Work From Home

“ We just need the work completed on time, and that’s all that matters”.

We hear many forms of this sentence in our professional lives, quite frequently. When it comes to results, organizations have (reasonable) expectations that they should get their money’s worth back. The same goes for the workforce’s throughput. Every higher-up looks forward to optimum work output from their subordinates.

However, today’s work culture also demands much from employees that are not directly connected to these ends. For example, a strict mandate for all staff to be physically present in the established workplace is just one of them.

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Employers construct and prepare elaborate commercial areas where they base their company’s operations. These workplaces are carefully designed for maximum productivity and work efficiency. But is this arrangement the best solution to achieve growth and prosperity as a business?

With the recent revolution in computerization of workstations, a massive shift towards online commerce, and fast electronic communication, the office culture today has changed. A new paradigm has emerged in the 21st century, ie. Tele-working or simply ‘Work from home’.

Telecommuting (or Work-from-home) is an agreement between workers and employers, where an employee can complete and render their professional duties from a remote location [like their residence or local café].

Working from home is now possible for many people mainly because of fast and easy online communication. Computing has become so portable that many tasks that once required mainframe computers, now can be done on a smartphone. This is a psychological shift towards productivity and bottom lines, rather than hours clocked at the desk.

Pros:

    • Online businessWFH employees experience greater productivity in general which may be due to lack of emphasis on shifts and more on task completion.
    •  Employers offering remote options generally have higher retention rates in their workforce. This is assisted by the fact that the home environment has relatively lower stress.
    •  Video conferencing allows convenient meeting arrangements even if attendees are distributed across the world.
    •  The stress, inconvenience, and xx of commuting daily to office are completely absent. A great boon for those who spend 2 hrs+ on the road every day!
    • Companies can save immense amounts from smaller office areas just look at the sq.mtr cost of the commercial estate and less infrastructure bills.
    •  People with disabilities and physical limitations can apply for jobs that allow them to work without inconveniences and risks they face.
    •  Workstation setup can be unique for each employee, as per their preferences, which may improve work psychology.
    •  WFH allows employers to effectively tap into hidden potential in candidate pools outside their physical area of operations, even their country.

    Cons:

      • work-from-home-consThe level of 1-on-1 communication with co-workers is reduced even despite best efforts, hence highly social people should not consider this option.
      •  Not all  managers are comfortable with WFH; specifically those with trust issues or the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ personalities. This can directly affect your career growth in the organization.
      •  HR activities and team-building exercises might be a major hurdle when employees are isolated and distanced from others.
      •  Performance measurement faces possible obstacles as work done can only be monitored in deliverables.
      •  Teamwork gets slightly hindered if a WFH employee cannot effectively collaborate through telecommunications, which often creates confusion and hidden misunderstandings.

      What do you need to have if you’re considering working from home?

      A brief list include:
      Sustained accessibility and connectivity.

      Sufficient electronic device configurations.

      High concentration levels and perseverance.

      Self-motivation. [in huge amounts]

      Strong communication skills, especially in written form.

      Comfortable enough to use non-conventional technology.

      Ability to deliver on time, consistently.

      Conclusion:
      While it is very tempting to go for a WFH life, it may not be for everyone. It depends on the job role, nature of work, and the employer’s administration policies. Having your own schedule, work-area, shift timing, and all the comforts of your crib is great, but sometimes good old office air works best, for classic in-person interaction and other stuff. Do you think you can pull it off, crunching out fine quality work sitting on your sofa, wrapped in warm blankets, sipping from your fav personal coffee mug? Or do you prefer to go and work in a dedicated professional environment, surrounded by comrades who you sync with ?

      Do let us know, in the comments below! 

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