People are advocating for work from home (WFH) policies in their offices. Some think it’s the best working condition option. If you ask them why they think so, they will tell you that if they work from home, they will have flexible working time. That means they can wake up anytime they want to and do the job when they feel like. After all, all that is needed is for the job to get done. Another thing you might hear from the advocates of WFH is that they will work from the comfort of their homes and be near their families. You might also hear that WFH saves money that would have been used on commuting to work and paying for lunch. Well, before you opt for WFH, you may need to reflect over its disadvantages, especially for Nigerians.
The first mentioned supposed advantage of WFH is flexibility. Here people believe that they are no longer restricted to a particular period of time to do their jobs. They see WFH as a situation, whereby you “go to work” whenever you want to and then “leave” when you feel like. Well, flexible working hours may be an advantage of WFH, but then, instead of having a 9-5 working period, you will get 12-12 working hours. Here, nobody checks time for you. You are given a job and a deadline. Whether you stayed awake all through the night to do it is nobody’s business. In the office, you can shut down your computer and come back the following day to finish up the job. But in this case, you must meet the deadline or you face the music. In this working condition, there is no weekend, no off-duty, no overtime, and no clock-in and clock-out; you work 24/7.
Next “lie” that WFH uses to lure people into its cage is that it tells them that they will work from the comfort of their homes and be near their families. Of course, you will be near your family, but they are the ones that will take away that “comfort”. Just close your eyes and imagine what it is like when you are cracking your brain to sort out an issue and your children are doing acrobatic displays in the background. Or your neighbours decided that loud music is the best way to enjoy songs. Or two women across the street decided to settle their fights with shouting at each other. Just imagine the distractions you will get when the environment isn’t as conducive as that of your office, that’s what WFH will give you.
So people told you it is cheaper to work from your home. Did they tell you that you have to buy extra fuel everyday to get those jobs done? Did they tell you that you have to buy working materials (printers, scanners, papers, and so on)? Did they tell you the numerous phone calls you have to make in order to do a good job? How about the data you will spend on downloads and uploads, ever thought of them? That little money you saved from lunch and transport fare will be swallowed up by miscellaneous expenses that come with remote working. You may even spend more if care isn’t taken.
I am not trying to discourage anybody from the WFH option but you need to consider a lot of things before you opt for it. You may no longer have to jump out of the bed when the alarm sounds by 4am but you may have to stay awake till 2am. Honestly, your boss/client actually owns your time when you work from home. So if you must take this option, make sure it is the best one available.