A mechanical engineer, professional with 10+ years of experience in real estate, food, & automobile industry sharing views future offices.
The covid-19 pandemic has given rise to a new work culture globally, which is WFH - work from home. Especially IT, software, trading, marketing, and similar businesses where work gets done and managed through computer and mobile phone and of course the Internet and the digital technology world. WFH saves travel time to the office and makes you readily available when needed in no time. A counterpart of WFH, it’s difficult to keep the disturbances of family members always away or quiet the entire time, especially with kids. Also, to separate and prioritize family and work time are cumbersome sometimes, work-family balance goes for a toss. The scale of work isn’t on par compared to being and working at the office. When working at the office, there is always some peer pressure, which is good for growth and productivity. Employees become well-disciplined under observation always in the office, making them conscious and performance savvy. Though cogently people get enforced to work from home, this office constraint has made many corporates realized they don’t need gigantic spaces, can manage work in shifts, alternate workdays, and induce proactivity with digital technology.
WFH - Work From Home
People doing small business online habitually are not conditional to a new concept as they manage their work through mobile phones, laptops, and of course the internet. WFH makes you comfortable at home, avoiding exhaustive commutes to the workplace. Though almost all are new to this WFH culture, 48% of people are not much affected by not going to an office, as per TOI reports. A major drawback is 66% of people cannot disengage with work on time and devote time to family members. Though freedom is more likewise, so is the responsibility to get the job done with limited resources. Also, a few days of confinement from a social circle can make you introverted and a homebody.
WFO - Work From Office
According to the TOI survey, 58% of office goers feel the travel and commute time to the office help them prepare for their workday. While you are at the office, your priority and focus is only on work. You also meet new people and make meaningful relationships every other day and build people networks, which is imperative for professional growth. Coworkers around the corner motivate you under pressure situations and keep your confidence high. In a 9 to 5 work life, productive work gets done in 4 hours and 40% of the time gets wasted in useless meetings, emails, non-essential disruptions.
Limitations with WFH
WFH makes you miss the coffee breaks with office buddies. Though technology can connect you with your colleagues in no time, but with limitations, it can’t make you feel the same as actual meets and hangouts. Seniors and coworkers not around the corner make problem-solving a little time-consuming. Common challenges faced are Internet network instability, communication barriers, difficulty in accessing files from office databases, and technology glitches.
Not all professionals are compatible with work from home. Locations-shoots, advertisements, news channel anchors, manufacturers, bankers, health workers, and police to name a few of them among frontline folks wherein work on the spot is just the option. Though there isn’t office space like any software company poses for such professionals and are location-based but they definitely can’t work from a single place like home. WFH will never be working for them, period!
Productivity is what the management team desires from you, whether you work from home or office or space, if possible. Surprisingly, 66% of the silent majority felt their productivity in their field of expertise did increase while working from home and, of course, found more work satisfaction at home. According to Stanford, while operating from home 13% of the increase in productivity found among 16,000 workers over 9 months of study, while few folks in the Everest group found positive results. Cutting down wastage time such as commute, meetings, reporting’s, total mealtime, mid-breaks, and converting into a meaningful time for family, senior managers interactions and building new skills. A company should evaluate and improve the performance of organization members who are working from home by taking care of few things.
- Communicate proactively with members over video and audio team calls to maintain energy levels while other expenses like office power usage, utility & stationary bills, and mobility allowances got reduced to zero.
- In the best way using technology and apps to deliver reports, feedbacks, brainstorming ideas, and track every person’s progress through the dashboard. Keeping realistic and time-bound targets motivates and maintains healthy competition among coworkers.
New Culture to Adapt - Future Offices
The long-lasting effect of the Covid-19 pandemic would be the new normal - Work From Home. Smaller business premises to cut costs. In the future, a home would be the new office to a certain extent. Considering the longer perspective, most people desired to work from home 3 days a week, very less percentage of people preferred WFH completely for productivity. A combination of working from home & office would clear the clutter and maintain sound communication among employees with the help of digital technology while working from remote places. Google has considered a flexible model of working 3 days from the office and two days from home. Most numbers inculcated are from the surveys conducted by TOI- Time of India.
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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Hiren V