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Old 29th May 2020, 15:38   #1
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Default Pros & Cons of working from home

Related Thread - Show us your home office!

By now most of us (IT people) who are still working in India have already adapted to ‘work from home’ I believe. It is around 2 months since we all are doing WFH. I have come across some threads in this forum which talks about the ‘Pros & Cons’ of working from home or anticipates the future of WFH, but I couldn't find any which shares the actual WFH experience of last 2 months particularly. For many of us the WFH was a totally new experience, so people like me couldn’t give any input as we didn’t have the clarity of this working style. But now that most of us have already at least worked for 2 months from home so we have developed some sort of understanding out of it. So, I would like to hear your personal experience and observation from last two months, specially from Indian point of view because unlike England or USA, India (on a large scale) is quite new to it.

Pros & Cons of working from home-whatsapp-image-20200529-3.13.21-pm.jpeg

I am sharing here some observations from my last 2 months’ WFH experience. Also sharing some changes that WFH has brought into me.
  • I save more than 3 hours of commute time every day. I stay at Hinjewadi, Pune and used to travel all the way to Magarpatta, Pune for work. It’s around 27 km one way.
  • I have extra hours in my hand hence I started doing exercise at home.
  • I now sleep more as there is no need to wake up very early in the morning.
  • I can bath any time now, no need of taking a shower by 8 in the morning. Also, I feel good that I don’t need to get dressed up to work.
  • I don’t need to iron my shirts on every weekend now. Also, no need of polishing the shoes.
  • I am saving a lot on fuel.
  • My diet has increased, and I am eating more than regular quantity for lunch.
  • I am reading more books and spending more time with my bae.
  • I am not drinking coffee at all while at work, also my smoking habit is improving drastically, and I am so happy for this.
  • The most important is I am working way more than I did in office. The productivity has increased a lot. Since there is no disturbance from anyone so I can easily focus on my craft. There is no coffee/smoke break at home, so those times are also getting utilized well.
  • I have found that webex is more stable than skype.
  • If you have an inverter and stable, high-speed internet connection then there will not be any downtime from your side. I also connected using my mobile phone's internet hotspot and it serves the purpose.
  • The bad part is I am not able to logoff on time most of the days, for many days I worked for around 11 hours as something up at the last moment. If I were in the office, then I could have postponed the task for the next day but since there is no hurry of going back home now so I don’t really mind. Also I cannot go outside, so let's finish the work then.
  • Another bad thing is I get meeting requests outside my working hours nowadays just because I am at home and a small 30 minutes meeting will not do much harm to my schedule.
  • I miss my office buddies and occasional after office parties.

So, to conclude I would say that in last two months I have worked more than regular, enjoyed life more than regular, spent time with my family more than regular and developed some new habits.
I am really interest to hear your story now.

Last edited by GTO : 1st June 2020 at 08:57. Reason: Adding link to related thread - thanks for sharing :)
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Old 29th May 2020, 17:24   #2
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Default re: Pros & Cons of working from home

For me working from home is not a new thing. In my last company I mostly worked from home for almost a year before quitting. Used to go to office only once or twice a week, not by choice but due to a peculiar project situation. Not so much in the current company.
While I really like the concept of work from home and feel that all companies should make use of this in some way, but I personally do not prefer working from home more than a day a week.

I feel my concentration on work is better in office, also the momentum of the work just does not build at home.
I find myself too distracted at home, sports/ news/ youtube/ social media etc.
I like riding to my office, and it gives a chance to ride my motorcycle on weekdays too and not just weekends.
Also, being in office means better collaboration with colleagues, if you are stuck in something, you can just walk upto the person for help, rather than scheduling a webex/ skype meeting.
Also, many smaller things can be discussed just casually over coffee which is not possible working from home.
I miss the interpersonal touch with people when working from home.
You totally miss the "grape-wine", which I believe is important to know.
I feel too bored being at home and after 2-3 days of working from home, I really feel the need to work from office, even if it is really not needed.
When in office, work hours are governed by your in and out of 9 hours or so, but when at home it can casually get stretched.
My company allows casual to office, so wearing formals all the time is not an issue.

