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Work from Home vs Work from Office or Hybrid Model: Which is Better?

22 min read

wfo vs wfh

The Covid 19 pandemic has changed the ways of life. 

The things we thought could not be done in the distant reality are now the ‘New Normal.’ Not only has it changed societal values and our perspective toward life, but it has also impacted our professional lives. 

Offices shifted to home-office, and the concept of working from home was born. As the situation improved, the hybrid model work from home was developed. Now, we have the option of working from home, office, and catering to the hybrid model. But the question here is which working model is more suitable for people: work from home vs work from office? Are remote jobs the best, or should there be a mix of working from office and home? 

According to a research published by Robert Half, 26% of employees prefer fully remote jobs while 25% employees want to work from the office. However, 49% of employees are in favor of hybrid model work from home opportunities. In the research, it was also found that 1 in 3 professionals currently working from home would look for new job opportunities if asked to return to office.

Difference Between Work from Home vs Work from Office and Hybrid Model

What is work from home?

The work from home model is when the employees of an organization work from the place of their residence. In this working model, employees collaborate with each other through video conferencing and audio calls.

What is work from office?

WFO full form refers to the work from office model, where employees work from the office premises. This model directs professionals to be present in the office premises throughout the day.

Concept of hybrid model

The hybrid model of work is when employees have the freedom of working from their place of residence as well as the office premises. For example, employees can work for two days from the office premises and rest three days they can work from home. However, the days on which employees have to be present in the office is decided by the organization’s leadership team.

Key Differences Between WFO & WFH Model 

wfo wfh differences

Work from Home- Advantages & Disadvantages

Work from home has emerged as a long-term alternative to the traditional approach of offices. As you have the flexibility to work at your pace from the comfort of your home, you can maximize your productivity. Software firms such as TCS, IBM, Infosys etc. were using the option of work from home even before the pandemic. However, this option was largely conceived as a privilege and was only granted to employees whose job responsibilities were suited for such an arrangement. The advantages of work from home model are:

Advantages of work from home

Benefits for EmployeesBenefits for Organizations
Reduced commuting timeImproved productivity
Low stress levelsReduction in turnover rates
Better work-life balanceCost reduction
Increased autonomy for individuals Larger talent pool to choose from
Enhanced job satisfactionBetter workforce planning leading to continuity in operations

Disadvantages of work from home

Work from home is greatly favored by employees and employers; however, this working model may have certain pitfalls. Various researchers from around the world suggest that work from home must have certain basic prerequisites and necessary conditions to make it effective and successful. The disadvantages of work from home model are:

Drawbacks for EmployeesDrawbacks for Organizations
Social isolationIssues of cyber security and threat to Intellectual Property Rights
Linked to low promotional opportunitiesChallenges in measuring productivity
Can lead to difficulty in distinguishing between work and home timeCan lead to a lack of motivation and focus
Interrupted power supply and internet connection can lead to low productivityConducting induction program may be an issue for organizations
Difficulty in managing kids for working parentsIncreased costs for firms operating in business process management

 

Work from Office- Advantages and Disadvantages

When working from office, you can have better collaboration between your team and can handle conflicts better. The face-to-face communication enables you to complete the tasks faster. However, apart from having some great benefits this working model also has certain pitfalls. Here are the pros and cons of working from the office. 

Advantages of Work from Office

  • Better distribution of workspace

Office spaces are highly optimized and help you carry out the functions efficiently. It also improves the collaboration between team members and other cross-functional teams. 

  • Team work

Working in a team improves your social, collaboration, and conflict management skills. It also boosts creativity and results in a productive workspace. 

  • Ease of conducting face to face meetings

Certain projects need more collaboration with other team members. When working from the office, you have the leeway to conduct face to face meetings with different teams. You can share their points of views on important matters like preparing a business proposal or arranging a meeting with an important client. 

  • Better social connection

As you have proximity to people, you have better social connections when working from the office. You can interact directly and share your opinion. Moreover, you can acquire new contacts when working from the office. 

Disadvantages of Work from Office

  • Regular distractions

As you can communicate more fluently when working with people around you, at times, ongoing communication from each team member may make the workplace a lot noisy. This may cause distractions when working. 

  • Lack of privacy

Some employees are more introverted than others. They may feel discomfort when collaborating with teams, leading to improper communication or a lack of leadership skills.

  • More stress or workplace anxiety

Working with superiors and colleagues may make you feel more under pressure. If this continues, you may feel workplace anxiety leading to reduced working capacities and productivity. 

