Ayomide Adeniyi, Olumide Olugotun
In-Office vs. Remote: Weighing the Two Sides of the Work-Life Coin
Should you work In-office or Remotely? Find out.
The experience of working in an office is something that I think every remote worker has enjoyed or endured at some point, especially if you are from Nigeria like me.
Truth be told, Remote work does it best for me. If I do get an in-office role in the future – it should be paying in Millions of Naira before I can consider it. I mean you get what I’m driving at – Nothing beats remote work, is it the freedom to work from my bed, still in my PJs unless of course there might be a meeting so I have to look a bit formal or the flexibility to work from anywhere. However, in-office roles still have their own unique charms to some. I have friends that prefer hybrid, and In-office roles, because they are extremely extroverted, and can get bored working from home.
Today, let’s talk, dig, and explore the bright side of physical workplaces (in-office) and why some folks just can’t resist the office banter compared to remote workspace. The truth is, there’s no right or wrong answer! Both options have their own set of pros and cons, and the perfect fit depends on your work style, preferences, and career goals. So, are you Team Office or Team Remote?
I look forward to reading your comments.
What was your in-office experience like if you have transitioned to a remote workspace and if you are a desk lover – would you consider transitioning as well?
You are new to the career space (Welcome) – Which one do you like better?
Let's Start with the pros and cons of the office workspace:
PROS of The Office Workspace-
- Building bonds/Relationships – You know some people will decide to stay in an organization because of the relationship they have built with colleagues. Those cooler chats mostly referred to as “office gossip”, shared lunches – those office couples even though they both have their separate spouses outside the office, and impromptu coffee breaks weave a web of reasons why I and some few others might miss in-office space. The office becomes a social hub, fostering friendships and a sense of belonging that can translate into stronger teamwork and mutual support.
– Collaboration Central – Picture this – In an organization where there is a solid relationship between colleagues, you get to find out that Brainstorming becomes easy and dynamic ideas flow freely, fueled by spontaneous dealing with one another and there is the ease of grabbing a colleague for a quick discussion. Teamwork thrives in the physical space, stimulating creativity and problem-solving through in-the-moment exchanges.
- Learning and Development –
Many people have argued over physical learning and virtual learning, well that may be another topic for another day, but here is what I have to say – Mentorship takes on a tangible form in an in-office space, with senior colleagues readily available for guidance and advice. Training sessions become an interactive experience, and the office itself buzzes with knowledge-sharing opportunities. Some may say that a combination of both is the most effective approach. Regardless of the chosen method, investing in learning and development is crucial for personal and professional growth, and can lead to increased job satisfaction and success.
"Now that companies have built the framework – and experienced the cost and time savings associated with it – there's no real reason to turn back."
- Mark Lobosco, VP of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn.
CONS of The Office Workspace –
The Struggle of Commuting is a daily challenge in big cities. You most likely know how tough it is to transport to and from work every day. Commuting can be a real pain, consuming precious time and energy, causing tension, and hurting productivity. It can also mess up your work-life balance, making it difficult to separate personal and professional responsibilities. Lagos Nigeria office workers on this table.
Open offices are great for increasing collaboration, however, they can also be a major source of distractions. Noise, interruptions, and visually distracting coworkers can make it tough to focus and get work done. For instance, think of a co-worker you have a crush on walking in front of your desk all day – it’s almost certain that you won’t be able to get any work done that day.
In-office roles often come with fixed working hours and less flexibility compared to remote work. This can prove to be a challenge for employees who must juggle professional obligations with personal duties, such as caring for children or elderly loved ones.
For companies, maintaining an office space comes with significant overhead costs, including rent, utilities, and office supplies. For employees, the financial burden of office attire, meals, and transportation can add up over time.
"Remote work is about the flexibility to build a lifestyle that allows you to plan your work around your ideal life, not the other way around."
- Mandy Fransz, Co-creator & Chief Community Officer at Remote Workers Worldwide
PROS of The Remote Workspace –
- Flexibility Freedom – Flexibility is everything to me, I won’t thrive in a job that isn’t flexible. Especially in Nigeria, you can’t do away with family responsibilities or emergencies as we call it. Some thrive in office environments, craving social interactions and structure. But for me and many, the freedom remote work offers is a true blessing. Imagine you’re a parent with young kids. With remote work, you can drop them off at school, attend their parent-teacher meeting, and still meet work deadlines – all without rushing or missing out on family moments.
- Cost Savings –
Imagine you commute to work every day, you spend money on fuel, bus fares, or train tickets. These costs add up over time – thousands of naira annually. Now, with remote work, that money can be redirected. Instead of fueling your car, it can fuel your internet subscription. (So, how much do you spend on your internet subscription every month?)Also, When you work from home, you skip pricey lunches at cafes or restaurants. No more daily snack runs or expensive takeout. Plus, you’re not buying office attire – those suits, blouses, and ties. Your wardrobe becomes more casual, and your wallet breathes a sigh of relief. Now the dilemma would be years later – all of a sudden, your wardrobe is outdated. 😂
- Focus & Productivity –
Fewer distractions are one benefit of working from home. No noisy colleagues chatting by your desk, no impromptu meetings disrupting your train of thought. It’s like having a quiet library all to yourself – a haven for focused work. When distractions vanish, you dive into what psychologists call “flow.” It’s that magical state where time flies, and you’re fully immersed in a task.
"True productivity is not bound by a physical office; it thrives wherever passion meets purpose."
CONS of The Remote Workspace –
- Collaboration Challenges –Unlike the in-office space where brainstorming and teamwork are easily accessible via whisper, in remote workspace, it can be more challenging in a remote setting. Building relationships and fostering a sense of team spirit requires deliberate effort and effective communication tools to bridge the physical distance.
- Isolation/Loneliness –
Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness for some individuals. The lack of face-to-face interaction and social connection can negatively impact mental well-being and morale. This is why as a remote worker – go out, meet with friends in your free time, and sign up for that gym/class. You’ve got this.
- Blurry Work-life Lines –
When your workplace is your home sweet home, it can be tough to switch off and unplug from the job. To be honest, without a clear-cut office space, finding that work-life balance can feel like a never-ending game. The solution is simple: set an off-time.
- Distraction Devils–
Temptations like household chores, spouse and kids, social media, or even Netflix can lurk around every corner in a home space. Staying focused and disciplined can be challenging without the structure and accountability of a physical workplace.
"Working remotely is not about escaping the office; it's about creating a workspace that inspires and motivates.".
When it comes to deciding between in-office and remote work, it’s ultimately a personal decision. To determine which setting will help you thrive and reach your career goals, it’s important to consider your own needs, preferences, and work style. To learn more about making the right choice, check out some courses on Trevolearn’s website. www.trevolearn.com
By taking the time to assess your needs and considering the pros and cons of each option, you can make an informed decision that will help you thrive in your career. Remember, your career journey is unique – choose the path that aligns with your goals and aspirations!