I believe a day or two in a week working from home is ideal.

Last edited by ishan12 : 29th May 2020 at 17:47.
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Old 29th May 2020, 17:39   #3
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Default re: Pros & Cons of working from home

I see your thoughts and perception is very different from mine, maybe because of your situation, or maybe because you are already used to it since last 1 year, so maybe it has become monotonous for you. But, I am quite excited about WFH as this is new to me, for the first time ever I am working from home. I am, as of now, able to manage a healthy work-life balance due to WFH.

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Originally Posted by ishan12 View Post
Also, many smaller things can be discussed just casually over coffee which is not possible working from home.
I completely agree with you on this point. At our tea breaks we used to discuss mutual funds or new cars or about switching organizations, but now I am missing those talks.
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Old 29th May 2020, 17:53   #4
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Default re: Pros & Cons of working from home

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Originally Posted by Sarkar_ask View Post
I am, as of now, able to manage a healthy work-life balance due to WFH.
I can see that, given the travel from Hinjewadi to Magarpatta even for once is a nightmare and you were having to commute all 5 working days a week.
I live in Balewadi and work is in Hinjewadi and my work hours are not during peak time, they are from 11:30 AM to 8:30 PM. So don't really get stuck in traffic often and get a nice small highway stretch to ride . My commute time is usually 20-25 minutes.
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Old 29th May 2020, 19:32   #5
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Default re: Pros & Cons of working from home

On the average, I've had about 2 days (per week) WFH over at least the last year prior to the lockdown.

Some positives with the full-time WFH over the last few months:

1> I do save more time - wasted commute is avoided; process of getting ready, packing my lunch, etc is saved.

2> The time that is saved - 3 to 4 hrs a day - has been mega productive for me both from professional as well as personal perspective.

Personal Perspective - Reading good books (non-fiction); Auditing and crediting courses online; my 3-yr olds have much improved their english language skills and also their mother tongue skills; finally the chapati I make is actually fluffing up!; did quite a bit of cooking experiments that I may not have otherwise done; completed many lockdown projects (home related);

3) I have lot more salads now than I had pre-lockdown - sprouts have become an everyday affair.

4) Quantity of my food consumption has reduced.

Some negatives:

1> My green tea habit has reverted to the regular tea - it was much easier at the office with the dispensers and those CCD green tea bags. Things have gone through various processes on this front. For now, at home, it has been kadak-chai with ginger!

2) I cannot anymore sample food from many different kitchens (colleagues).

3) The vibrant and often varied discussions are missing - both technical and non-technical.

4) Things can get difficult without UPS at home with random power interruptions. Generators take a while to kick in. Although I many times use the 4G hotspot device for most calls, the stupid airtel device itself is down these days (quite frequently) and has trouble either connecting or staying connected.

This is relatively an easier fix though with dedicated inverter/UPS system.

Overall, I feel the 100% WFH is a terrible idea. A combination is surely the right way forward - 70/30 would feel right with 70% WFH.
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Old 29th May 2020, 20:17   #6
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Default re: Pros & Cons of working from home

I started WFH for the first time in my life on Mar 24th.

Given the nature of my job, a laptop is not feasible. It is a proper workstation with 4 monitors.

Hence the biggest hurdle was the inability to buy an UPS since all stores/ ecommerce were shut. Although i stay in an apartment with 24 hours backup those 30 seconds that the generator took to kick in and again when the power came back on were super annoying since the CPU used to keep shutting down and i wasted nearly 10 mins each time in restarting all my softwares not to mention the amount of excel work I lost.

Finally got the UPS yesterday and should be fairly smooth going forward.