Moreover, employees have to spend their time and money to reach their office on time. It also leads to congestion on the road and over-utilization of resources. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of work from home vs work from office is crucial before deciding on which working model to choose. 

Hybrid Work Mode: Advantages & Disadvantages

The hybrid model work from home is a mix of work from office and work from home modes. Corporates from around the world are adopting the hybrid model of operation. This working model is not just changing the way we work, but is influencing the physical layout of offices. Here are the benefits and limitations of adopting this working model. 

Advantages of Hybrid Mode

  • Increased productivity

The option to choose flexible working hours has improved productivity. You can better allocate your time and focus on doing the maximum work. As you save time on the commute, you can devote those extra hours in getting the work done. 

  • Better work-life balance

When working from home, you get the benefit of focusing on your personal life and maintaining a balance between personal and professional commitments. As you have the flexibility of completing the work at your pace, you achieve greater job satisfaction. Moreover, when working from the office, you can connect with your colleagues and develop meaningful relationships at the workplace. 

  • Lowered costs

As the entire office is working from home as well, the office space does not need assigned desks for all employees. The admin department can plan the new occupancy levels at the workplace based on how many employees will attend the office on a particular day. This reduces the rent and other additional expenses. 

Disadvantages of Hybrid Mode

  • Lack of collaboration

As you are dependent on online tools to collaborate while working from home, you may face difficulty in working with cross-functional teams. Moreover, matching everyone’s timing for a meeting could be a problem. 

  • Chances of burnout

Working for longer hours may lead to burnout and anxiety. If you take more breaks when working from home, you may try compensating the time-off by doing extra work. Left unchecked, this may lead to burnout. 

  • Dependence on technology

You must have all the resources like a stable internet connectivity, laptop, and phone to work smoothly. If these resources are not available when working from home in a hybrid work environment, your task may suffer. 

Working in a hybrid environment is productive as well as tiring. It depends on how you manage your time and balance your tasks. Taking help from project management tools can give you an edge. Try balancing your time and make a priority work list to get started and work efficiently in a hybrid working model. 

The Psychological Effects of Working from Home vs. Working from Office

The psychological effects of work from home vs work from office can be different for different people. It depends on individuals’ preferences, job roles, and the specific work environment. Here is the list of some key psychological effects of work from home vs. work from office

Work from Home

  1. Loneliness and Isolation: When working from home, some people could feel isolated and lonely, especially if they live alone. A feeling of isolation may result from the absence of regular social interactions with coworkers.
  2. Autonomy and Flexibility: WFH can give employees the freedom and flexibility to design their work environment and schedule to suit their preferences. For some people, this can result in more job satisfaction and less stress.
  3.  Work-Life Balance: WFH can help many people with their work-life balance by removing the need for commuting and giving them more control over their daily routine. This may result in less stress and better overall health.

Work from Office

  1. Social Interaction: Having daily face-to-face encounters with coworkers in an office setting promotes a sense of camaraderie and social connection. This may have a favorable effect on both mental health and job satisfaction.
  2. Routine and structure: WFO frequently offers a routine with predetermined beginning and ending times. For some people, the steadiness and regularity of this pattern might help to lessen anxiety.
  3. Professional Identity: Being physically present at work can strengthen one’s feeling of professionalism and affiliation with a group or organization. Self-esteem and job happiness may increase as a result.

Both working models have their advantages and disadvantages. However, the choice depends on employee preferences and how the organization wants to operate itself. Each pro and con must be weighed carefully when choosing the work from home vs work from office model.

Factors Influencing the Choice WFH, WFO, or Hybrid

wfo wfh hybrid

Human brain needs motivation to do particular tasks. Here are the five important factors that drive employees to work onsite. 

  • Technology: Technology helps simplify workflows, effective communication, and data security in a conventional office. It makes sure coworkers can work together easily, access resources, and complete tasks quickly, increasing productivity and connectedness.
  • Colleagues and Leadership: In an office context, colleagues foster mentorship, real-time collaboration, and idea exchange. They foster emotional support and camaraderie, which improves teamwork and job satisfaction.
  • Routine: Routines in the workplace provide structure, allowing workers to better manage their time and draw boundaries between their personal and professional lives. This organization encourages productivity and discipline.
  • Non-traditional space: Flexible and comfortable non-traditional workplace spaces like lounges or collaboration zones are available. They promote inventiveness and adaptability in working settings.
  • Visibility: In the workplace, being seen by coworkers and managers can result in recognition and accountability.

