Even before the coronavirus made working from home a requirement for a lot of workers, many were already in the habit of working remotely. In fact, statistics show that, in 2018, there were more than four million remote workers in the United States – an increase of 140% from just 13 years prior. So, how do you know if a work from home policy is right for your company? Should your employees be allowed to work remote full time, or just a day or two per week? And just how will you monitor productivity among remote workers? There are a lot of questions to ask yourself and to ask of your employees. Likewise, employees may have some questions for you about your expectations if such a policy is enacted. Obtaining all of this feedback can be accomplished with opinion polls or a work from home survey.
Pros and Cons of Working from Home
Working from home (WFH) may be one person’s heaven and another’s hell. Some may find themselves more productive than ever, while others may feel completely isolated (even before social distancing was a thing).
So, here are some of the most agreed upon pros and cons of remote work, which can serve as the basis for some of your work from home survey questions that you’ll create later.
Pros of Working From Home
- Save Time and Money. When you WFH, there’s no need to get onto a crowded bus or subway, or spend time commuting in the car in heavy traffic. This also saves you money on public transportation, gas, and costly wear-and-tear on your car. Of course, you can also prepare food at home (maybe even a healthier meal) and skip the trips to overpriced restaurants.
- Increased Comfort. Yes, unless you have an important video call, you can often work in your pajamas and skip the hair and makeup. You can also work from the comfort of your own couch, with a pet curled up next to you.
- Better Work/Life Balance. WFH often means more flexibility. This means you can work when you feel most productive, as long as you get the work done. So, you might be able to attend more school events, have breakfast with the family, or make more dinner dates with a spouse or friend due to your flexible schedule.
- Your Own Working Environment. No more noisy co-workers, drab office atmosphere – and no more cube! When you WFH, you can create your own office, and who knows, it could be a park one day and a coffee shop the next!
- Better Health. Studies have shown that remote workers don’t get sick as often as their in-office colleagues. This could be because they’re eating healthier and working out at home, feeling less stressed, or avoiding exposure to the countless germs that can be brought into a closed workspace.
Cons of Working From Home
- Less Interaction with Colleagues. Sure, you may have online meetings and video chats from time to time, but you do lose a lot of the in-person interaction and camaraderie. For some, especially extroverts, this lack of social interaction is a major downfall.
- No Off Switch. WFH can make it hard to separate your business and personal life. Because there’s no commute—a hard stop for the day for most people—some remote workers wind up working long into the evening.
- Too Many Distractions. Should you throw in a load of laundry? Run to the grocery store? Catch a show on Netflix? These are distractions the remote worker may consider, and this doesn’t even factor in having a spouse, kids, or pet seeking your time and attention.
- Lack of Collaboration. Despite the aforementioned video chats, collaboration still becomes more challenging when WFH. Some things are just easier and quicker to explain in person, but when your colleague isn’t sitting next to you, you’re less likely to ask for help or to brainstorm.
- Lack of Productivity. Now, some will argue that they’re more productive at home (and some studies show this to be true). But some people also need the pressure of having someone always looking over their shoulder. Without it, they may lack motivation and get less work done.
Creating a Work from Home Survey
Armed with some of the most commonly cited pros and cons of remote work, it’s time to make those employee or employer surveys! Whether you’re an employee wanting to make a WFH policy recommendation to your company, or an employer wanting to know if your staff thinks adopting a remote working policy is a good idea, online surveys can help.
Online work from home surveys can give employers the answers they seek regarding adopting a WFH policy, and give employees the ammo they need to help put one into effect. They can also allow employers to check in on employees to see how new policies adopted in the wake of the coronavirus crisis are going.
Luckily, SurveyLegend makes it easy! Employers and employees can create work from home surveys online. Each survey is pre-designed—making them easy to create—and they’re also pretty easy on the eyes! Check out some of our Employee/Company templates here, and then get started creating your surveys with SurveyLegend for free!
Are you offering remote work opportunities to your employees? If so, how is it working out – and have you surveyed them? Let us know in the comments below!
Frequency Asked Questions (FAQs)
In 2018, there were more than four million remote workers in the United States – an increase of 140% from just 13 years prior. This number continues to increase especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saving time and money, increased comfort, better work/life balance, better health, and a potential increase in productivity.
Less interaction with colleagues, no “off switch”, distractions, lack of collaboration, and a potential lack of productivity.