Massive developments in technology and in the ICT field have enabled more and more people to start working from their own homes. There are advancements in ICT which have led to increasing amounts of people ditching offices and workplaces, to work from the comfort of home; such as more people having access to the Internet and easier communication with a wider range of people etc.
The fact that more people have Wi-Fi in their homes now than they did 15+ years ago, means that they can access the internet from home for various purposes; for example, their work. Whereas before they had to commute to the workplace to have any access to the web allowing them to do their work, now they can simply turn on their computer or laptop at home and it’s all there. In addition, the introduction of Video Conferencing via things such as Skype and Gmail have enabled people to have ‘face-to-face’ meetings through a webcam, rather than going into work to have the meeting. This also links to the way advancements have been made with email, enabling people to send information with others through the internet. When working from home people can send information and work to their colleagues via email; saving them from printing out work and actually handing it to other people.
Individuals can gain a lot from working from their own homes. For instance, it means they don’t have to make the journey into work every (or some) mornings; they can just wake up and start their work at home. This alone reduces cost of petrol/public transport, reduces the amount of time it takes them to get to and from work and provides them with an extra hour or two in bed due to the fact that they don’t have to commute to the office. Also, some people may find working from home a much more effective environment to work in, with it being more relaxed and comfortable than a busy, noisy office. This, in turn, could potentially make people work better, quicker and possibly even enjoy their job more.
Society in general may also benefit from more people working from home. Fewer people making journeys to work would be a massive benefit for those who don’t have the option to work from home, as they don’t have to sit in masses of traffic on the roads, or cram onto tubes or buses along with other commuters; making it a more pleasurable and stress-free journey. This also reduces the amount of carbon emissions being produced by people going to work every morning, as there are fewer cars on the roads travelling to work. In addition, people will have more time on their hands when working from home; which could be used for leisure activities such as going to the gym, providing a healthier and more exercise-focussed society in general, or simply going to the cinema or shopping, creating more income for the town or city.
However there are a few disadvantages of working from home. Some people may find working from home a better environment; however this may have the opposite effect on some people, meaning they don’t create work which is of as higher standard as they would in a workplace environment; as they don’t feel they are pressured by bosses/managers etc. Also they may spend the day watching TV or doing other activities instead of their work, meaning they complete tasks incorrectly or rush them in order to meet deadlines. In the case of deadlines, some individuals may not feel the pressure of deadlines when working from home, thus taking longer to complete a task than they were given; which would have a knock on effect in their business. When thinking about the communication side, it is not uncommon for people to have problems with their internet connection; however if this happens when you are working from home, then this could have a negative impact on your work as you cannot do any of it without access to the web. Also, when sending emails, sometimes they can be misconstrued or taken in the wrong context, which may cause conflicts or disagreements between work colleagues. For example, an email which says “Can you get this done ASAP!” which is meant politely and with no menace, could be read as over aggressive or nasty in some way.