In the last two years the biggest change in the work life of many people was the switch from work in an office to work from home. Companies were forced worldwide to send their employees home and developed a flexible remote work policy. But how does this change affect employees and their Work-Life-Balance? And is working from home a step towards a better Work-Life-Balance?
To give an equal view on these questions we first have a look at the work-related matter of employees. What is the influence of working remotely from home on your efficiency, your bound to your company and colleagues and your actual working time? The second part of the article shows the benefits and challenges the employee has in his/hers personal life compared with him/her working in an onsite office or remotely. The article ends with a personal conclusion.
This is the first part of our series, how remote working is affecting work life and private life. At the bottom of the article, you find the link to the next part. Keep reading and write us a comment in Facebook, how your experience working remotely from home is or other topics you want us to have a look at.
What are the benefits and challenges of working remotely from home for your work life?
We found different articles all showing the same tendence of a positive impact having the option of homeoffice on the employees work life. Generally, employees experience a feeling of more control over their work , which is making the employee happier and more motivated. The possibility of making their own decisions, when to have a break and focus on work, leads towards a higher motivation to do extra work and effort . Another positive impact for an employer is the option to show of flexibility with a remote working company policy, which makes the company more attractive to new applicants and strengthens the relationship of trust between employer and employee . In contrary, companies where the option of working remotely is categorically denied, employees have more likely the wish to quit .
Challenges are mostly identified in the compatibility of remote work with company policies. If working remotely results in a high increase of over hours for the employee or the need of being constantly available, it can higher the risk of burn-out or other stress related diseases . To ensure this never happens, the company needs to be structured flexible, so that the employees can use their flexible work arrangements according to their needs .
After going through our sources, we conclude, that having the option to be more flexible at work and to be independent is having a high positive impact on the work life of employees and strengthen the bond between employee and employer. As long as the company regulations are compatible with remote working and supporting the employee’s flexibility, the benefits of a flexible work model according to the needs of the employee are enormous for both, employee and employer.
What are the benefits and challenges of working remotely from home for your private life?
This subject is harder to assess because the benefits or challenges of working from home are highly connected to the private life of the remote worker. Are you very close with your family? Do you need to take care of someone? Are you living alone? These variables have a big impact how remote work is affecting your private life.
A lot of studies are showing that people, working from home, are having the feeling of being able to organize their private and work life together . On the other hand, we found studies showing the downside of working from home for employees. Employees having trouble finding the line between work and private life, both physically and time wise . The benefit of not needing to travel to work and using that time for sports, hobbies or family is often used as extra hours of work, instead of balancing the work life .
In general, the longer the employee stays working from home, the better use he makes of his or her time management and the benefits home office is offering . Furthermore, everyone needs to find their own balance and draw the line between work and private life.
Especially during the lockdown phase, there were a lot of articles and news showing how bad home office and taking care of children during work time is for families. Everyone is locked up in a small apartment and sitting on top of each other all day. I think we all agree that it is not the best option for everyone. A lot of people love to go to the office, meet the colleagues and have a social work life next to their normal private life.
But there is also a lot of people in need of more flexibility and for them having options to organize their work with private life is very important. Everyone has different goals in life to be happy and the happiness of employees always has to have high importance to employers if they want to have motivated and qualified staff. In the end this is going to be the model of the future work life, flexibility from all parties is important to ensure we are making a step forward into the future world of working.
Personally, for me there is nothing better than home office. I don’t lose time driving up and down to my job and in addition I feel more productive then when working from the office. I can put the free time I gained, by not driving every day to office and due to a better time management, into my sports, hobbies, family and friends and I would really miss that time.
This is the first part of our series, how remote working is affecting work life and private life. The next article shows the impact traveling is having on our motivation and creativity and our third article of this series is going to merge those conclusions.
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 Gajendra/Harrison 2007
 Fonner/Roloff 2010; Kröll et al. 2017; Kröll/Nüesch 2019; Lott, Yvonee WSI Report, No. 54 2020
 Ross/Ali 2017; Lott, Yvonne WSI Report, No. 54 2020
 Choi 2018; Kröll/ Nüesch 2019
 Abendroth/Reimann 2018
 Kossek et al. 2010
 Allen et al. 2015; Golden et al. 2006; Gejendran/Harrison 2007; Kossek et al. 2010; Fonner/Roloff 2010; Peters/den Dulk 2003; Lott, Yvonne WSI Report, No 54 2020
 Allen et al. 2015; Ashforth et al. 2000; Kossek et al . 2006
 Kelliher/Anderson 2010