Working from home has proven to have its advantages for businesses and their employees. In fact, many are thriving in their new work environment and have proven to be more productive while working in the comforts of home.
As the world is slowly getting used to the new norm with COVID-19, social distancing and maintaining sanitary standards is still a top priority as we wait for vaccines that are still being researched.
Until then, there remain uncertainties that one would face such as the period of lockdown, freedom of movement, or when children will be able to go back to school. However, one of the few certainties that emerged from the COVID-19 situation is that it will have a lasting impact on how people work moving forward.
With social lockdowns being enforced in countries worldwide, businesses had to make a quick shift to remote working and fully utilizing digital platforms to get work done. Remote working started to roll out in March with employees taking home their laptops, desktop, files, and other work materials and setting up their own workspace at home.
Working remotely has allowed employees the flexibility to set their own work schedules, giving them the freedom to complete their tasks at their own time. This has also allowed working individuals to spend more time with their family and focus on their well-being.
Although working from home is relatively new to many businesses, this work measure is definitely a plus point as work still gets done and employee wellbeing is well taken care of whilst being at home.
Working from home has also resulted in online project management systems being used more than before to keep track of project developments, and meetings have shifted to virtual means with the use of video conferencing services like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.
However, some businesses and working individuals find working from home rather challenging. Zoom fatigue is becoming a problem. Some of the issues faced are many increasingly feel they are expected to be available around the clock.
No longer adhering to the 9-5 work hours, they would still have to attend to work past normal working hours, sometimes even during the weekends and public holidays, and this results in them working more hours without additional compensation.
Unlike meeting colleagues physically, one would not receive a project update right away hence the need to wait till emails or messages are replied. Involvement in one too many video conferences are also said to be a productivity killer as too much time in the day is used to be part of virtual meetings most of which one would just have to listen in without actually being part of the conversation.
This extreme excess of digital communication, combined with the social and physical isolation inflicted by the pandemic, is sparking more need for actual human interaction.
Being present in the office and working from home has its advantages, but a blend of both would work best. The pandemic situation has opened up countless opportunities for the corporate world, introducing many digital platforms that would enhance workflow, management, training, and communication of companies moving forward.
Given that the virus is still in our midst, a mix of workplace and working from home would be a great solution in keeping members of the company safe.
Would companies shift back to the normal office operations post-pandemic? As employees are the foundation of every company, it is important that the option to work from home should still be offered to employees as a change of work environment boosts productivity, enhances employee wellness, resulting in a perfect work-life balance.