Other than these, the factors that ensures employees opt for work from home include:

  • Safety: Working from home can increase safety by lowering exposure to risks associated with commuting and public health issues, especially during a pandemic. It offers a regulated, relaxing environment that might lessen the stress brought on by outside safety risks.
  • Quality of life: WFH can enhance quality of life by allowing for flexible work schedules and cutting down on travel time. This promotes enhanced wellbeing by enabling a better work-life balance, more time spent with family, and the ability to pursue personal interests.
  • Freedom: Since employees have more control over their work environment and schedule, WFH gives them a sense of freedom. They can organize their day to maximize efficiency and personalize their office as desired.
  • Technology: Technology is crucial to WFH since it makes it possible for distant communication, teamwork, and task management. The effectiveness of remote work depends on the accessibility of dependable technology.

Other Factor to Consider for WFH, WFO, or Hybrid  

When selecting whether to adopt a hybrid work model, work from home (WFH), work from the office (WFO), or both: the following aspects should also be taken into account:

  1. Job Role and Sector: The type of work being done is very important. While some jobs, like customer support or production, call for on-site presence, others, like software development or content creation, may be carried out remotely. There may be stringent rules governing remote employment in some sectors, such as the healthcare industry.
  2. Organization culture: The viability and desirableness of remote employment can be influenced by the organization’s culture and values. While some businesses stress flexibility and outcomes, others place a higher priority on collaboration and creativity.
  3. Legal and Compliance Issues: The tax and labor rules that apply to remote work differ by location. It is necessary to take compliance with these rules into account, as well as the effects on employment contracts and taxes.
  4. Employee Preferences: Every employee has different wants and preferences. While some people might thrive in a rural setting, others would prefer the order of an office. Providing options and flexibility helps meet the demands of various employee groups.
  5. Performance measures: For remote work, it’s crucial to establish precise performance measures and objectives. Employees need to be aware of the standards and criteria used to measure performance.

In choosing the most suitable and productive workplace for employees, organizations must consider the factors mentioned above. Moreover, they should come up with a hybrid policy to maximize employee satisfaction and make office culture more accommodating. Considering how the employees want to work and the long-term benefits of choosing between work from home vs work from office is necessary for a productive workplace. 

Is Hybrid Model the Future?

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the most prevalent work setup for knowledge workers has shifted to some variation of a hybrid model. In June 2022, Gallup conducted a survey involving 8,090 remote-capable employees in the United States, revealing that 60% of them now favor hybrid work options. Similarly, a pulse survey by Future Forum in July 2022 claimed that hybrid work is already the predominant business model for 49% of 10,646 knowledge workers worldwide.

Recent research has highlighted numerous advantages of hybrid working for both employers and employees. Studies have reported a 35% reduction in employee turnover without negatively impacting performance or career advancement opportunities. Furthermore, employee experience scores have significantly improved with hybrid work. This trend is supported by global brands such as Apple, Meta, Citi Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Volkswagen AG, and Bupa, all of which have publicly embraced hybrid working arrangements.

To Top it Up

Every working model–be it work from home, work from office, or a mix of both, has certain limitations as well as advantages. However, from the data gathered on different working models, it can be assessed that the hybrid work culture is most preferred by employees. As a result, giants such as Apple and Meta are also giving the option of hybrid work. It offers more flexibility and helps organizations save costs; therefore, creating a win-win position for both employees and employers.

FAQ 

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of work from home?

Work from home refers to the working model where employees can work from their place of residence. This working model has pros and cons for both employees and employers. The advantages of work from home include reduced commuting time, improved productivity, and better work-life balance. However, the disadvantages of work from home include social isolation, less promotional opportunities, and issues of cyber security. 

2. Is working from home better than working in an office?

According to the research conducted by Robert Half, 49% of respondents voted that they prefer a hybrid model work from home. Also, 26% of respondents voted for fully remote opportunities. Employees also suggested a return-to-office wish list to make work from office model better. This included the ability to set preferred working hours and relaxed dress code.  

3. What is hybrid work and why do employees want it? 

Hybrid work model is a mix of work from home and work from office. It offers flexibility to employees and lets them choose when they want to work from home and when from the office. In most cases, the leadership team takes decisions on the days when the team has to report to the office. 

 

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    Meet the author

    Ayushi Singh

    Content Writer

    Ayushi Singh is a Content Writer at Keka HR holding expertise on HR-related topics. She is an avid reader and traveler. When she is not writing, you can find her sitting in a quaint cafe daydreaming about life in general.

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