Working from Home- Is it a privilege or the ‘new normal’?

The worldwide pandemic has caused people to shut their workplaces and sit at home, in an effort to promote ‘staying in’ culture rather than stepping out. It brought the idea of working from home- where even big companies like Google, Facebook, MIcrosoft have asked their employees to stop the commute and work indoors. The main factor of the spread of viruses has led to the normalcy of work from home culture, which used to be a privilege in the past, not preferred by many, so to say. 

With time, even employers have realized the hidden advantages of having employees work from home, saying no to unnecessary commutes, that brings more efficiency at work. Employers are at a greater benefit as they do not need as much office space, free beverages, meals and snacks, on site administrative help and more. Infact, the individuals who work from home, work more than they would in the office, itself. The commuting time is also saved up, which can be utilized by workers to work for longer duration, without feeling lethargic. Hence, companies who employ work from home workers tend to get an average of three hours of work for free. 

Whilst, on the other hand, even employees benefit from the situation- no commute, no traffic rush, no riding the subway. They work in more ease and a comfortable, homely environment, improving their working efficiency multiple times. Almost two to three years back, few enterprises sold work from home as a privilege and offered shared working space to workers who occasionally needed or wanted to come to the office. Although, there were some who argued that they are not willing to work from home, and that working inside the office would make them work more and better. 

The ‘work from home’ being an advantage does not imply equally to every individual. For those with unhealthy home environments- abusive households, with the presence of non- cooperative people around may create serious disturbance in daily working of a person.  Although, initially working from home takes practice and requires a significant amount of self-awareness, self-discipline and a laser like focus. Further, working from home does not mean neglecting communication and hibernating into ‘ no social circle’ kind of life. One should keep in touch with their colleagues through digital communication from time to time, so as not to weaken their communication skills while working at home. 

The pandemic situation has turned down everything to one solution of staying home and working from home. Many firms are able to well manage their tasks even in a work from home setting, but what about others who weren’t just ready for this- they lack proper resources in the first place to work from home. Infact companies are facing loss due to this very reason and they prefer to stay completely shut till any orders are given of stepping out of the house. Therefore, not everyone is at an advantage and not everyone is reaping the benefits. 

Work from home is still a privilege in some respects- it offers convenience, comfort and accessibility. Also, not all job profiles can support the idea of work from home, because evidently there are many tasks that could be done only after moving out of the house like that of a janitor, washerman, milkman and so on. There might be digital alternatives to these- still someone would have to deliver the resources to people without which the work is incomplete. Moreover, not all companies are directly in favor of keeping their employees at home which leads to improper monitoring and decline in coordination, according to the employers. Well, the pandemic has provided everyone an opportunity to experience work from home culture in a different way. There is more hope for the companies to stay in this culture until a strong sanitary system is incorporated in the offices, eliminating any uncertainty or risks involved in attending the office. The new normal is still a privilege, so to say, that might not last for long. 

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