Way before 2020, working from home was still a relatively new idea corporations were incorporating at snail-speed. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced scores of workers and business managers to stay home. Therefore, businesses that were yet to allow remote working or in the initial stages had to move to swiftly implement working from home.
To be successful and competitive in 2021 as a woman-owned business, you'll want to answer a few questions concerning the two business workspace models. What works best for me as a woman business owner? Should I adopt a hybrid model where I allow workers and executives to work partly at home and in the office? What are the advantages and drawbacks of each model?
To support women entrepreneurs, we created this comparison blog for you. We'll be analyzing working at an office vs working from home. Let's get going.
Research shows that the average American spends about half an hour daily commuting to work. Coupled with the time employees take before settling at the office for a day's work, it's undeniable that there is a lot of time lost. WFH eliminates the stress and costs associated with traveling daily to work.
Collaboration and Communication
It is no surprise that most employee's preferred type of communication is face-to-face. Although remote working offers a video conferencing sessions option, the in-person communication nature of working at an office is priceless. It's a powerful tool where small business women owners can establish strong relationships and rapport with workers.
Though communication and collaboration still happen when working remotely, it's a whole new thing, and people are yet to adapt to it. For instance, video calls increased engagement on virtual productivity tools like email and slack. However, don't forget that WFH's key benefit is the ability to work from anywhere and anytime.
Flexibility and Productivity
Typically, you've had to adhere to the day's regular working hours (9 am — 5 pm) when working in an office. At home, this schedule can be altered to allow you to work when you're most needed. It's not surprising that several studies have found out that worker's productivity is highly improved when working from home. This may partly be contributed to the fact that workers at an office get distracted every 11 minutes.
Perhaps, the challenging factor about working from home is the mix-up of work and family, e.g., distracting children during working hours.
Needless to say, the environment also plays a significant part in workplace productivity. Indeed, workers have fewer office setting choices and may end up sitting in an unfriendly room or beside a noisy coworker, draining that worker's productivity. On the other side, working from home gives the power to set the home office according to your preferences for optimal efficiency.
Management and Financial Costs
Managing a remote workforce is far different from handling an in-office team. If you had to switch to WFH, it might prove more challenging.
In an office setting, managers and executives have control over what the staff is working on. They can go up and have daily check-ins, get clarifications, or hold a white-boarding meeting to ensure every business process is smooth.
Unfortunately, this isn't the case with remote work. However, innovative tools are quickly developing to help bridge this gap. Nevertheless, it’s important to avoid micromanaging your remote workers unless there's an adequate reason.
Furthermore, it's irrefutable that working from home is cost-effective for both employees and your business. Women entrepreneurs can minimize their company's expenses when choosing to adopt a WFH or a hybrid system. You definitely cut costs on things such as meals, office furniture & equipment, cleaning, internet, commute, etc.
A Key Takeaway
Working from home is revolutionizing the entire workplace as we knew it. To drill the hard rock of the business world, women entrepreneurs need to move quickly and fast to enable some of the employees to work from home or establish a hybrid office-home model, while also learning how to manage a remote workforce.
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