Working from home has been a popular concept in developed countries like the USA, but it is relatively new in the other developing countries. This term is related to the concepts of Telework or Telecommute. These terms were used for working remotely; or working from a place other than the office. Teleworking incorporates the use of communication devices such as Computers, laptops and mobiles in order to work from faraway places. A boss can give direction to his employees from his home, or even when he’s on some business trip. There’s no need to shift the whole office to that place. These terms (like telework or telecommute) can also be applied to working from home, as it resembles them very much. For many of the people out there before COVID-19 outbreak “Work from home” was just another song of Fifth Harmony, which came a few years ago. Now most of the world is working to the lyrics of it. As the Social Distancing norms are being followed worldwide in order to contain the spread of the virus, the concept of “Work from home” has spread worldwide as an alternative to working from the office. More and more companies and firms are allowing their employees to work from the spaces of their home. This has even led to the popularity of many other concepts to which people weren’t much familiar. For example, the concept of Telemedicine, that is being followed by most of the doctors nowadays. Working from home, we can say, is becoming the “new normal” of doing work. For how long things are going to stay like this we can’t predict, so for the time being, working in this way is seeming the most important to get the business done. This has taken most of the jobs to the online platforms, because this is the only way through which you can work from your place.
In order to be able to work from home properly, one needs to have two main things: 1) a proper set-up and 2) proper environment. If other things are okay at one’s home, just setting up a proper workspace will help to create the proper environment that will allow a person to work from home unhindered. The people who have big homes, can find it easy to make that designated workspace at their home. The workspace should be distraction-free in order to make a person work properly. Some people already had a good computer set-up at their home, and for them making this transition of the workplace from office to home has been easy. Many people have set-up their workspace during the lockdown, though it was a bit hard to get the stuff that most of the people didn’t have in the first place during that time. Setting up the personal workspace at home has turned into a new trend, as many people are showing their setup ideas online. The trend of setup ideas isn’t new, people in the past used to showcase their skills of making a workplace; anyhow, it has become a mass trend nowadays. Seeing aesthetically pleasing desk setups compels people to make a one for their own.
Working from home gives you the benefit of working at your own pace and schedule. One is just a few steps away from the basic amenities of home; be it food or a little cup of tea. One can wear comfortable clothes and work in this comfort of home. As we have talked about work setups before, the major benefit of working from home is that one can set-up their workspace according to their need and liking. Making themselves more productive. It even saves the time and resources that used to be wasted during the commute. It also saves resources like electricity at the office, as most of the workforce is at the home, so less resources at the workplace are depleted. One can also be near his/her family, having the peace of mind, which only comes when a person is at home. In an untowardly incident
But working from home hasn’t been good for everyone. There are many people who are finding “Working from home” a bit difficult, and there are many reasons for this problem. The major one is that most of the people are finding it hard to create the proper work environment at their homes. Many people out here in India are living in small homes or homes that are fully packed up with household stuff, so for them there is no place to set-up a workspace at home. Others have kids at their home which makes it even more hard to work sometimes. Noise of utensils banging, TV, and other distractions can hinder the work progress. People who have ongoing tensions in their families can find it even more depressing when they work from their home, for these people Office was a place where they could avoid all the turmoil, but now they are asked to work from the place where they can’t even live properly. Now continuing with the benefits of working from Office, many people who were accustomed to work from the office are finding this transition very hard. Working at an office is more productive, as there are other people as well which create a unique work environment. Seeing other people doing work puts a peer pressure to work, and to some people it just gives motivation. Most of the workers will be procrastinating most of the time.
The lack of real-life interactions, and the virtual meets are resulting in the communication gap. The work from home is also only beneficial for a few types of work. The actual face-to-face meetings have their own benefits; during the meetings one also has to observe the atmosphere, body language and the intentions (in a case if you’re finalizing some business deals); in the virtual or online meets these things remain hidden. So, conducting serious business online has proven to be quite challenging.
There are many technical limitations which hinders the work from home. Many people don’t have the proper gear and gadgets to work from home. PC or a Laptops are necessary to work from home, working from home can be tough if you’re using a phone. No matter how high spec a phone is, it just can’t replace a computer. Lack of digital literacy is also a major issue. Most of the people whose work wasn’t computer based are finding it difficult to work from home. The lack of user-friendliness of online meeting apps is also making them hard to learn. The internet speed and breakdown of the internet is also a major issue regarding remote work. Though the internet has penetrated deep into the Indian household, the low bandwidth and limited data packs are making it hard to work online. Incompatibility of old hardware too hinders the workflow, many of the people have devices such as laptops and computers that they have bought years ago for mostly entertainment purpose, now doing work from them at this point of time is becoming hard. Most of the PCs which people have are incompatible with the new software which are used to run the teleconferencing programs, resulting in the system crashes and PC hangovers. Most of the employees whose pay is less are not being able to buy the new devices.
So, working from home has its own upsides; downsides and it also faces some challenges. There are still many works which you can’t do online properly. Now as most of the world is working from home, people must put little efforts in order to make themselves more productive. This can be done by achieving a perfect work life balance while working from home. In order to do that one have to 1) Identify the distractions at home; and work out how to mitigate them; 2) A strong willpower to work is needed, the first major thing is to make up your mind, or have intention to work 3) Planning the day in advance may work in maintaining the flow of it. The plan should be made a day before, this will make the next day run smooth. Planning on the very day takes time, though there might arrive any eventuality where you have to make the change in the plans on the spot. While setting up the workspace, one must make sure that there is proper lighting in the room, because this is another factor that affects the productivity at work. Placing a green plant at the desk also helps to relive the stress.
One must adjust according to the changing scenarios. The environment at the homes of people might not be the same and they may have to adjust according to their own circumstances, only then they can be more productive at this “work from home.” Work from home is going to be here for quite sometimes, it is going to change the whole future of doing work. Though it is temporary, but the effects of it are going to be permanent.