Work From Home vs Work From Office in Malaysia: What Is the Best Choice?

Work From Home vs Work From Office in Malaysia: What Is the Best Choice?

In recent years, how we work has changed a lot. The traditional 9-to-5 office job is no longer the only choice. Thanks to technology and different work styles as well as in other places, people can now decide whether they want to work from home or go to the office.

But which is the better choice? Is working from home or working from the office the right fit for you? In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision.

What is a Work-From-Home Job?

Work-From-Home Job

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

A work-from-home job, often referred to as remote work or telecommuting, involves carrying out your professional responsibilities from the comfort of your own home. This mode of work has gained popularity in recent years, especially with the advent of high-speed internet, collaboration tools, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

What is an In-Office Job?

Office Job

Photo by Rodeo Project Management Software on Unsplash 

An in-office job, on the other hand, is the traditional way of working where you commute to a physical office location to perform your duties. This setup has been the norm for decades and has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Overview: Pros and Cons of Work From Home vs Work From Office 

  Pros Cons
Work From Home
  • No More Commute to Work

  • Better Work-Life Balance

  • Saves Money and Reduces Carbon Footprint

  • It's Better for the Environment

  • Much More Can Be Done

  • It Can Get Lonely and Isolating

  • It's Easier to Procrastinate at Home

  • Lack Of Office Equipment

  • It Can Be More Distracting

  • It Can Subject You to Bias During Appraisals

Work From Office
  • Faster Communication With Your Team

  • It Teaches You Hard and Soft Skills

  • It Makes Planning Your Day Easier

  • Productivity Increases When You Are in Office

  • It's Better for Career Growth

  • Rigid Organisational Rules

  • You Can't Work at Your Own Pace

  •  Lack of Privacy

  • Encourages a
    Sedentary Lifestyle

  • More Stressful and Demanding

Working From Home vs Working From Office: Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages of Working From Home

Advantages of Working From Home

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

1. No More Commute to Work: 

In Malaysia, dodging the daily commute, particularly in our busy city traffic, is a major plus of working from home. Oppotus research shows that 52% of Malaysian professionals save a lot of time this way, while 47% enjoy less stress without daily travel. These aren't just statistics – they echo wider findings linking commuting to increased stress, underscoring the life-enhancing benefits of remote work by eliminating the commute.

2. Better Work-Life Balance: 

Remote work has been a game-changer in balancing work and home life, offering flexibility to manage family needs and breaks with less hassle. A fascinating Randstad study revealed that half of the Malaysian participants are contemplating leaving their jobs for improved work-life balance. This underscores the high value Malaysians place on the flexibility provided by working from home.

3. Saves Money and Reduces Carbon Footprint: 

Working from home means no more spending on daily transportation, parking fees, or eating out. It's also an environmentally friendly option, as it reduces the carbon emissions associated with commuting.

Plush microfibre leather office chair with button-tufted design and adjustable height

Wenche Office Chair 

4. It's Better for the Environment: 

As mentioned, remote work is eco-friendly. Fewer people commuting daily translates to less traffic congestion and a reduced environmental impact.

5. Much More Can Be Done: 

With the right discipline and work ethic, you can accomplish more in less time without office distractions. Also, having a comfortable home office chair for long hours can prevent back pain and improve productivity.

Disadvantages of Working From Home

Disadvantages of Working From Home

Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

1. It Can Get Lonely and Isolating: 

Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. The limited face-to-face interaction and reduced direct supervision can negatively impact well-being and work performance, marking a notable drawback of remote working.

2. It's Easier to Procrastinate at Home: 

Distractions at home can be more tempting, leading to procrastination and reduced productivity if not managed effectively.

3. Lack Of Office Equipment: 

Not everyone has a fully equipped home office. A lack of necessary equipment can hinder your ability to work efficiently.

Disadvantages of Working From Home

Photo by LaylaBird on istock

4. It Can Be More Distracting: 

Household chores, family members, and pets can create distractions that you wouldn't encounter in a controlled office environment.

5. It Can Subject You to Bias During Appraisals: 

Some remote workers fear that they may be unfairly judged during performance reviews due to the perception of less dedication compared to in-office colleagues.

Advantages of Working From An Office
Advantages of Working From An Office

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

1. Faster Communication With Your Team: 

In-office work leads to more collaboration, with a study by Envoy showing office workers collaborate 52% more than full-time remote workers. This is due to the use of office tools and in-person interactions, offering a balance between solo work and teamwork.

