Teleworking had both pros and cons. Some liked the freedom and flexibility of teleworking while others struggled with the social isolation and reduced communication. Some felt that they were more productive while others struggled with balancing their work and home lives. The range of teleworking experiences reflected the varying nature of the teleworkers and their work and home situations.
An European study of the experiences of teleworkers during the pandemic found that advantages were a better work-life balance, improved work efficiency, and greater work control. Disadvantages were home office constraints, work uncertainties, and inadequate tools.
Pros: Advantages of teleworking for individuals included working anywhere they chose, being able to spend more time with family, having flexible work hours, and avoiding the daily commute.
"Instead of heading out the door to an office before everyone was even awake everyday I was able to see my family every morning before we went off to our respective work spaces for school or work."
Cons: Disadvantages of teleworking included social isolation, lack of reliable and fast internet connections, difficulty communicating with co-workers, and struggles with mental health due to adjustments to the new work situation.
The lack of interaction and socializing with coworkers is viewed as the major disadvantage to teleworking for individuals in the survey cited in this article.
Income inequality affected individual teleworking experiences. Some workers had dedicated spaces they could close the door on at the end of the workday, help with childcare and household chores, outside space they could enjoy, and sufficient funds to buy items to make their remote work easier. Others had to struggle with small living spaces where their "home office" was combined with their personal space, the demands of housekeeping and childcare while working, and inadequate financial resources to acquire work aids and fast internet service.
This Instagram post is a list of essential "work from home tools." Items include a dedicated workspace, a good internet connection, and earphones or a headset. These items are not readily available to all, particularly lower-income individuals.
"When your personal life is conflated with your professional life, it can be a struggle to keep your professional life from intruding on your personal life and vice versa." Developing rituals to provide a boundary between work and home, even though they are now in the same physical space, was crucial to maintaining a good work/life balance.