By Rajesh Goenka, Director, Sales & Marketing, RP tech India
As India enters into Lock down 3.0, the Work from Home (WFH) has triggered new working culture in the country. Since, the Covid -19 crisis has brought industries and businesses on a standstill, the concept of WFH has widely embraced by organizations and India is no exception. As companies adapting to this transition, WFH is likely to become permanent imperative in the future.
In current scenario, WFH seems inevitable and it is going to stay. But are Indian businesses ready to adapt the new working culture on a larger scale? Let me highlight various aspects of WFH and how India Inc and employees can get best out of it.
Positive aspects of WFH
1.Most effective in fight against Covid – 19
Since WHO has declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, it has brought huge disruption in the global economy. The worldwide lockdown has forced businesses to shut their operations for indefinite in the absence of immediate solution to the crisis. In this scenario, WFH has proven to be the most effective way to maintain social distancing and ensure business continuity. In India, many big companies are quick to adopt WFH for their employees safety and cut down losses. At the same time it has brought huge relief to the workforce against employment loss during these uncertain times.
2. Enhances Productivity
The another advantage of WFH is it improves performance and productivity of employees. Since WFH allows employees to save crucial time and energy spent on hectic commute, they can utilize this time to improve their output and achieve targets. It is also seen that employees are more creative and innovative in WFH environment. Hence, home working concept is win-win for both employer and employees.
3. Ensures Work – Life Balance
Work -Life balance is another important aspect of WFH. Staying at home, employees can make better time management and prioritize tasks. It is also a bone for working mothers and people with responsibility of elderly parents. While working from home, employees can be stress-free and concentrate better on their office assignments. It also ensures privacy, which otherwise not possible in the shared working space.
4. Cost effective for Organisations
Considering benefits of WFH , several small and medium scale organizations are now contemplating to switch to the new business model to save cost on office space and overheads. As industries have incurred huge looses due to the global crisis, organizations will look aggressively on cutting expenditure till businesses are back on the track. Hence, WFH will continue to be the preference of employers and will see massive adoption.
While WFH is the new normal and brings host of benefits, it has certain limitations and drawbacks in terms of large scale implementation.
On the flip side of WFH
1.Not Suitable for all Sectors
WFH is mostly suitable for occupations at managerial level, which requires minimal physical contact with the team and end users. However, it is not viable for blue collar jobholders and consumer facing businesses like hospitality, retail, travel and tourism etc. Connectivity issue is another hindrance in WFH, especially in the upcountry cities/towns and remote places.
2. Data Protection & Security
Data security has emerged as the major concerned in WFH scenario. While companies can have state of the art security infrastructure at offices computing system, it is not always possible to provide same security to employees for their home broadband networks. Hence, there is great threat of security breach and data theft. Also mostly, employees use their personal computing devices for official work. These devices can be shared by other family members and may make critical data vulnerable to cyber fraudsters. India Inc is yet to find concrete solution to this issue, which makes WFH Not a choice of all.
WFH concept is highly demanding where employees are expected to available online 24X7. Since there are no defined boundaries of WFH culture, it may lead to anxiety and stress among employees. With domestic place being utilized as work space, it may also negatively affect the family dynamics. In Indian family systems, women are expected to fulfill their family duties even if they are virtually on the job, which may affect their productivity.
Not always a win-win situation
WFH is not always a win win for employer and employee. It is difficult for companies to track number of work hours, leisure breaks, leaves of employees at home working environment. The performance tracking apps may help but they may also lead the debate of privacy and trust. Also, WFH may lead to boredom, uncertainty and complacency among employees due to lack of discipline. Here the HR plays critical role to keep them motivated and focused on their assignments.
It is a fact that Work from Home is going to stay even after we kick out Covid -19 from India. The Corporate India is going through the significant transition, which should be embraced and adopted for future relevance. Here are few tips to make maximum out of WFH.
1. Schedule: Prepare a proper schedule of the day with dedicated breaks. It is advisable to start early so that you can finish assignments in given deadline. Also decide a time to log off.
2. To do list: Draft a To do list and prioritize tasks. This is important when your job requires multitasking. You may take help of performance tracking apps for maximum output.
3. Fitness is non negotiable: Fitness and mental balance is very important in WFH scenario as employees perform dual responsibility at home front as well as at Job front. Make sure you dedicate time for physical activities, leisure and also do not skip meals.
4. Motivational Webinar: No doubt Covid -19 has caused fear of job loss among people, it is important to keep their morale high. HRs should periodically organize motivational webinars for their employees to keep them positive and productive.
5. Smart use of Tech: Make smart use of apps for performance improvement and time management. Stay connected with co-workers on different messaging platforms and have fun with them apart from work discussions.