The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought a lot of changes in our daily life, some of which might have a more long-lasting effect and change the traditional ways of doing things. Pandemic induced lockdowns have accelerated the work evolution pushing businesses to reform their operational structure so that anything from conferences and sales collaborations to regular team meetings and assignments can be done online.
The world at present is combatting the COVID-19 virus with social distancing as its first line of action. This has led to closures of businesses and educational institutes. Traveling abroad for business or conference has also been restricted in many countries, and the situation is likely to stay that way till the situation comes under control.
To maintain continuity of business, organizations had no other option than to allow and arrange remote working facilities for employees. Starting from regular meetings with clients and team members to conferences everything is happening online through numerous remote working applications. The trend has rapidly brought change to the work culture.
To put it in simple words, coronavirus might have just shown the world a better and more cost-effective way of working across sectors where it can be applied.
Do People Prefer Working from Home?
The answer to this question lies in statistics of how many people work from home regularly. In the last few years, the number of people freelancing or working from home has increased by 40 percent in the UK, covering almost every sector.
In the USA more than 50 million people work from home, which is almost 4 million more than what was recorded 5 years before that. Another study found that 43 percent of the employees in the US frequently work remotely.
The numbers show that a significant part of the population likes working from home and studies have also shown that it does not interfere with the employee’s productivity. So, what is it about remote working that appeals to them?
Working conditions and hours both are flexible. If you minus the social distancing angle then it allows people to work from anyplace with a strong Wi-Fi connection. When unwell, instead of calling in a sick day, one can work from home and deliver the assignments as priorly scheduled. The option also comes in handy for working parents especially mothers, who can take care of the kid while working.
Various other points make people incline towards work from home. Even researches have shown that at least two to three days of work from home, has increased the productivity of the employees.
Is Remote Working becoming an Alternative Work Option?
Learning lessons from the current situation, the corporates have already started pondering on what’s in the best interest of the company and the employees. If a similar situation has to arise in the future one has to be prepared for that, unlike this time when everything went haywire.
Remote working might not be possible in all sectors; however, it should be an option for the employee to take in places where it can be implemented. Once the big companies start endorsing remote working the trend will trickle down to the small and mid-level companies.
There are already numerous applications that aid in seamless interaction between the employer and the employees. So, the question of lack of supervision also gets answered well. Most employees are likely to support it as they will be able to draw some work-life balance through remote working.
Remote working also saves a lot of overhead expenses, which surely businesses have already realized and will mostly appeal the small and mid-level organizations.
If not permanently, there is a high chance that most companies will keep the provision of work from home partially within their operational models.
On a concluding note, there is a lot that needs considering here. Companies need to make a contingency plan and explore all their options for survival in case of recurring similar situations. Within this period, many companies have managed to perform well with their employees working from home. With all its advantages, remote working is sure to have a huge impact on the existing work culture in the post-pandemic future.