Is Work From Home, The New Norm?
Due to the onset of Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the shifting of focus on more Digitization of work, there is a huge demand of skilled workforce into the software and IT industry. In this scenario of boom in the workforce, the idea of Work from Home is a hotly debated one and the current phase of lock-down around the world has only added fuel in this debate. But before jumping to any conclusion we should rationally articulate both sides of the debate for a more fruitful solution.
PERKS OF BEING A HOUSE-FLOWER
Taking into consideration the most important aspect of any workplace are the employees. When we try to see things from their side, it can be seen that they can save a lot of time which is generally lost in preparing oneself for work, travelling, traffic jams, etc. which raises the effective 7-hour job into nearly 9 or 10 hours. This extra working time does not provide them any kind of remuneration and it reduces the work-time ratio. However, home provides a more comfortable and individual oriented environment based on one’s own preferences like listening to favorite music, having a working table facing the window, being in more comfortable clothes most of the time, in return all these add to the efficiency of an individual. The working time also suits more to the need of an individual.
Now thinking from the employer’s point of view, they can now capture more talent which were conventionally not available to them. They can employ people who are residing far off, women who have problem of travelling long distances and security issues. The employers can now expect more efficiency from the employees as they are in their comfort zone. Also, due to less people on the road, there is a lot less use of vehicles which results in less usage of electricity in workplaces, so it can help reduce the pollution level in the area.
But all is not well with this culture, as more work from home will lead to ghettoization of individuals, putting them back into their cocoon. Workplaces are not just an arena of work but also socialization hubs for employees and cultural interchange points. It provides opportunities to develop more empathetic attitude towards each other.
Secondly, this culture will lead to loss of trust between the employers and employees. In the case of missing deadlines, there will be no certainty whether the people have worked with sincerity to complete the job in time. It will also lead to reduction in outlets, food courts, shops which were earlier functioning for the working employees. Therefore, this will lead to loss of jobs. There will also be less purchase of new vehicles which can hamper the GDP of the country in long run.
In accordance to the predictions of International Organizations, there can be more severe climatic conditions like floods and cyclones etc. Furthermore, we are living in the time of corona, we can never be sure of such situations in the future. As the scattering of joint families continues, people are finding it hard to balance their work and home so, work from home culture may be the new normal and we should be definitely prepared for this process.
Comparing both the positive and negative sides of this aspect, we can start a balanced transition to see how the various stake holders involved in this process respond.