Since the early 2020s and the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in hybrid and fully remote working, with more workers thinking about how they can make their working hours fit in with their lifestyles.

There are many pros to working from home. No commute, more time to rest, saving money on fuel or public transport costs, and greater flexibility. There are, however, also advantages to working in an office. It’s less isolating and lonely, and at-home distractions and a need to stay motivated aren’t as much of an issue.

Everyone is different in terms of what works for them, so let’s take a look at working from home vs the office, weighing up their advantages and disadvantages.

Working from home vs the office statistics

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which conducted a survey of homeworkers in Great Britain between September 2022 and January 2023, workers who were educated to either degree or post-degree level and who were in the highest income band were the most likely to state fully remote working or hybrid working.

Self-employed workers were the most likely group of people to work from home entirely (32%), while only 14% of employees worked from home fully. 4 in 10 workers in London reported a mixture of home and office work (a hybrid arrangement). [1]

By no longer having a commute and working from home, the average British worker saves five hours a week, which comes to 240 hours a year. Remote or hybrid workers are also four times more likely to get GP appointments that they can attend in person within a week, as they can be flexible with their time and attend during working hours. [2]

working from home benefits

According to a UK Parliament Postbrief on the impacts of hybrid and remote working on workers and organisations, in February 2022, 47% of people who worked from home in some capacity found that it improved their well-being. 78% of those who worked from home also said that it enabled them to have a better work/life balance. [3]

According to a report by recruitment agency Hays PLC, 43% of employees worked entirely from home during August and September 2023. Fewer than two-fifths of employees are working a hybrid setup, and one-fifth are working fully remotely. There is currently a push-pull between employees and employers in terms of office vs remote working, with workers preferring more flexibility, and more UK employers wanting more people in the office, like their US counterparts. [4]

Working in an office has its benefits too, such as socialisation. Working remotely can be lonely and isolating. According to visitor management company Envoy, 34% of workers are choosing to socialise more with colleagues in the office, while 27% are making the effort to meet new people. 24% of workers are attending more post-work events, which can help build positive working relationships and help to contribute to employee satisfaction. [5]

Working from home: The advantages

Back in the days before the Covid-19 pandemic, remote working was considered something of a luxury, and wasn’t the norm. Nowadays, either fully remote or hybrid working has become very common for many professionals worldwide.

This shift in how, where, and when people like to work brings with it many advantages, turning traditional work structures and fixed office schedules upside down and offering workers more flexibility. Here are some key benefits of working from home vs working from an office:


Remote working offers greater flexibility than working fixed hours in an office. Employees can tailor their schedules to accommodate events, appointments, and duties in their lives such as childcare, doctor appointments, or time to study for a qualification.

In having more flexibility, workers’ work-life balance is not only improved, but they can also boost their productivity levels by doing their work in the hours when they are feeling most inspired and productive, taking breaks whenever they need to.

flexibility of working from home

Financial savings

No longer having a daily commute to and from an office saves both time and money. Remote workers don’t have to endure rush-hour traffic, delays with public transport, or spend extra money on fuel, trains, buses, or parking. The time saved by not having a commute can mean more time resting and relaxing in the morning, helping workers to feel less tired and more productive.

More time for personal growth

Working from home helps workers to schedule their professional and personal lives in a way that works for them. Employees can spend more time studying, pursuing hobbies, taking time with family, or focusing on self-care and mental health like going for a walk, meditating, or exercising. Remote workers also have more control over their working environment, which can lower stress levels.

Increased productivity

A busy office can prove distracting with other people nearby, so it’s no surprise that remote workers report higher levels of productivity. When working from home, a worker can create their own quiet space free from interruptions, allowing a person to accomplish more in less time and manage their own time more productively.

Hiring from a worldwide talent pool

Geographical barriers to the hiring process can be broken down if workers are working from home. Candidates have more options in terms of job roles, as they no longer have to apply for a job based on their location. Employers can also hire the best talent regardless of their location, leading to more diverse working teams.

Working from home: The disadvantages

While working from home can be a great arrangement for many people, it can present challenges to both employees and employers. Here are some key disadvantages of working from home:

Work-life separation

Without a physical separation between the office and a home location, this can lead to the blurring of boundaries between work and personal life. Remote workers may find it challenging to disconnect from work, leading them to work longer hours than they need to or to check emails outside of office hours. A lack of boundaries can lead to decreased emotional well-being and raised stress levels.

Loneliness and feeling isolated

For extroverts and people who rely on social interaction, having a lack of daily face-to-face interactions with colleagues can lead to feeling disconnected and isolated. This sense of isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness, which can negatively impact mental health and job satisfaction. Remote workers can also experience work-from-home fatigue, which involves demotivation and burnout associated with home working.

Communication problems

For collaborative teams who are working on a project together, effective communication is very important. Working from home and relying solely on an internet connection can be unreliable – especially when using virtual tools such as email, chat, or video conferencing.

Poor internet connections, software crashing, or hardware problems can lead to delays and frustration for remote workers, impacting their ability to meet deadlines. Delays in response times can occur, and a lack of non-verbal cues such as body language can make effective remote communication more difficult in remotely-based teams.

Environmental distractions

Working from home can come with plenty of distractions, including pets, children, other family members, housework and noise from the surrounding area. Without an office environment, some workers may struggle to be strict with themselves and focus on work.

