Nation was in the hands of Novel Corona Virus. People were penalized for getting out of houses. Offices, retails were shut. Economy got a serious hit. Amidst of this was nation able to afford a vacay for the corporate staff? Absolute NO, this gave rise to the practise of Remote Working (commonly known as Work From Home). Businesses, services and education needed to be on track ASAP without risking life of people. This was solved by Remote Working by the workers.
WHAT’S WORK FROM HOME ?
Working from home meant Remote working; employees were allowed to work from their places and were connected over internet. Employees new to this were made familiar with working from home online. Those in need were provided with training to operate. Corporate sector were connected through online portals, Google Meet came handy for numerous features like screen sharing, video sharing, etc. Webinars were conducted on Zoom calls and Google Meet. Interviews turned into online interviews on video calls or telephonic interview.
WORK FROM HOME : WORTH THE HYPE ?
Remote working served the need of the hour ‘safety’ by giving people all power while remaining indoors. Social distance the main culprit was kept at bay. Communication through meetings, conversations, seminars, face to face communication, etc. was managed through laptop screens without any social gathering.
Rise in productivity was a starrer. Employees were able to work from their home which is the most comfortable place for any individuals. Remote Working allowed them to
- customise their work place according to their comfort which resulted in prolonged working hours.
- they could take regular breaks to avoid straining themselves.
- a small walk in the passage, on the street
- or roaming freely around the house acted as real stress busters.
This enabled them to return to their work desk with fresh energy everytime and in turn increased productivity.
Health of the employees was benefitted too. They could take necessary breaks as they feel like. No fixed, long office hours allowed them to exercise in mornings or evenings, maintain a good sleep cycle. This immensely enhanced their physical health. Alongwith physical heath employees’ mental health also affects his working immensely. Spending time with family with no limitation of time and boundary acted as a relief and therapy for the mental state of mind of the employees. Many who lived far from their houses were once again able to spend their time with their families without any return ticket or deduction of salary but contributing to their employers.
Employers were greatly benefitted by a pool of talent. These were those talented people who could not make it due to geographical and financial restrains. Employers allowing remote working gave them wider choice to recruit. Remote working allowed deserving people who aren’t a part of metro cities to bag jobs in big companies. Teenagers and freshers were also greatly benefitted by Work from Home scheme. They were able to manage their studies alongwith with new internship offers adding experience to their knowledge. They were not required to join offices and work which used to hamper students’ school and college routine and in turn affecting their studies.
Women were comforted with ‘Work from Home’ as travel and timings were more of a issue to them. With remote working they were able to manage their houses and work in their best suited ways. They were no longer needed to commute which leaded to wastage of time and energy.
- According to ‘The Economic Times’ Average Indian is saving almost two hours of commute time while working from home.
Women are multi-taskers, this clearly demonstrates that if given proper facilities women could manage things in most productive ways. This helped them to concentrate and balance work and life better than ever before.
Working from Home helped in Cost cutting to a great extent. Management was no longer needed to spend thousands to book venues for meetings and seminars. No money was wasted for the maintenance of the offices, paying its bills, or accommodation facilities, etc.
- According to surveys, around 20% are saving around Rs 5,000-10,000 pm while home working, while 19% are saving over Rs 10,000.
Let’s be logical, a drowning economy even could not afford that at such crucial phase! Isn’t it ? The saved money would allow companies to expand their businesses and services which would lead employment generation.
The famous Zoom calls and webinars on Google meet allowed a great array of people to get connected in a meeting. These online apps regulated communication effectively which helped in task completion as well as to get in touch with the associates so they didn’t feel left.
Remote working came with numerous perks for the helpless people and comforted them while enhancing their working experience and productivity. It gave people control to balance their work and family in a relaxed way. It kept people safe and healthy in a phase of pandemic. But every coin has two sides, so as ‘Work from Home’. Alongwith advantages work from home came with its limitations and pitfalls. Moreover as they said, ‘With greater freedom comes greater responsibility’ the facility of remote working affected people as they took it. Some treated remote working as a blessing and were thus got blessed from it but some people destroyed this opportunity with their irresponsible, indiscipline and lazy attitude.
Discontinued Working on field further decreased their enthusiasm. Working on field always had a different and better affect on trainees and employees. This was impacted by working remotely and not getting in proper touch of colleagues and heads of the group. People get motivated by like minded people surrounding them and setting a professional environment to work in which was impossible while working from home.
Many were ill-focussed while working from home and this diminished their productivity by several folds. Family can be a stress buster but also proved to be a distraction in some cases.
- small children,
- unprofessional environment,
- household chores,
- unwanted noise, etc. were some of the interruptions while working hours.
Moreover some employees got carried away with the utmost comfort provided by their PJs and bed which led to procrastination to a great extent.
Working from home somewhere led to blurred lines between work and personal life. Working on field might get exhausting sometimes but enabled to focus on work and personal life separately. Most employees after their office hours used to plan for their family time or me time. But due to ‘Home working’ work life and personal life were mixed and some people failed to maintain a balance lifestyle. There were no sure breaks or limited office hours which confused and exhausted the employees further.
Working online was not everyone’s cup of tea. Surely, this was the new normal and was fruitful but ‘Home working’ has its own challenges for many employees. Seniors who have worked in conventional manner for ages found difficult to cope with the new technology. It wasn’t easy for every employee to understand the software and provide the same quality work. Some jobs were simply not meant to be remotely handled.
- Every function of Bank was not able to go online and required physical dealing.
- Repairing centres were not able to shift their services online.
- Some teachers found it difficult to cope with new trend of online classes, neither were able to be deliver their topics with much detail and ease.
Ill-affected social needs of the employees were greatly responsible for their mental health. Unable to meet their colleagues and mentors had a serious affect on their interest and zeal to work, this also hampered healthy relationship between co-workers which helped them to boost motivation and cheer their moods resulting in great output.
- For instance having a tea with co-workers and exchanging formal and informal ideas were a great source of development of workers; many such activities were discontinued and in turn affected people.
Limited communication and no physical interactions interrupted many useful pieces of information to be transferred to each and every employee. Leaders and bosses felt less control over the activities of workers due to no physical or face to face interactions. No surprise visits were possible which were crucial to keep workers on their toes.
TIPS TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY DURING REMOTE WORKING :
- Get yourself a proper, disciplined working desk. Sitting on desk and chair makes you alot more alert than lying on bed and working.
- Take small frequent breaks. Working long hours can lead to loss of concentration and creativity after a certain time.
- Drink water more frequently and keep in-between meals handy. Frequently sipping water gives you energy and biologically makes your mind retain more things. And keeping you snacks handy would eliminate any time wastage. You must have read about ‘Motion Study’.
As stated, Work from home or remote working came as blessing in this crucial phase, it truly provided with huge benefits and facilities and ease of work. But if there were people less stressed and more productive to work in their comfortable environment, there were people who missed working on field which provided them with the energy. Unnecessary costs were surely cut by using the improved technologies, but many had to face challenges with the advanced working techniques. But amidst all Remote working saved a huge time which ought to be wasted especially during commute. “The time saved translates to time worth 44 additional working days in a year,” said by Amit Ramani, founder and CEO, Awfis. In order to make it convenient for everyone modifications and more research need to be done for the same. Alongwith this people themselves need to be more responsible and disciplined to take up the given facilities in most productive way. Only in this way we can make Remote working sustainable in long run.