The latest research by the global workplace provider Regus has revealed that home workers globally ‘get lonely’ (38%), miss mixing with fellow professionals (64%) and are afraid of becoming overweight from snacking throughout the day (32%).
The results among Hong Kong professionals are higher, with 47% saying that they get lonely when working from home; 67% miss interactions with colleagues and 38% being afraid of getting fat.
Further, the report highlights that 67% Hong Kong respondents feel they are getting stale and need to schedule trips outside of the house, raising the question: is the freedom of working from home all it’s cracked up to be?
Other issues highlighted by the report include resentment from family members for taking up space in the house, work being taken less seriously by family members, and unwanted distractions.
“Flexible workers need a professional and fully equipped environment to thrive and be productive, and working from home clearly isn’t the answer. When working remotely it is important for professionals to get out of their pyjamas, and out of the house to maintain their morale and wellbeing,” said John Henderson, Chief Financial Officer at Regus Asia Pacific.
Henderson further added: “Working from a fully-functional environment, instead of a makeshift space within the family home, can offer professionals who work remotely the chance to mix with fellow business people and keep in the swing.”
See: Hong Kong Employees are Unhappy at Work: Survey Reveals
The research surveyed more than 44,000 senior business people around the world, across more than 100 countries, including 365 respondents from Hong Kong.
Here are some Pros and Cons of working from home office:
- Working from home can help fill in gaps especially when a close family member is sick or when kids need to be picked up from school.
- You can schedule work timings flexibly, such as if you are an early morning riser at 5am, you can start working then or sleep until 9am.
- You can work in the comfort of your pyjamas, unless you are planning to attend a Skype meeting without a shirt. However experts opine, it’s better to be dressed for work even if you are working from the convenience of home.
- You save on commute time and you don’t have to worry about wading through traffic to get to work on time and clock in the exact number of hours before you retire for the day.
- You save on money too. When you work at office, unless you are diligent about bringing your lunch box to work, you tend to eat out and this tends to create a dent in your take home package. However, working from home means you can steal some time off desk and prepare a quick meal for lunch.
- While peace and quiet helps in boosting productivity, however sometimes it also leads to isolation. To avoid the same, you need to stay in constant touch with your co-workers and colleagues via Skype or instant messaging. Being a part of networking events and conferences, will help you get in touch with other people in your fraternity.
- Lack of technical support when you need it. There are network problems sometimes and technology doesn’t work at its best at all times, during such situations sometimes your machines may take longer to be fixed.
- No collaboration or lack of it. Especially if your work involves collaborating with co-workers, then work from home can create hurdles to bridging communication gaps with team, clients and customers. Even though communication technology through video, voice and instant messaging helps, nothing can beat the effectiveness of face-to-face communication.
- Working from home office could mean inviting more distractions from family during your work hours, or the personal work can take away time to leave little focus for your priorities at work.
- While flexibility is a plus, it has also the flip side. When your friends and family learn about your work from home, they perceive you are more readily available than you possibly are. This impacts work especially when you have a sick member at home you need to attend at regular hours.
“Businesses providing their employees with access to a professional environment closer to home, reduce stressful commuting, but also help reduce frustration between family members and unwanted distractions such as excessive snacking, which are rife at home,” states Henderson.
Also read: Hong Kong’s Labour Market is Under Pressure, According to Hays
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