Zoom meetings aren’t the only reason why people dislike working from home, and getting to wear pajamas isn’t the only upside. A study from PsychTests.com examines the advantages and drawbacks of the work-from-home phenomenon
Working from home became the new norm during the pandemic, although some companies chose to make the change permanent once they saw the reduction in overhead costs and the increase in productivity. However, is working in the comfort of one’s pajamas worth the potential social isolation? Does the lack of supervision make slacking off too difficult to resist? Researchers at PsychTests shed some light on the ups and downs of remote work.
Analyzing data collected from 143 remote workers who took the Remote Worker Test, PsychTests’ researchers asked participants what they hated and what they liked about working from home. Here are the top 14 pros and cons of working from home as per remote workers:
WHAT PEOPLE HATE ABOUT WORKING FROM HOME:
- 41% dislike the lack of, or limited, social contact.
- 41% said they dislike not having all the equipment or tools that are readily available at work.
- 37% hate having to wait longer for responses or approvals.
- 31% dislike having to prove that they are being productive.
- 27% are uncomfortable making decisions on their own.
- 27% are concerned about not having their manager/colleagues readily available.
- 26% are frustrated by the distractions at home (e.g., family, especially small kids; pets).
- 22% indicated that the temptation to slack off is hard to resist.
- 22% are annoyed by management’s use of tracking software.
- 21% feel that working from home goes against their desire to keep their work and home life separate.
- 20% don’t like that there is less tech support when working remotely.
- 19% hate videoconferencing – the fear of public speaking is exacerbated.
- 16% are annoyed by the fact that they now have a heavier workload.
- 11% are worried about falling asleep.
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WHAT PEOPLE LOVE ABOUT WORKING FROM HOME:
- 93% are glad they won’t have to waste time commuting or dealing with traffic.
- 92% enjoy the fact that they can make their own hours.
- 89% like having more autonomy.
- 88% are relieved to not have to travel in bad weather.
- 87% said that working from home saves them money.
- 87% indicated that they are just as productive at home as they are at work, if not more so.
- 84% feel working from home allows for more work-life balance.
- 83% love being able to start their day earlier.
- 80% are less stressed.
- 80% said remote work has allowed them to spend more time with loved ones.
- 73% are happy that they don’t have to dress up for work anymore.
- 71% are glad that they don’t have to deal with office politics.
- 53% enjoy being able to sleep in.
- 49% enjoy not having to interact with people face-to-face.
“Adjusting to remote work became a sharp learning curve for many employees and managers,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “For some, it was a matter of figuring out how to juggle work and family life without the buffer of time apart. For managers, it was finding a way to make remote work technologically feasible, while making sure that employees were still putting in the same amount of effort. Managing remote workers requires a new set of managerial skills, and many managers struggle with this both psychologically – letting go of control – and in terms of measuring results.”
“Clearly, adjusting to remote work has been challenging. The social isolation became an issue for many of us, and the complexity of managing major projects remotely was a logistics nightmare. Overall, however, the outcome has generally been quite positive according to our study, with most people enjoying the many advantages of remote work. Although there were a few worrisome statistics, such as the fact that 68% of remote workers used their work hours to catch up on chores and 46% engaged in distractions – playing video games, watching TV, making personal calls, taking a nap – for the most part, many workers and employers saw an increase in productivity, a decrease in work-related costs, and most importantly, a reduction in stress…aside from issues related to the pandemic. So all in all, remote work has proven to be an advantageous endeavor, and is likely to become one of the top job search and hiring prerequisites.”
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