The Pros and Cons of Working from Home
October 5 2020
Like many businesses in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, InfoMart has gone remote to ensure the continued safety and health of our employees. Our new work-from-home life has resulted in several changes to our work strategies and pushed us to adapt to the realities of working from home. Supporting your employees during these times is paramount if you want to maintain your staff’s productivity and overall happiness.
For many people across multiple industries, this is their first time working from home. If you are used to office life, remote work can be a huge adjustment. Here are some of the pros and cons of working from home, straight from InfoMart employees themselves.
WFH Pro: A More Focused, Productive Environment
The majority InfoMart employees, around 62% of all staff, reported in a company-wide survey that they enjoy working from home. Staff feel more rested when they begin their days as they do not have to worry about getting up early to shower, get dressed, and beat the morning traffic. They start their days feeling more rested and, as a result, are more productive. Despite the drawbacks that many associate with working from home, InfoMart employees report feeling more focused when working from the comfort of their home offices:
“I feel so much more accomplished these days. No distractions or disruptions, etc. I jump into my morning within 20 minutes of getting up and it starts my workday off with positive energy.”
“I am more productive than I was in the office, and I’m only getting more productive the longer we work from home. It’s becoming second nature.”
“I feel more organized and have more clarity when working from home.”
WFH Con: Missing Face-to-Face Interactions
There are some occasional downsides to working from home. For InfoMart employees, the biggest downside was the lack of community. Community is a key component of InfoMart culture, with a host of employee engagement activities planned monthly. People enjoy seeing their coworkers each day, chatting on breaks, and catching up over lunch in the company break room. In a close-knit office like ours, it has been an adjustment for employees to go from seeing their colleagues every single day to barely seeing them at all.
While only 5% of InfoMart employees indicated that they prefer in-person office work, many did have comments on this downside of remote work:
“I miss my colleagues, but I do feel more productive and focused on my work.”
“I miss the office and seeing people. However, I do feel I’m more productive at home due to fewer interruptions, even with my family around.”
“I miss the interaction with the rest of our team, and the ease of collaboration without trying to figure out who can jump on a call, when…but I also love the ease of being home with my family.”
There are ways to circumvent this problem, however. Zoom department check-ins can give your staff an opportunity to see each other and give updates on current projects. We’ve seen some of our departments throw birthday parties over GoToMeeting. Something as simple as a daily check-in call with a supervisor can mean the difference to an employee who is feeling isolated and disconnected from their peers.
WFH Pro: Healthier, Happier Employees
One benefit InfoMart employees have reported is that they feel healthier and happier than before. Without the stress of a morning and evening commute, employees have more time to rest and be physically active. Multiple employees reported using their lunch breaks to take walks, exercise, and unwind in ways they couldn’t at the office. InfoMart staff also report that they are getting more sleep, which has had a positive impact on their physical and mental health.
The biggest perk, however, is an increased work-life balance. Employees are spending more time with their families. Since they don’t have to battle traffic to get to and from their workplace, they’ve added hours of free time back on to their daily schedule that they can spend resting, playing with their children, and pursuing hobbies. Here’s what our staff had to say on the improvements working from home has brought to their work-life balance:
“Saving so much money in gas, plus extra time with my family. More rest by having time to go to bed early and sleep in a little later.”
“Working from home helps me stay physically active! I go for walks twice a day, on my lunch break and my 15-minute mini break.”
“The WFH experience has helped me to step up my game on time management. Since this experience, my time management skills have improved. I love working from home.”
Working from home is a definite adjustment. It requires more time management and can, at times, be lonely. However, the vast majority of InfoMart employees seem to be enjoying this change. As the world continues its battle against COVID-19, it is important to continue to provide support to your employees whether they are in the office or at home. While almost everyone can agree they miss seeing and chatting with their colleagues, no one can deny the results: working from home has immense benefits in terms of productivity, work-life balance, and overall employee happiness. Make sure to check in with your team regularly—there may be simple tips or adjustments you can suggest to improve their work-from-home experience.
When this virus passes and businesses seek to return to a new normal, many companies might choose to continue remote work due to the benefits it provides. We are seeing a shift in the business world, and in ten years it is likely employees will split their workweek between a physical workplace and their own home office. While it might be some time before InfoMart’s staff returns to the office, The Screen Machine isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
About Tammy Cohen
Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.
InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.