As such I dont miss the office environment too much although there is a feeling I am always "Switched ON" while earlier since it wasnt possible to do office work at home and hence there was a clean split between work time and family time. Will have to manage this better going forward.
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Old 29th May 2020, 21:52   #7
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Nice thread. Exactly 2.5 months of working from home and i was super excited when this happened. I stay with my parents here in Bangalore so its a pleasant experience without feeling bored of being locked in.

However, post these two months, though productivity has improved by many fold, am missing my office. The feeling of professionalism, fixed work hours, coffee breaks, traffic, etc created an environment in which i was used to. This however is kind of strange where am feeling lost! Work begins leisurely at 11am but extends all the way till 10pm every day. There are moments where i would have no work at all for hours at a stretch in the noon or evenings which is good.
But i can't wait for the day when offices re-open and the work hours are not as blurred out as now. I maybe one of the few people who favours working at office as i prefer having a structured day rather than the current situation!
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Old 31st May 2020, 02:58   #8
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Default re: Pros & Cons of working from home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
1> I do save more time - wasted commute is avoided; process of getting ready, packing my lunch, etc is saved.

2> The time that is saved - 3 to 4 hrs a day - has been mega productive for me both from professional as well as personal perspective.
I completely agree with you Miyata on the time saving part. My commute used to take 3+ hours, but now I am really happy to use those hours on reading books, watching YouTube and being with my family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anandhsub View Post
As such I dont miss the office environment too much although there is a feeling I am always "Switched ON" while earlier since it wasnt possible to do office work at home and hence there was a clean split between work time and family time. Will have to manage this better going forward.
Actually, I think this is the problem with Indian WFH style, anandhsub. In the US I see our counter parts not entertaining any official meeting, work etc. out side their work hours. They are very strict and serious about their work and working hours. But, in India I see that people try to work even after their working hours. I have received meeting requests many time at night just to match US working hours nowadays because I am at home and a 30 minutes meeting will not do any harm; but I never got those requests while I was working from office!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi7013 View Post
This however is kind of strange where am feeling lost! Work begins leisurely at 11am but extends all the way till 10pm every day. There are moments where i would have no work at all for hours at a stretch in the noon or evenings which is good.
But i can't wait for the day when offices re-open and the work hours are not as blurred out as now. I maybe one of the few people who favours working at office as i prefer having a structured day rather than the current situation!
I can completely relate to that work timing thing which you said, abhi7013. I actually have a routine meeting everyday at 9:30 AM, so I am kind of bound to start my work early but still I login at 9:30 instead of 9 AM; so yes, given that there were no morning meeting, I would have started my work from 11 am too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
1>Overall, I feel the 100% WFH is a terrible idea. A combination is surely the right way forward - 70/30 would feel right with 70% WFH.
I thing this is the exact way out for us; neither we enjoy 100% work from home nor from office. So, a 70-30 split makes perfect sense.
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Old 1st June 2020, 09:03   #9
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Default Re: Pros & Cons of working from home

Considering that work-from-home is here to stay, this is a perfectly timed thread! Thanks for sharing .

I personally love working from home. Have a small office setup in a different room (to separate home from work), am more productive due to zero time wasted in travelling and I save money on real estate. The nature of our work means it can be done from anywhere.

However, I'm really not for the entire team to be working from home all the time. My office will start calling back its team members once the situation permits & it is safe to do so. Reason = that team work & harmony has definitely gone down a bit. I miss the sheer "energy" of a charged-team working together, as well as the quick ideas + collaboration. IMHO, the overall speed of the office has also suffered.
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Old 1st June 2020, 09:30   #10
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Default Re: Pros & Cons of working from home

I always had WFH as an option, but as someone who largely value the people interaction in office, it was quite a difficult learning curve when we moved to full WFH couple of months back. Now with organizations understanding that the work from home setup is actually effective and can massively cut-down on the real-estate expenses, I believe this is going to be the new norm for a major chunk of the working population.

