Advantages & Disadvantages Onsite & Offsite Work

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    The way we go about our day-to-day working lives has changed dramatically over the past 12 months. Remote working is here to stay. The way business dealings are done, teams are led, and allocated tasks has changed as well. A recent survey by the HSO revealed 50% of the UK workforce would either be working from home or working from the office part-time within the next few years.

    A decade ago, working from home would have been unthinkable. However, the advantages of flexible or remote working are now clear. While remote working is not new, the advancement of technology has made it much easier and more cost-effective. As a result, more employers see the value of remote work.

    In light of these new freedoms and choices, many employers may need to rethink how they structure our working lives, as many businesses now operate virtually to save money. As a result, creating a ‘workplace’ that works for both employers and employees will be difficult.

    But if you are considering the impact of remote working for your teams, it is essential first to consider the pros and cons of these entirely different working styles: 

    Advantages Of Offsite Work

    Digital Boom!  Digital BoomWe are in a new technological era. As more tech devices and apps become popular, technology may readily empower different areas of human life. As a result, life is easier and more productive.  

    Thanks to new technological advances in project management software, it is now much easier for organisations to conduct online training and management and constantly communicate with their staff.
    Work anywhere & everywhereWork anywhere & everywhereJust as the tech is taking over, the remote lifestyle is too. People are now interested in developing a digital nomad lifestyle that can work anywhere and anytime and, therefore, is not restricted to the regular 9-5 desk job anymore. You can still be just as productive relaxing on a beach, managing and sending emails and taking part in conference calls.  
    Attract new talentAttract new talentHomeworking can be offered as an incentive to new employees, helping you attract new talent. In addition, offering employees the option to work from home gives you a competitive advantage over competitors who do not.  
    Better work/life balanceBetter work life balance      Working from home can help employees achieve a better work-life balance. For example, individuals who would have had to commute can now utilise that time, resulting in a more balanced work-life. Staff can also fit in domestic tasks during their lunch break to give them more free time in the evenings, such as gardening, catching up on laundry or preparing dinner for the family.  
    Be connected always!  Be connected always!Video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become an essential technology for remote working employees. These tools can act as a virtual office, enabling a workforce that could be scattered globally to collaborate on projects effortlessly, share screens and communicate by message, call, or have face-to-face meetings.
    Low utilities   (£ not $)  low utilitiesAllowing staff to work from home saves on heating and electricity bills, security, office supplies, expenses, parking spaces and refreshments. This has meant the amount saved has been re-invested into IT hardware & software, giving staff the tools, they need to do their day jobs just as effectively as if they were in the office.  
    Increased motivationIncreased motivationEmployees will feel more trusted by their company if they work from home because the working connection is less closely controlled, and they have more ownership to manage their workloads. Employees will be happier if they can work from home in a way that suits them, which can increase their motivation.
    Reduced childcare costsReduced childcare costsWorking from home means reducing your childcare costs as you will have more opportunities to look after your children yourself. In addition, you can get more done without getting distracted and feel more motivated as you do not have the stress of commuting.

    The prospect of working from the comfort of your own home outdoes any of the advantages we have mentioned above.

    Most research has found that employees feel more freedom when working from home, increasing productivity and motivation. There are usually fewer interruptions, especially if the office space where you work has an open plan set up. In addition, working in a calm and peaceful atmosphere means you.

    Disadvantages Of Offsite Work

    Working from home doesn’t suit everyone: Working from home isn’t for everyone. Some employees may appreciate the routine and structure of working in an office. On the other hand, some employees prefer face-to-face connections with co-workers and managers to complete tasks and achieve goals. It would be best if you also considered disabled staff as working from home might jeopardise their employment support. Working from home may not suit everyone’s lifestyle. Some people have young children who may cause disruptions during the working day, while others may lack physical space to build a functioning workspace.

    Risk of error: Working in the same building makes it much easier to communicate and collaborate. This can be difficult when working from home, especially if your colleagues are slow to respond to emails. A simple task that would have taken a few minutes in the office can take much longer when working from home. Offsite working will always risk errors no matter how good your communication or response rate is. Planning project timelines and deliverables helps avoid confusion and potential conflicts, which are common issues with remote working and hinder effective team collaboration.

