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Is The Work From Home Model The New Normal & Does It Make Sense For All?

Posted: May 4, 2020

The work from home model is being seen as the right way forward, after its adoption during the pandemic. But will it solve all our problems?

The other day, I got a call from my sister who seemed to be in a fix. She was contemplating shifting to our hometown, and turned to me for my take on the same.

“Apa, I am thinking of taking a transfer to Bhubaneshwar…”

Before she could continue, I danced with joy; as it was the sweetest thing I had heard in years. The reason was my mother, who was definitely going to get some company with my sister’s not-so-predicted move.

No sooner than this thought occurred to me, I realized my mistake and asked her, “What made you take such a decision?”

Swallowing a lump in her throat she added, “Now that our company has come up with a plan to implement work from home for its employees, we thought, what’s the point of staying in a metro like Pune and paying a rent of Rs. 25000 per month? If we go back to Bhubaneswar, we can stay at our home and that would be much more beneficial for us.”

Her answer took me by surprise and I started to ponder over this issue. My curiosity propelled me to read further about it and I came to know that indeed, many of India’s top IT giants are in the process of implementing this new model, wherein they will be asking 75% of their workforce to work from home.

These firms have been exploring this option and with forced lockdown due to COVID 19, they now have a clearer picture of how to execute it efficiently in the long run.

The many advantages of the work from home model

As per industry veterans, the work from home model has lots of advantages such as:

  • Spending more time with family – With work from home, people will get more time to spend with their family and loved ones. Reconciling office work and family duties will be easier. Especially for new moms it’s definitely a boon as they can stay at home, work and look after their kiddos in a more effective way. Lesser stress and greater well-being will lead to proper work-life balance which will be beneficial to both parties, employee and employer.
  • Avoiding traffic and long commutes – With this new model, people can do away with traffic hassles which many times makes our life miserable. In metros like Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore where IT parks are located way too far from the main city, it becomes a herculean task travelling every day from home to office and vice versa. Morning and evening hours are witness to extremely crowded roads, where each person is in a hurry and in the process scouts for any damn road that will save his or her precious time. All these can be done away with, if a majority of the IT population goes for remote working. Lesser traffic implies less pollution and more clean air for all.
  • Fewer workers means less office space – The number of workers and the need for office space is directly proportional to each other. With more people working from home, there will be lesser requirement for office space. Companies need not shell out money in renting lavish office premises and this will definitely contribute towards cost reduction.
  • Economically beneficial for employees – People will spend less on the two F s of food and fuel which will definitely help them save more. More savings will definitely help in improving employee morale.
  • Increasing overall productivity of employees – It goes without saying that with implementation of this model, people would be able to complete a larger volume of work in much less time, thereby boosting up their productivity and effectiveness.

But it has its flaws too…

However rosy it may sound, like every other model this too will have its flaws which can’t be ignored altogether, such as:

  • Effect on physical health – With this new idea, people will be spending more time at home. Their mobility will be restricted, which might affect their health in the long run. Not all societies in India are well equipped with fitness centers or a joggers track, where people can go and workout in their free hours. Hence sitting continuously in front of the computer without any physical movement might have severe repercussions on one’s health.
  • Effect on mental health – It feels good, when one goes out for work and meets new people. A new day brings with it a new hope which no doubt lifts the spirit of an individual. Working from home for long hours can be monotonous, which if not controlled might have adverse effects on the human mind.
  • The feeling of missing friends and colleagues – Since a long time, offices have been the breeding ground for new friendships. I too have some of my former office colleagues as my best buddies. Our friendship which germinated within our office premises has travelled a long way and now is as thick as ice. With WFH people would definitely miss hanging out with their friends, colleagues and seniors. Office outings too which have a charm of its own will be missed for sure. From coffee at the vending machine to tea in the office canteen, these have their own way of bringing people together and it will be difficult to do away with these.
  • Lesser scope for brainstorming and new ideas – When you are with a group, you can collaborate and solve any damn issue. Friends and colleagues will be at six feet distance and you can seek their help in case of a problem. When it is the other way around, procrastination in arriving at a decision is definitely a possibility.
  • Unavailability of proper infrastructure at home – Not all are privileged enough to have a nice setup at home, which can be transformed to their new office space. Lack of proper network or enough room can be an issue which can’t be ignored altogether.

We have heard it all, but what rules our heart is definitely the thought of, working in our lazy space, typing in our cozy clothes and snuggling up with our loved ones!

Image via Canva

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A former Banking and SAP professional, I love scribbling my thoughts. Mother to two boys,

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