Before we could begin to understand the future of work post-pandemic, let us consider an overview of the origin of work from home. Many fail to accept that the concept isn’t something new and wasn’t born overnight. Surprisingly, it is true that work from home existed even before the existence of corporate offices or spaces.
The evolution of man’s history reveals that people were used to working from their homes selling handmade goods, which included potters, carpenters, etc. It was after the industrial revolution that the people started moving out of their houses. But then, the pandemic unexpectedly put forth a sudden experiment throughout the world that forcefully kept the people locked up in their houses and had to start working from home to earn for their survival.
Although the situation was quite abrupt, surprisingly, it was well-embraced by the people. One could even say that there was no other option left, which could be equally true, but there is still a big division among the people who are in favour of working from home while others aren’t. However, the concern now is that, with the gradual lifting up of the lockdown, should the people continue working from home, or should the companies call the people back to the office spaces? In order to answer this question, there is a need to understand the different perspectives of the concerned people, along with the benefits.
The Pandemic’s Impact on Work
The Covid-19 pandemic presented a social and economic shock throughout the world that is most likely to reform the whole idea concerning the work of the individuals and organizational management. Indeed, there has been an enormous shift in the perception. As mentioned earlier, many organizations accepted and adapted themselves to the situation very well.
For instance, a survey was undertaken by Forbes wherein the organizational management was posed with the following question; “What are the ways that the outbreak of the pandemic could be advantageous to your business function?” Thus, many companies have been able to positively perceive as well as take advantage of the pandemic scenario for the betterment of the organization.
What are the positive impacts of working from home?
In order to discern if the work from home should continue or not, let us discuss a few advantages of working from home.
- Work-Life Balance
One of the prominent benefits of working from home is an opportunity to lead a balanced personal and professional life. How can we ignore the fact that we are working with the millennials? There is a profound change in the work attitude of the millennials compared to the others. A balanced life is one of their primary demands. Moreover, as much as they can be demanding, they are equally potential when provided the right platform. Therefore, the option of working from home can indeed be an opportunity that results in mutual benefit. Because, in the end, the organization is sure to be benefited from the potential and qualified employees.
- Increased Productivity
When the sudden arrival of the pandemic forced the people to stay locked up in the houses and gradually work from home emerged, one of the major concerns of the management was regarding productivity. It seemed that there was no hope, but still, they decided to give it a try since there was no other option too. However, very strangely, there was an unexpected result that indeed surprised everyone. The organizations witnessed a significant increase in the workforce’s productivity, which is now considered an important advantage of working from home.
- Quality Hiring
Working from home or remote working has made it possible for an employee to work from literally anywhere. In a broader sense, there is a possibility of an employee working from one state for a company that exists in another state. From the organization’s perspective, the company can improve its hiring quality, not limited to the geographical boundaries. Thus, realizing the battle between the companies for a skilled and talented workforce, work from home can be the best choice for the organizations to hire the best talents irrelevant to the place or location. All that matters is the work getting done effectively and efficiently.
- Reduced Commuting
With work from home, commuting has fallen drastically. Employees’ commuting costs both money and time. Whereas, when adapting oneself to remote working, both money and time can be saved. Zero commuting also vanishes the stress and on-the-way breakdowns involved. On the contrary, the time saved can be utilized for work effectively.
- Optimum Utilization of Technology
Technology is an ever-growing factor. Irrelevant to the fact whether your profile comes under a technical background or not, there is a need to be updated with the advancement of technology for the company’s survival. Work from home allows you to take advantage of technology to the maximum. Even this contributes to mutual development. One is that the workforce is enabled to enhance their technical skills. In addition, the organizations also can monitor the workforce with the technical monitoring tools available to ensure uninterrupted productivity.
- Improves Employee Retention
As discussed previously, employees are looking for a profile that convinces them to work in the company. Since the time work from home has begun, there is an increasing demand for the same. Consider the image below that shows the percentage of employees that are looking for remote working options. Therefore, the companies need to understand that if they are looking for the employees’ retention, then fulfilling the need of their remote working option is a must.
- Contributes to Agility and Flexibility
As mentioned, millennials’ attitudes and priorities differ a lot from the other workers. This attitude leads them to do things in their own way and time. With the growth of technology, things can now be worked out even from smartphones. Thus, work from home contributes to agility and flexibility, which allows you to work round the clock, and of course, as long as the work is done as per the set targets for each day. This may differ for the organizations according to their needs, either based on a fixed number of working hours or the fixed target.
- Cost Saved on a Workplace Setup
Organizations have witnessed an enormous amount of savings with work from home. Because there is a lot of reduction of costs on maintenance, electricity bills, refreshments, etc., due to the non-physical presence of the employees in the workplace. Some companies provide WiFi or internet connections to their employees, while others don’t. This, too, differs according to their policies and functioning. However, it is noticeable that work from home provides an opportunity for the companies to save money, which otherwise is spent and adds expense. According to Global Workplace Analytics, a company can save more than $11,000 a year for an employee who works from home.
- Reduces Absenteeism
Generally, employees tend to take leave either because of their sickness or in case they are to travel. But then, when they are allowed to work from home, there is less absenteeism witnessed by the organizations. This is because they are able to work despite them not being at home or in the office. Reducing absenteeism is sure to contribute to increased productivity.