Since the pandemic, many jobs have switched from being office-based to fully remote or hybrid. Both have pros and cons: remote work brings flexibility and cost savings, while being in the office brings personal connections and visibility. Here’s how to choose what’s right for you.

Covid-19 affected just about everything in our lives, with one of the biggest changes being in how we work. Many jobs completely switched to remote, while others are now transitioning back to the office or adopting a hybrid schedule.

Both options have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Which is right for you will depend on how you work best and what you are looking to get out of your work experience.

If you are trying to decide if you want to go back into the office or find a fully remote gig, this guide will help make that decision a bit easier.

Working from Home vs. Working in the Office

For a very long time, going into the office was something millions of Americans did.

Every. Single. Day.

But since the pandemic, office jobs have looked a lot different and remote work has become a new way of life for many people.

Supporters of going into the office say you can better establish personal relationships, network with others, and collaborate as a team. While fans of working remotely point to benefits like flexibility and comfort — you can complete your work in a relaxed environment away from workplace stressors.

Working in the Office: Pros & Cons


  • New experiences.
  • Easier to form personal relationships.
  • More visibility could mean more opportunities.


  • Lack of privacy.
  • Lack of flexibility.
  • Increased risk of illness.

Remote Work: Pros & Cons


  • Flexibility.
  • Ability to save money.
  • Lower carbon footprint.


  • Isolation.
  • Lack of visbility.
  • Work-life balance struggles.

Let’s dive deeper into these factors to determine what’s best for you.

10 Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Work from Home or in the Office

1. New Experiences

Going into the office, especially if you are a recent college graduate, is a great way to gain experience in the working world. It allows you to get a feel for your workplace’s environment and enables you to meet new people face-to-face.

On the flip side, when you work solely from home, you might lose out on some experiences, like in-person meetings, brainstorms, team-building events, or even just learning what a “traditional” workplace is typically like.

If it’s your first time entering the job market, you may want that office environment to settle in, before going remote.

2. Personal Connections

Strong relationships in the workplace will help to make you feel more comfortable in the job and to ensure your team works together. But what about when those relationships aren’t in-person?


There is something to be said about the power of meeting someone face-to-face. In person, you can observe their body language and you don’t have to be distracted by seeing your own face reflected back to you on Zoom or stopping your cat from jumping onto your keyboard. Unfortunately, when you are working from behind a computer screen, it can be difficult to establish those meaningful relationships with co-workers, especially if you are starting a new career.

Going into the office also brings better networking opportunities. After all, many of the people you work with may not stay with your current employer for their entire careers, and as they move on, having connections across different companies gives you an edge if you also decide to move on.

Read more: How To Network Like a Pro: 9 Tips for Beginners and College Grads

3. Visibility

Unfortunately, working from home can make it harder for upper management to see all your contributions. This can be frustrating at the best of times, but especially if you’re going above and beyond but aren’t being recognized.

When you are in the office, it’s easier for your manager to get to know you and how you operate. They can see firsthand how you work with others and how you contribute to the company.

Read more: The 5 Ws (and 1 H) of Asking for Your First Raise

4. Privacy and Comfort

During the height of Covid remote working, many people admitted they only dressed in business casual from the waist up. No pressure to dress up when you’re not even leaving your house!


But when you go to work in person, you’re likely expected to dress (fully!) in business or business casual attire. Nor will you have the privacy to sing along to Spotify at full volume or raid your own fridge at break time.

However, you are also giving up some of your personal privacy when you work from home. On video calls, coworkers can see into your home (unless you use a background) and they can hear if your roommate is fighting with their partner in the next room.

5. The Spread of Illness

Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, and many employees — especially those who are immunocompromised — are understandably worried about the health impacts of returning to an office.

Not only that, but during the peak of Covid, when most people were at home or masked up, the incidences of cold and flu dropped. Now, as we all return to normal life, those bugs are likely to make a resurgence. If you’re worried about catching anything, then an in-office workplace probably isn’t super appealing.

6. Flexibility

Working at home gives you a lot more flexibility in your day. In between meetings and your daily to-dos, you can tackle small household chores like your laundry or walking your dog. You can also sleep in longer, and you’ll have more free time since you no longer need to factor in commuting as part of your day.

Depending on your employer, you may also be able to set your own hours as a remote employee. You could potentially start earlier to finish earlier and enjoy your afternoon, or start later if you have a morning class or just like to take your time waking up.

7. Work-Life Balance

Oof. This is a difficult factor that can wildly swing both ways.

By working at home, you can spend more time with your partner and children, if you have them. You can experience family moments that you might have missed if you were constantly working in the office.

The downside to this is you might experience more distractions. It’s hard to focus with kids running around the house or knowing that there’s a mess in the kitchen you’ll have to take care of. (Washing dishes has never looked so appealing as when you’re on deadline, amiright?)


You may be someone who finds that you get more work done when you’re in the office, without your home life calling for your attention from the next room. Or you could be someone who finds the office itself distracting, with phones ringing, keyboards clacking, and chatty coworkers swinging by your desk.

Perhaps most importantly, working from an office enables you to fully distinguish between work life and home life. When you work at home, it’s easy for the workday to run into your personal time — maybe you’ll stay online later since you don’t have to travel home, or you’ll log into work on a Saturday afternoon just because your laptop is sitting on the coffee table. Remember: boundaries are your friend.

