If you have the choice, do you prefer working from home or from your office? And why?

Romain Cauchy
24 replies
On my side, I think I'd rather be at the office. Not just a question of being productive or concentrate. But I feel like being in a working environment, providing co-workers are there too, allows me to feel the collective craze going on. I'd say it's more stimulating! What do you think?


Mr Ethar Alali
This is a really interesting question. I own @axelisys and we have been working "anywhere-first" for about 7 years. It was part of a much bigger objective to create an organisation that's robust against economic shocks like the financial crisis and now, COVID-19. So I'm very used to working from anywhere. Many of the team are. However, we still have a virtual office where the mail comes and the switchboard is. We use co-working spaces with an optimal mix of membership and day passes, if folk prefer to work from an office. We use Consumer Driven Contracts to pull work from each other (basically using JIRA tickets with acceptance criteria for everything, including marketing) and that work can be carried out any time of day, from anywhere. So we have the flexibility to let people work from wherever they find most comfortable and around whatever other commitments they may have.
Amira Mansour
@axelisys @ethar_alali Looks like it's really nice to work in your company šŸ˜. I do prefer working from home. I am more productive, and I can get done a LOT more than at the office. Mostly because at the office, I keep being distracted by the environment around me to which I am really sensitive.
Mr Ethar Alali
@sansa We have generally found productivity increases by 35% on average. Which is about in-line with studies around home-working. Some people find working from home difficult because of the isolation, but overall everyone seems happy enough. It also ensures people don't have to choose between their kids and their work, or caring for elderly parents, or whatever else. It's always been a false dichotomy. However, industry itself was taught it 200 years ago and pushed it on every generation since. I hope @axelisys is proof it doesn't have to be that way!
Romain Cauchy
@sansa @axelisys @ethar_alali Very interesting thanks for sharing! I guess I'm part of a minority but I totally understand your POV. For me, COVID-19 and forced remote working made me realise I actually love my work environment and I feel more useful among my coworkers.
Mr Ethar Alali
@sansa @axelisys @romaincauchy Trust me, IME of having done this for so long, everyone at best, criticises and at worst, hates, the idea until they actually do it with an appropriate, meritocratic framework for pay and consideration. The lightbulb moment comes, and you can see it in their faces. But for many who are used to working in an office, this comes with two other emotions. - Anxiety that they will do something wrong. This is tied into something akin to impostor syndrome. However, the rule is simple. Do the ticket, get paid. We have almost no other rules apart from those that run the dev process. - Guilt that they are getting paid lots to do what feels like easy work. This comes from the loss of the cognitive load of form filling and monitoring. If anyone feels like a day off, just take one. I don't care. Being selfish, and slightly facetious, it takes time out of my day to care :-D I've been talking about remote work for 17 years. Indeed, I basically "stopped" talking about it in around 2010, because there was a huge backlash from various people (some with vested interests, but most without). The classical thinking was "At home, you can't separate work and life and we need a work life balance" yet the methods advocated, competed for a precious resource (time) and that creates stressors around it. Any such competition for a precious resource, also creates unnecessary management overhead, for a much worse ultimate outcome. In corporates, this will often mean a new VPN, HR forms, absence/sickness, holiday pay... every one of those extra overheads JUST to work from home, which you then have to store somewhere and access at particular times, your boss has to find someone to cover etc. In general, every day off you want to take, required 4 person-days of paperwork and management. Our method, it's natural. For example, if you worked for someone and could only get a doctor's appointment for 11am, then you have have to tell your boss, perhaps fill out a form, then have a meeting with your boss when you got back in, and your boss has to take time out of their day to check up on you and also check you were not pulling a sicky and report that in an HR form etc etc etc etc. With our method (work when, how and where you like) there isn't a competition. You live your life and work around your commitments. We don't have junior or senior splits in the company, everyone gets paid the same per column-ticket. So sometimes classical "juniors" can be better than "seniors" and that method is automatically rewarded. There is ZERO extra management, because that is our default position. The trouble is, it's taken a global pandemic to show people the better side. Even worse for us, we can't get a break! :-D Most media and web outlets focused on companies who've had to change in response to the pandemic not ones who've been doing this since forever [and in doing so, those outlets risk promoting bad practises or ones we've seen not work nearly a decade ago]. Many companies who have absolutely zero experience running such firms are now branding themselves as experts even though they didn't know what this was at the start of the year. This stores up a host problems for later on. Sure, with a potential backlash but also because the methods advocated by them, can, and do, lead to WORSE productivity overall. Anyway, I'm ranting again :-D
Roman Velitskiy
@sansa @axelisys @romaincauchy @ethar_alali Absolutely agree. I love your point about the relative "novelty" of the work/home separation in the historical context. Before the first industrial revolution, people did mostly work where they lived. Now, with an exponential increase in tech common accessibility and reliability, we can finally bring this beautiful experience back to life. Just a small tip from personal experience: even if you don't have daily video calls, don't forget to wear something just a bit more restrictive than your pajamas :D This might sound obvious to some and insignificant to others, but I do notice a slight performance decrease when I occasionally forget to change to my "home-office outfit".
Aaron O'Leary
Home, I find the majority of time in an office is more or less wasted with some work done. I'm super productive at home vs the office
David Wilson
I really like to work from office 2 days per week. but to be honest, I'm a lot more efficient when I work remotely.
Romain Cauchy
@new_user_2896ad1e65 Thanks for sharing. Here we can choose to work from home 2 days a week. I personnaly never work from home but I could reconsider!
Ruslan Rayanov
Just today I wrote an article for customers who want to come to the office to sign documents. We have finally switched to remote work, by the way, the company is developing web applications based on its own platform. https://falconspace.site/blog/po...
Naureen Anwar
For me, I can live with a hybrid model where you go to work 2-3 days of the week and work remotely the rest of the time. There are certain aspects of going to work that I really love. Seeing my colleagues every day and having watercooler conversations is an important part of building company culture. It may not be optimal for productivity but there is something intangible that you gain from interacting with smart interesting people that you can't get with remote work, yet. The brainstorming sessions and bouncing off ideas from each other are something I really miss. On the other hand, there is also a time and place for deep work, and in these situations working from home makes sense. A mix of the two is ideal.
Romain Cauchy
@naureenanwar What you describe about social/working interactions is precisely what I have in mind, and what I fear I'd miss in a full-remote job. Where I work, we can have 2 days a week at home and it seems like a good compromise indeed.
Peter Pezaris
Been doing remote work for 25+ years and enjoying it.
Peder Johnsen
I love working from home and don't want to go back to working in an office! (all though I'll admit offices CAN be cool, but the pros with working from home outweighs any of the pros an office can have for me personally) ā€¢ I have so much more extra time every day from not commuting (even though I don't actually live far from the office, traffic is always slow) ā€¢ I save money on fuel and by not buying expensive lunches. ā€¢ I can blast my much needed music on my speakers without disturbing my team mates ā€¢ I'm also finding that any distractions I have at home have a lesser negative effect on my productivity than the distractions I usually get in the office has. On a side note, I also class myself as an introvert, so I have no problem with not being around other people, and can get all my social needs through text chats. I know that's not the case for everyone so understand how some people still like having an office to go to.
Jesse Jensen
You didn't have this option: I would prefer to work at home and walk 50 feet away to "the office". A nice little pod for me to do work and stuff, not like a house or building.
Sergey Shihaleev
Well, it depends on the tasks and the situation. Cannot say exactly.
Maryia Rudnik
I prefer to work from home. I am a mother of 5 daughters and I always need to be with my children in the quick access zone. But at the same time, I try to organize my workplace so as not to be distracted from work unnecessarily. So I am calm for the children and can devote a lot of time to work.