Given a choice, I would happily vote for going back to office; nothing can beat the face-to-face interactions, and also the brilliant coffee from the café next door
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Old 1st June 2020, 09:32   #11
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Default Re: Pros & Cons of working from home

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Reason = that team work & harmony has definitely gone down a bit.b
This is a common complaint in many companies after full time WFH has started. The reason is that communication is not complete through writing and a simple sentence can be misunderstood when written but not when spoken face to face.

There is also the 7-38-55 rule which says that only 7% communication is through the spoken word, 35% through the tone of voice and 55% through body language.

Without face to face communication misunderstandings can arise and increase. This would be across the board in most WFH situations. Quick ideas, collaboration and speed of office all improve with harmony.

Last edited by AMG Power : 1st June 2020 at 09:35.
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Old 1st June 2020, 09:45   #12
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Default Re: Pros & Cons of working from home

I'm not too much a fan of WFH. I still get up at 7 AM and do my routine (exercise, shower, breakfast) and sit at my desk at 9 AM.

Things that particularly bug me:
1. Not easy to disconnect
2. No human interaction
3. Watercooler/coffee room conversations

Whenever the proposed staged re-opening in the Bay Area occurs, I'd be one of the first to volunteer going back to the office

Mods: Possibly add a poll and let us vote either Thumbs up of Thumbs down for WFH
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Old 1st June 2020, 11:47   #13
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Default Re: Pros & Cons of working from home

For me it's very simple. If I didn't have to commute in Bangalore traffic, or if I had a metro station near the office, I'd rather go in to the office. But everything good about the office experience is negated by the horrible traffic. So WFH for me it is. For my particular role, I see absolutely no reduction in efficiency working from home for more than two months now. Hope this becomes the new normal!
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Old 1st June 2020, 12:23   #14
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Default Re: Pros & Cons of working from home

I am not a fan of WFH but at the same time, I think companies should be flexible for it.
I have my mixed set of opinions.

I stay in Pune (wakad) and working in Hinjewadi Phase 2. Office soon shifting to Kharaadi. My Hometown is Jammu, which I visit atleast 3 times a year.


Pros:

1) I spend a lot of money while travelling to Jammu and if I get WFH then I can stay for more time there. That will justify value for money spent in travel.
2) More Flexibility to work.
3) No need to bother about formals.
4) Reduced travel. Although I used to car pool a lot but still will save time here.
5) No Cigarette. Believe me, If you stay with the family you wont get a chance to smoke and end up quieting this nasty habit.

Cons:
1) Inflated electricity Bills. AC will keep on running whole day.
2) 790 sq feet flats won't have enough space to accommodate a desk.
3) No proper chairs for a good posture available at home. No place to keep laptop desk either.
4) Distractions - My kid keep on crying whole day and wife keeps calling me for everything. hahahahahhahahahah
5) Airtel Fibre is damn reliable and yes with God's grace never saw any downtown till now. But again, why should I pay for my internet, electricity bill if they are used for official purpose ?
6) Missing that office gossips and direct interactions with colleagues. A human touch will always add more value to official relations.

Last edited by bblost : 1st June 2020 at 12:41. Reason: There was an extra 6) at the end of the post.
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Old 1st June 2020, 12:39   #15
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Default Re: Pros & Cons of working from home

Voted for work from home. Below are my 2 cents,

1. Work location different from Home location: For people like me whose work location (Chennai) is different from home location (Pune), this is a perfect arrangement where we get to stay at home with family while we work. This is the first time in last 8 years (since I moved out) that I have spent so much time at home.

2. Savings: The long term work from home option will let people stay in their home town and work. Thus reducing the additional expenses one incurs (rent, home travel etc) every month.

3. Also the need to maintain multiple cars (atleast one in each location) is gone (as I am the only driver in my family).

Last edited by virajmore03 : 1st June 2020 at 12:46.
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