8. Isolation

Plenty of people have expressed feelings of isolation with remote work. Because you’re not interacting with others as frequently, you might feel very lonely.


This can be prominent in both people who have and do not have close families. Being at home and working in the same place in which you are living can cause people to feel a little stircrazy, and it might be more difficult to stay motivated. It is important to still do things besides work.

Going back into the office in a hybrid format could help to not feel so isolated. On those days that you choose to go into the office, you will be able to interact with colleagues face-to-face and have a more “normal” workday.

9. Saving Money

Working from home can be a huge cost-saver. You’re likely no longer buying lunches or coffees out, and you won’t need to fill up your gas tank as often or spend money on transit fees.

You also might find that clothing costs and your rent could be a bit cheaper since you won’t need new work clothes or need to live in an expensive urban center to be close to work.

These little expenses might not seem like much, but they add up over time, and cutting them will help you to accumulate more savings each month.

Read more: 5 Steps to Create a Budget that Actually Works

However, there are other expenses that come with working from home. For example, you’ll be using your own internet connection, so depending on how much bandwidth you have versus what you need for work, you may have to increase your plan.

If you’re a full-time employee, your employer will likely supply all your equipment, like a laptop and cellphone, but if you’re on contract, you may have to cover those expenses yourself. Whenever you’re applying for a remote position, make sure you’re clear on those potential costs before you sign on the dotted line.

10. Lower Your Carbon Footprint

If you used to drive into the office daily, then working at home (or at least a few days per week) will decrease your carbon footprint. When you’re not clocking as many miles on a regular basis, you ultimately reduce your emissions (and save on gas!).

Which Option Works Best for You?

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to remote work versus working from home. Every person has different preferences and habits, so you’ll need to consider your current situation, your mental health, and what environment you work best in.

You’ll also want to consider the costs of going into the office and weigh that expense against how you work best. It might make sense for you to take a lower-paying job that is remote if it saves you on gas money and lets you live in a lower-cost area. Alternately, you may decide that the camaraderie that comes from an in-person job is worth the expense.

What Does a Day in the Office Look Like?

Morgan McGrath is digital storyteller based in San Angelo, Texas, who currently works in-person at an office and rents an apartment near the area where her office is located.

Like many of us, McGrath waits until the very last minute to wake up — after snoozing almost every one of the alarms that she has set.

She started her position after graduating college this year and sometimes is asked to work odd hours. For example, her shift sometimes ends around 10pm, so she has to make sure she is prioritizing the things in her life that are important outside of work.

McGrath describes herself as someone who “works better in an in-person environment” and feels more productive when she can communicate with and be around her co-workers.

“Being around others helps you to connect with your management and your co-workers, who you can ask questions and bounce off ideas with,” says McGrath.

What Does a Remote Workday Look Like?

Landon Demers is a remote worker with TDS Telecom and is a people analyst. He typically starts his day a bit differently, since he doesn’t have to jump out of bed and be out the door. To begin his workday, all he has to do is turn on his computer.

“Working from home allows for more freedom but less structure, so it is up to you to create that schedule to stay organized and to not abuse it,” says Demers.

Remote work is ideal for Demers since he is also currently attending grad school. Whenever he feels overwhelmed or falls behind on his work, he can work from his computer between classes. He says it allows him to have more flexibility and better manage all his commitments.

Since he started working remotely, Demers has noticed that he can complete other tasks and chores throughout his day without feeling as rushed. He recently moved across states, closer to where his grad school is located, and says the move was so much easier since he had the freedom to pack up and go.

What Is the Future of Workplaces?

It’s estimated that many companies will continue to offer a hybrid workplace, where employees don’t have to go into the office every day if they don’t want to. This could ultimately affect the job market and hiring processes overall. If a company isn’t open to hybrid working, they might lose employees to other companies that do.

There are also predictions that the traditional workweek of five days may shorten, in an effort to improve workers’ mental health and productivity. There are companies across the U.K. right now that are testing this out and weighing its benefits.

Lastly, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts could improve if employers adopt more flexibility — or worsen if they don’t. Companies that don’t offer hybrid or remote positions could negatively affect women and underrepresented groups that need flexibility and the option to work at home. In a hybrid future, companies will need to figure out how they are going to support all employees.

Read more: The Great Resignation: Millions are Quitting, Should You?

Final Thoughts

As a recent college grad, I have been weighing my own options about remote versus in-person work. Currently, I have a remote part-time job that I would like to eventually balance out with a full-time position. Having this remote job has taught me a lot about myself and my preferences. I originally really liked the idea of staying at home with my family while saving money at the same time. However, I have come to find that being around so many people can be very distracting for me. I want to have a designated workspace for peace and quiet when I need to get things done.

In my job hunt, I have applied for many hybrid jobs. I think that for me, a hybrid position would work nicely since I would be able to stay at home some days and go into the office and get out of my house other days.

Whether you choose to work in person, hybrid, or remote, the main thing to focus on is that you are happy with your situation and feel you are succeeding. Learn what works best for you, then adjust as necessary. If you feel like you are struggling in your current work setup, either remote or in-person, reach out to your employer to see if you can make arrangements that would best benefit you and your specific situation.

Featured image: redgreystock/

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About the author

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Abby Sterling is a writer based in the Northeast. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Alabama. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her cats, writing, and spending time with her family and friends. You can connect with Abby and see what she’s up to next on LinkedIn.