    Less teamwork and interaction: Take a break from your own “four walls” and travel to work and enjoy your co-workers’ company. It can be a welcome break from home life, especially for single workers. Less employee communication may erode teamwork, leaving you ‘out of the loop’ on everyday matters, sales and project updates, and promotions. This loss of interaction may cause mental health issues for some employees.

    No urgent meetings: With offsite, there is no concept of urgent meetings. Team meetings and discussions can always be carried out through online meeting portals, but the timing of the meeting will always depend on the various employees’ availability.

    Obviously, in an office situation, an urgent meeting can be called in minutes if the participants are all available in the office.

    Isolation: Friendships can be formed over lunch or after-work social events, creating more inclusion. Outside workers can quickly feel isolated as co-workers see them as “outsiders” who are not part of the company. Remote employees can be perceived as not working as hard as in-office employees because they are not overseen in person.

    Advantages Of Onsite Working

    Teamwork    TeamworkAs the saying goes, “teamwork makes the dream work”. The positive teamwork spirit is palpable when everyone is together, working on a common goal. A competitive element can create a healthy and productive working environment.  
    Motivation & Productivity  Motivation & ProductivityOn-site employees can motivate one another, boosting team morale. Teammates are also there to help when they need questions answered or a solution to a problem. But, again, this is difficult to replicate remotely.
    Direct control  Direct controlIf a problem arises while working on-site, you can immediately contact the most appropriate team member. You can instantly gather your team to discuss the pros and cons or get their approval before proceeding. Even with video calling, getting all the necessary people together at short notice is probably impossible.  
    Confidentiality  ConfidentialitySome tasks require utmost confidentiality and secrecy. For example, pitches, proposals, and client presentations require the immediate team to be present and discuss details in private. Sadly, finding a solution when staff aren’t present is tricky. On-site work ensures that company software is installed securely and that documents and information are stored or circulated safely.  
    No infrastructure disruption   No infrastructure disruptionOn-site access to printers and shredders and faster and more reliable internet allows for a more efficient work setup. Also, if there is a hardware or software issue, there is usually on-site IT support rather than trying to resolve it over the phone.

    Disadvantages Of Onsite Working

    High utilities: Having a fully furnished physical space where your entire team can work together is not cheap. Keeping the lights on can be costly, from lease arrangements to electricity, stationery, IT hardware, and refreshments! Aside from office expenses, hiring and training staff to manage your growing client base can be costly. So, balancing incoming client fees and maintaining this outgoing expenditure can be difficult, especially when money is tight.

    Increased stress: In an office, you may feel you are under more scrutiny from either your line manager or your colleagues around you, resulting in the employee feeling more stressed in the workplace and, therefore, seeing a dip in their productivity and capacity to work.

    Less flexibility: You set your alarm, eat a quick breakfast or grab a morning coffee, catch your scheduled train or bus, and arrive at your desk by 9 am, ready to start your working day!

    Working from home allows for a more flexible structure. If your company is new to remote work, they may still want all employees to work 9-5. With remote work, you can get up later, dress more casually, and shut down your laptop whenever you want, whether at 5 am or later in the evening. Of course, the 9-to-5 schedule may not suit all employees who prefer a more flexible schedule. 


    Making the right future decision for your small business, we would suggest you conduct a survey, asking employees for their opinions. Every employee will have a different experience working from home or in the office, and you must get everyone’s views. The insights will help you make informed decisions about whether flexible working, office working or full-time home working from here is the best approach for your business. Then, monitor performance and happiness levels regularly to determine whether your decision was the right one.

    Jahan Aslam profile picture

    Jahan Aslam

    I trained as an auditor with top 20 accounting practices in the UK and worked in numerous roles before joining Fusion in 2013. With over 15 years of experience, my specialisms include assisting SME businesses with business advice and to provide support to achieve growth goals, process standardisation and model their business plans.