2. It Teaches You Hard and Soft Skills: 

Office environments are excellent places for professional development, helping you sharpen both technical and interpersonal skills.

3. It Makes Planning Your Day Easier: 

The office provides a structured routine, making it easier to plan your workday and stick to a schedule.

Black microfibre leather swivel office chair featuring high back and armrests

Heitham Office Chair 

4. Productivity Increases When You Are in Office: 

For some individuals, the office setting fosters higher levels of productivity and focus.

5. It's Better for Career Growth: 

In many cases, promotions and career advancements are more readily available to those who are physically present in the office and visible to management.

Disadvantages of Working From Office

Disadvantages of Working From Office

Photo by Prostock-Studio on istock

1. Rigid Organisational Rules: 

Office settings often come with strict rules and policies that can be constraining.

2. You Can't Work at Your Own Pace: 

In the office, you may be required to conform to the pace set by your organisation, which may not align with your personal productivity rhythm.

3. Lack of Privacy: 

Open-plan offices may lack the privacy needed for focused work, leading to distractions and reduced concentration.

Disadvantages of Working From Office

Photo by Peopleimages on istock

4. Encourages a Sedentary Lifestyle: 

Office jobs often involve sitting for long hours, which can contribute to health issues like obesity and back problems.

5. More Stressful and Demanding: 

The demands of the office, including commuting, can lead to higher stress levels and work-related burnout.

Tips on A Productive Workspace Setup

Regardless of whether you choose to work from home or from the office, creating a productive workspace is essential. Here are some tips to help you set up an effective workspace:

  • Ergonomic Office Chair:

Choose an ergonomic office chair that provides good lumbar support and adjustable features like height and armrests. Proper ergonomics can prevent back pain and discomfort during long hours of work.

Black fabric office chair with breathable mesh backrest and headrest, high back, and reclining function

Cato Office Chair 

Also check out: 11 Best Office Chairs in Malaysia for a Cosier Workspace

  • Comfortable Office Table:

Select an office table that is of an appropriate height, allowing you to work comfortably without straining your wrists or neck. A sit-stand desk is an excellent option for flexibility.

Brown office table with drawers and metal legs

Arvid Office Table with Drawer 

Also check out: 12 Best Home Office Desks in Malaysia

  • Proper Lighting:

Position your workspace near natural light sources if possible. Use task lighting to avoid glare on your computer screen. Adequate lighting can reduce eye strain and improve focus.

  • Organisational Tools: 

Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and task management apps to stay organised and productive.

  • Stay Connected: 

If you're working from home, maintain regular communication with your colleagues and superiors to stay in the loop.

  • Minimise Distractions: 

Identify and eliminate distractions in your workspace to stay focused on your tasks.

  • Declutter Your Desk:

Keep your desk neat by having only essential items close by. A clean workspace, along with attractive office table decorations, can clear your mind and boost concentration.


1. Can I choose between working from home and working from the office in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, choosing between working from home or at the office really comes down to what your employer prefers and the type of job you have. Since January 1, 2023, there have been changes to the Employment Act allowing for things like working remotely, but it's not a given - employers aren't required to say yes to these requests.

It varies from company to company. Some are open to flexible work policies, while others prefer maintaining regular office attendance. At the end of the day, it's up to your employer, and if you want more flexibility, you'll need to get their approval. It's a mix of keeping up with modern work trends while holding on to some of the old office norms.

2. How can I overcome the challenges of remote work, such as loneliness and distractions?

To overcome the challenges of remote work, it's essential to maintain a routine, stay connected with colleagues, and create a dedicated workspace that minimises distractions. Engaging in social activities outside of work can also help combat loneliness.

3. Where can I buy a home office desk and an office chair for my workspace? 

You can buy a home office desk and an office chair for your workspace from different furniture stores. It depends on what you're looking for and your budget. One option is CUURA Space, where you can get office desks with convenient storage and drawers. We also have ergonomic chairs that are comfortable for long hours of work or if you have back pain, and even chairs for visitors. 

Final Thoughts

In deciding between working from home or the office in Malaysia, you should think about what you like, what your job needs, and how you live. There are good things and bad things about working from home and working in an office, so think about what's best for you.

You can also try a mix of both, where you work from home sometimes and go to the office sometimes. This might help you be more productive. Think about what's best for your job and how you feel.

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