Is Working From Home The Next Big Thing as Companies and Individuals Can Save Resources Like Time and Money?

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“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” – Victor Frankl

Sharing light banters while preparing an excel sheet in the office cubicle, having a quality time with the colleagues over a cuppa or lunch breaks, board meetings in large conference rooms – well, ‘workplace culture’ may not be the same anymore, thanks to the technological wonders of the 21st century. Bill Gates has rightly said, “We are changing the world with technology” as the third decade of this century is gradually lapping up ‘work-from-home’. Lockdown induced by the worldwide carnage of the novel corona virus has led to the closure of the traditional workplaces which has only made working from home the new normal.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without our thinking” – Albert Einstein

The topsy-turvy start of 2020 has brought a paradigm shift in the mode of working. From a niche practice restricted to a few industries, remote working has become the new norm in most businesses to ensure social distancing in the COVID-19 era. The concept of virtual workplace is gaining momentum as it is paying rich dividends in terms of cost savings, convenience and productivity gains. Working from the comfort of home cuts down on employees’ commute expenses and time to office, thereby enhancing productivity as they get more opportunity to maintain work-life balance. An employer too can slash a huge chunk of his establishment costs which involves air-conditioning, furnishing, cafeteria and pass on the benefits to his workforce.

Remote working offers the employers the privilege of hiring professionals with requisite skills, experience and personality instead of engaging local talent. By virtue of this, the employers also get the chance of getting the maximum returns. The lockdown has brought the commercial activities of several organizations to a grinding halt, disabling them to hike the salary of their staff. However, they are compensating this by rewarding their working professionals with health or shopping e-vouchers for their performance and this practice will remain even after the pandemic disappears. This will enable the management bosses to not only keep the wage bill down, but also to improve the level of cash-flow in the business.

Heightened technological innovations like Google Meet, Zoom Conferencing or Skype Meetings are transcending physical barriers, luring both the employers and employees to adapt to the flexible work schedule because of improved connectivity. Reduced stress, in absence of negotiating the peak-hour traffic in roads, is ultimately reflected in their productive worksheets. Employees can earn brownie points by investing their extra time on work. Customized working hours instead of the conventional nine to five model helps them focus more on their assigned projects, compared to their in-office counterparts. Absence of compulsory dress code in virtual meetings prevents them from shelling out extra bucks.Spending quality time with loved ones coupled with enjoying home-made meals keeps them fit, both physically and mentally, thereby lowering the need for casual leaves. Comfortable work environment allows them to work at ease, keeping them abreast from the office politics, external distractions or noises.

With the COVID-19 figures scaling new heights daily, more and more companies are taking up this new trend. Facebook, Twitter are contemplating the option of distance working for their staffers on a permanent basis. IT firms like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro have also joined the bandwagon with a majority of their manpower continuing to work-from-home. Public sector is also embracing the new culture as the draft guidelines issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) have hinted at providing the option of work-from-home to the select officials for 15 days in a year. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is also looking at revising its existing security measures, in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs for accessing classified file/information in e-office.

In a post pandemic world, office spaces will be undergoing huge changes as a blended model of work culture is the way forward to overcome the hurdles posed by poor internet connectivity and other logistical issues, especially in India. It is the most viable option to beat the economic blues as salaried persons can get benefited only if their patrons are able to register profit by shedding off those ‘unnecessary’ expenditure in maintaining set-up costs and lease out the extra space for other purposes.

“You can’t stop the future, you can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the to press play.” – Jay Asher

-Chitrak Dey

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