, especially when it comes to the social aspect of work.
I love working with my colleagues at my current job, but we all joined the company during lockdown so we’ve never actually worked together at the office. It’s been interesting getting to know each other through video calls and chats, I’ve realised that even though I have never met these people I can still feel so connected to them.
Perks of working at the office
I do understand that actually being in the office with your colleagues is different – to be honest most of my best friends now as an adult are people that I met at work. We had a blast playing pranks on each other, going out for lunch together, having birthday celebrations and hanging out late into the night after work. I still do love that idea and I know once we go back to the office – our social lives will definitely improve.
But I’ve realised that most of the benefits of working from the office can still be maintained even if we were to work from home. For instance, we can easily still choose to hang out with our colleagues outside of working hours.
One thing to realise is that our social life is mostly suffering due to being in lockdown, not because of working from home.
Disclaimer: I do understand that having this opinion is a privilege in itself. Working from home requires certain things which not everyone has easy access to. People may struggle with having good internet connection at home, or they find their electric bills are too high when they spend all their day at home, or they have kids which make it near impossible to work from home,. Or they may even live with multiple people in the house so it’s difficult to have any privacy while working. I understand everyone is living in different circumstances – so I just want to clarify that this is my personal opinion according to my current circumstances.
I can honestly say that overall working from home has definitely brought a lot of balance into my life. I know not everyone feels the same – so let me know do you prefer working from home or in the office?