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Work Remote or Office? Spoiler: There’s No One Size Fits All

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On Monday, you’re a master of working remote, turning your living room into the ultimate productivity sanctuary. Every morning, armed with a steaming cup of coffee and clad in your comfiest slippers and business attire, you conquer your tasks quickly, taming spreadsheets like a digital cowboy roping wild data. While your colleagues battled morning traffic, you reveled in your ability to transform your living room into a professional haven. You conquer deadlines, made your boss smile through the webcam, and even managed to sneak in a mid-afternoon dance party to keep your spirits high.

View of the busy downtown streets of Chicago, as seen from the PEAK6 office on an upper floor of the Chicago Board of Trade building.
View from the PEAK6 offices in the historic Chicago Board of Trade Building.

On Tuesday, you’re an office aficionado who embraces your daily commute with unmatched enthusiasm and you make every day at work an adventure. Arriving at the office, you greet your coworkers with a flurry of high-fives and witty one-liners. Throughout the day, you’re a master multitasker. You skillfully balance phone calls and conference rooms while engaging in lively debates about the best office snacks. With a twinkle in your eye, you effortlessly transform mundane tasks into exciting challenges, making work feel like a grand quest.

After a few more days, at the end of your hybrid work week, you reflect on your triumphs. Both sides of your work styles tackled projects with determination, built strong connections with colleagues, and brought joy to every corner of the office and video call. You found solace in your curated atmospheres and in the shared experiences that made workdays both productive and enjoyable.

Why There’s No Easy Answer

Work has undergone significant transformations post-pandemic. With technological advancements and changing work dynamics, remote work and office work have gained prominence. There are several benefits of working remotely and in an office, which makes the work from home and in-office work discussion much more complex.

According to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey, 58% of Americans report being able to work from home at least one day a week. Another 23% can work from home from one to four days a week, a typical hybrid example that companies like PEAK6 employ. While not all professions or roles can work remotely, most studies find that even with the option, many employees prefer working in the office — whether it’s for the camaraderie, the routine, the boost in brain-trust productivity, or the deluxe office snacks. Others wish to work at home for the cost- and time-savings of commuting, introverted personalities, and a boost in heads-down, task-oriented productivity.

Statistical Benefits of Working Remote

Asian woman working from home using computer and drinking coffee in her bedroom office. She on a the phone with a colleague, meeting for new projects.
An employee works from her home office.

Increased Flexibility

Remote work gives individuals more control over their schedules, enabling a better work-life balance. According to a study by Owl Labs, 92% of workers report flexibility as a high priority in employee benefits. Erin Lydon, president of Poker Power, agrees, saying “I like to work from anywhere with monthly in-real-life touchpoints with key team members. This keeps me both productive and in touch.”

Reduced Commuting Time and Cost 

The elimination of commuting can save valuable time and money. The same report by Owl Labs report revealed that the average hybrid worker saves $19.11 per day on the days they work from home.

Improved Productivity 

Remote workers often experience fewer distractions and have the flexibility to create a work environment that suits them best. A survey conducted by Global Workplace Analytics found that 36% of respondents would choose the ability to work from home over a pay raise, and two-thirds of companies say they see an increase in productivity among their remote workers. Tom Simpson, the CEO of PEAK6 Capital Management says, “You can execute better from home without distraction. Working from home kept us successful during the pandemic because we needed to just execute.

Larger Talent Acquisition Pool

Remote work eliminates geographic limitations, allowing businesses to tap into a global network of skilled individuals. This increased access to talent not only brings in fresh perspectives and innovative ideas but also enhances the overall competitiveness of organizations in today’s interconnected world. A report by Smart Recruiters says that remote jobs attract over two times as many candidates as non-remote​ jobs.

Statistical Benefits of Working in an Office

A team at the PEAK6 offices gathers around a computer to discuss a current project. They are able to view several screens and collaborate quickly.
A team at the PEAK6 offices gather around a computer to discuss a current project.

Enhanced Collaboration and Communication

Face-to-face interactions can foster stronger team dynamics, encourage spontaneous collaboration, and facilitate clearer communication. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that in-office workers experienced higher levels of cohesion and cooperation. A trader from PEAK6 Capital Management says he thrives with in-office work. “I prefer the office, but appreciate the flexibility,” this employee says. “At home, I can easily get stuck staring at the computer screen and get fatigued. At the office, I can get up and interact with people and gain a boost of energy from that.”

Professional Networking Opportunities

Being physically present in an office environment provides ample opportunities for brainstorming, networking, mentorship, and knowledge sharing. The Harvard Business Review states that in-person interactions contribute to stronger professional relationships and access to valuable resources.

Separation of Work and Personal Life

Working in an office can help establish a clear boundary between work and personal life, allowing individuals to mentally disconnect after leaving the office premises. Samantha Winkler, principal at PEAK6 Strategic Capital finds working in the office to be ideal. “I value splitting home from work. I enjoy the office environment and being around people,” Winkler says. This office and home separation can reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Remote work and office work have unique benefits, and it’s why many offices, like PEAK6, have chosen a hybrid model. The work remote or office choice often depends on individual preferences and job requirements. Remote work offers flexibility, boosts task-specific productivity, and saves commuting time. Office work encourages team collaboration, provides networking opportunities, and establishes a clear work-life boundary.

The future of work is evolving. It’s essential to strike a balance between these two work styles. Hybrid work models are gaining traction. They combine the advantages of remote and office work. This provides individuals and organizations with the best of both worlds. Remember, the key to successful work is understanding individual needs, adapting to changing circumstances, and harnessing the available resources to create a productive and fulfilling work environment.

Do your employees work in the office? See how in-office amenities can make a difference in job satisfaction.

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