Benefits and Challenges of Work From Home (WFH)

Does your company have a policy for work from home?

The likely answer is a Yes.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life in many ways. It has been brutal for many industries such as travel and hospitality, dependent on human interaction, while several others have remained relatively unimpacted.

One enduring legacy of the pandemic for work seems to be the advent of work from home. Human capital consulting firms find that resistance to the option collapsed in the face of no other option being available. A dire situation perhaps brings out an honest evaluation of what is important and what is not.

Staffing companies in India, like Ushankk, that have established the staff augmentation model of work, have also been instrumental in getting clients comfortable with the work from home model, taking upon themselves the administrative task of managing a distributed workforce.

What are some of the consequences for employers?

+        Hire anyone in the world

As employees don’t need to commute to work, you could hire suitable resources from anywhere in the world, of course subject to language and time zone constraints. All that matters is that the employee’s competence should match your requirement.

+        Happier employees

There are many benefits for employees, such as nil commute time, greater savings, better health with home food and a familiar, comfortable environment, in work from home. A happy employee equates to better productivity and output.

+        Lower costs

With a lower requirement of real estate, normally a substantial cost item, companies adopting work from home are likely to save a packet.

+        Focus on work

Every office-goer has a story about how someone, by just pretending to work and say and do the right things to the boss, got better breaks and raises. In work from home, most of that goes out of the window. Now there are no distractions. It is only about work.

–        Difficulty in supervision

Help might be difficult to access when one is working from home, leading to greater down time and possibly compromised customer outcomes. Lack of oversight may also lead to time wastage by staffers.

–        Connection speeds and devices may vary

Efficiency could vary from one person to another as the connection speeds may be different, with each person choosing based on his/ her needs and budget. Even devices may vary, leading to some compatibility issues.

–        Work hours and cycles may be different

With the flexibility that comes with work from home could come additional responsibilities on account of the pandemic. Hence, working cycles of people may differ, resulting in challenges in short-notice discussions and meetings being set up.

–        Security of data and transactions

Work from home can compromise security as employees may access data through unsafe networks, use weak passwords and switch between company and personal devices. The need for security needs to be carefully balanced against the desire to be productive.

What does the future hold?

While it can be safely assumed that work from home is model that is not going anywhere in a hurry, the human need for social interaction, and some form of variety, has been severely curtailed during the work from home period. It has led to the development of psychological conditions in some cases and fatigue in others.

At this point, a hybrid model seems to be a distinct possibility, with some choice given to individuals.

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