The Benefits of Not Working From Home
7th May 2015
By: Alex Kopicki
Many people dream of working from home, envisioning flexible hours and a non-existent dress code, just steps away from their own kitchen. But the dream doesn’t always translate to a perfect reality — and in an “always connected” world, some would even say that within the majority of industries, there is no longer a clear division between home and office.
In recent years, companies like Yahoo, Best Buy, and Hewlett-Packard have been criticized for ending their work-from-home policies, but as an active employer and co-founder of a Maryland startup, I strongly believe there are several benefits associated with having an office space, whether it’s a full-time executive office or a rented coworking space only available during specific hours. Here are my top four reasons why having an office space is so important:
Collaboration: As any athlete knows, playing multiple sports makes one an all-around better athlete. Likewise, working with different teams in an office setting can help you become a more seasoned, productive employee. Effective collaboration allows for creative thinking and assists in molding problem-solving techniques. In a study done by Gensler, results showed that people who collaborate, learn and socialize work more effectively. However, time spent collaborating has decreased by 20 percent since 2008. If you work from home, with whom are you collaborating? You need to be actively engaging with people in order to succeed and get things done.
Access to Talent Pool and Teamwork: If you want your business to be successful, you need to surround yourself with exceptional people. Working in a coworking space can allow you to uncover the right people for your company. And together, you can brainstorm the best ways to execute your business plans and check out your competition to see what you are up against.
Increased Productivity: If you work from home, how many times per day do you get up to grab snacks from your kitchen? Throw in a load of laundry? We all want a balance between work and home, but continually blending the two can throw that balance out of whack. And not only do these distractions take you away from your work — according to the American Psychological Association, research shows that heavy multitasking can have a negative effect on productivity.
Career Advancement: To be successful in your career, you need to be engaged with your company. If you work for a big corporation like Yahoo, the office and culture is constantly changing. You need to be an active member of the corporate culture and participate in team-building opportunities to stay connected. You also need to be in the same room as someone to fully understand that person’s energy and focus. Not to mention your relationships with co-workers and supervisors will be stronger if you spend time face to face. This is also important in a co-working space, as you need to stay up to date with your competition and continue to learn trends in your industry.
Work-from-home policies will continue to be a popular topic of conversation in the next few years, but to me the answer is crystal clear: To succeed, you need to keep up. And to keep up, you need to get up, get out of the house and go to work.
You can dream big at home, but to succeed requires collaboration, teamwork, and focused tenacity.