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Discussion on: Working from the office or home?

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abhinav1217 profile image
Abhinav Kulshreshtha • Edited on

I am a freelancer so I always had home office. My friends prefer actual office. We shared notes on this topic a lot of time.

Pros:

  • More time to spend with family.
  • No commute cost (Both time and money).
  • Better work environment. (better dev machine, hot and fresh food).
  • Time saved can be used to improve oneself. ( I learned golang, and now learning rust).

Cons:

  • Missing out on opportunity to make new friends.
  • Proper discipline is required. Even if its home, it should be treated as office.
  • Proper family communication is required. I have office hours from 10-5, if my family have plans in those hours, either discuss with me on breakfast table, or forever hold their tongue.
  • Bosses don't necessarily respect your personal life. Just because I am at home, I won't just take a 2 min look. There is no such thing as a 2 min look, it always end up in 15-30 min discussions.

Me as a freelancer : -

I have a proper home office, with table and chair, dual monitor, no bed, sound absorbing boards. Since I work and play on the same system. I always work fully dressed including shoes and socks. Only time I sit on my system in pajamas is when I play. I have a good communication with my family and they respect my office hours. If something is unavoidable, They always inform me at breakfast, allowing me to adjust my timings with people I work with.

But I haven't made any new friends, connections, network, since college. I have always been introvert, and home office has not helped improve my personality flaws regarding this.

My friend as office person : -

He got health issues within first 3 months of lockdown. He got seduced by concept of working from bed in his pajamas. He worked anytime he wanted, inadvertently working over 12 hrs without overtime pay. He missed his deadline for the first time in his career because he got distracted by IPL(cricket). Once during urgent conference, he forgot about his underwear drying in his messy rooms. When it was over, he got call from HR regarding display of dirty underwear and some posters visible in his background. No matter how much he informs his parents about his office hours, there is always some form of interference. Sometimes its to go out to buy vegetables, sometimes its help to get something from high shelf, sometimes its his mom on a phone call from relatives wanting him to say hi to them. He don't say no, and isn't strict about it. But he always complain about it to me over beers. He hates working from home.

But since he had an office job, he have a good numbers of friends, contacts, social and networking opportunities.

His office has started from this month, he was excited to go there and see new faces other than his family members. Interact with new recruits and socialize with old ones, but this time, his travel time of 2.5 hrs in hot Indian summer (its 35 deg C at 9:45am) is noticeable to him. Added with rising cost of fuel in India, and no pay increase or bonuses, despite his company making record profits, He is now conflicted. He can't work properly from home, but he is hating his office. I on the other hand is jealous of his social life and professional circles.

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dimitarstbc profile image
Dimitar Stoev Author

I really get the two sides of the coin.

One thing I want to address is that most of the time, socialization in the office is not equal of making friends. You can have incredible, funny and amazing time together, but does it lead to deep, strong friendship and connection? Sometimes yes, but mostly no!

We, people are social creatures and we need some kind of engagement - some require less, some more.

I am also planning to go fully freelancing at some point and I hope it goes well.