Limitations on career growth

Remote work may limit career growth opportunities, particularly in industries or roles that require in-person collaboration or networking. Remote workers may miss out on valuable face-to-face interactions with colleagues, mentors or clients, which can hinder professional development and job prospects.

Remote workers may be overlooked for promotions or opportunities for career advancement compared to their office-based counterparts, as companies may favour those working in the office.

Ergonomic problems

In an office, resolving health and safety issues and ensuring an ergonomic working space can be ensured. Creating a comfortable and ergonomic workspace at home can be challenging for remote workers.

Without proper seating and an ergonomic chair and desk, remote workers who work from the sofa or a bed can have poor posture and an increased risk of musculoskeletal issues such as back pain or repetitive strain injuries. Without access to ergonomic office furniture or equipment like standing desks, remote workers may experience long-term health problems linked to prolonged sitting on furniture that isn’t ergonomic.

Working from the office: The advantages

Despite the rise in remote work, there are some key benefits to working from an office. Here are some of them:

Improved teamwork and collaboration

If a worker needs to take part in a spontaneous interaction and have a quick face-to-face collaboration with a colleague, they can do so without being hindered by distance and setting up either a virtual call or sending a message.

Being physically present in the same space allows for quick and easy brainstorming sessions, problem-solving, and a better sense of community. It can also foster closer connections between team members and allow for effective team building for colleagues.

teamwork and collaboration office work

A structured routine and environment

For some people, working in an office leads to greater productivity because it gives them a greater sense of personal discipline, structure and routine. Having clear boundaries between work and home allows employees to focus on work tasks during designated hours and then disconnect when they are at home. This not only improves time management but also work-life balance.

Opportunities for career and skill development

Offices often provide various opportunities for skill development such as workshops and training courses. Being in the same physical space as colleagues and supervisors also leads to pooled knowledge and learning through physical experience. Offices can from time to time also host events such as conferences and talks, or networking events, which can lead to career growth.

developing skills by working in the office

Easily available resources and equipment

Offices are equipped with tools and technology that workers can make the most of, which may not be available from their homes. From advanced software to equipment and other facilities like break rooms, offices provide a space for efficient and effective work.

Promoting company culture and professionalism

An office is a central hub for company culture. Employees feel more connected to their company’s mission, strategies and goals when they are in the office working collaboratively with others. Building strong relationships with colleagues also cultivates a sense of belonging. A physical office space also conveys professionalism, stability and a sense of success to clients, partners and stakeholders.

Working from the office: The disadvantages

Working in an office has long been a requirement for many professionals. But with the growth of remote working, some people have noticed great disadvantages in having to attend an office frequently, including:

The stress of a frequent commute

One of the biggest downsides to working in an office is having a daily commute, which can be unpredictable and stressful if delays occur. Having to deal with traffic congestion, public transportation delays, and travelling in all kinds of weather can make some workers feel tired before they’ve even reached the office. Long commutes back home can also eat into personal time in the evenings, which can have a negative impact on work-life balance.

A lack of flexibility

Working in the office means sticking to a rigid schedule, with set hours and limited flexibility. Regardless of individual preferences or productivity patterns, employees have to conform to strict working hours.

This lack of flexibility can be tough on people with responsibilities such as childcare, those with health issues or disabilities, or other personal commitments such as caring for a loved one. Balancing these responsibilities with personal life can be challenging for office-based employees, which could lead to working longer hours to make time up, increased stress and burnout.

Dealing with conflict and office politics

Every office has its own politics, conflicts and interpersonal tensions. Competitive work environments, struggles with management and power, and clashes among different personality types can create a toxic working atmosphere that can lower productivity and worker happiness. Resolving conflicts can be frustrating and tiresome, and can divert attention away from work tasks.

Frequent interruptions

Noisy colleagues, listening to people on the phone, in-office discussions and other distractions can cause interruptions in workflow and concentration. It can be more challenging to maintain focus and complete tasks efficiently in a busy office environment.

Health worries

Spending a lot of time working fixed hours in front of a computer can take a toll on employees’ physical health. Sedentary behaviour can lead to poor posture and musculoskeletal problems, such as back and neck pain and repetitive strain injuries. Shared office spaces and increased contact with others can also lead to the spread of viruses and germs, leading to absenteeism and the potential for missed deadlines.

The takeaway

There are certainly pros and cons to working from home vs the office. What workers decide to do depends on their personal circumstances, preferences and needs, and their employer’s requirements. Working from home offers flexibility and autonomy, but it can affect well-being, productivity and career growth and/or promotions. Companies and workers need to establish clear communication policies to ensure that teams stay collaborative, and invest in giving workers the right ergonomic equipment such as seating and desks, to ensure a successful remote working experience.

Working in an office offers structure, social interaction and access to resources, but it can give workers additional stresses such as a lack of flexibility, commuting stress, and the headache of office politics and distractions. Employers need to recognise these disadvantages and adapt their policies to make office working more flexible and appealing, so that workers have better well-being and productivity levels.


[1] ONS: Characteristics of Homeworkers in Great Britain – 

[2] Stnaodut CV: Remote Working Statistics UK – 

[3] UK Parliament: The Impact of Remote and Hybrid Workers on Organisations – 

[4] Fortune:  UK Employees Working More in Office Than From Home – 

[5] Envoy: What is the Value of Working in an Office? – 

Similar Posts