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Work From Home-The New Normal

Mr. Varun is a freelancer working as a passionate Marketing and Communications Specialist. He has a keen interest in current affairs.

Work From Home Policy During COVID-19 Crisis

Life has come to a standstill post coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis. Many businesses and employers are now opting for a complete social distancing norm by adopting the 'Work from Home' strategy. The work from home option erstwhile considered a niche choice for only select few employees is now witnessing robust usage at all levels across all the sectors. Work from home implementation has also witnessed reduced carbon emissions and cleaner air as people often commute less to workplaces.

The experts are now sensing the crisis as an opportunity to promote this work culture, thus helping the businesses to sustain in a volatile and competitive market. Work from home has also helped businesses to cut costs on office spaces and other expenses. Work from home option should otherwise be utilized extensively to nurture talent and skills contributed to the business during such adversity. Many companies are providing work from home as a permanent option to its employees for the next few years. The same may witness rise in numbers due to ease of availability of technology and resources to tap the work from home potential.

Work From Home in an Urban Ecosystem

Work from Home as a policy has contributed extensively to conserve the environment, especially in an urban eco-system. As many employees work from home, the carbon emission levels leading to drop in air pollution, owing to the non-utilization of either private transport or public transport.

Work from home has also helped reduce traffic congestion in urban areas and thus the policymakers now need to emphasize implementing this as a norm for the companies otherwise dependent on technology-related work. An extensive work from home arrangement will help ensure to promote cleaner air, contribute to sustainability, and help the organizations to thrive on smart workplace policies.

Many government agencies and international organizations across the globe have also switched from paperwork-culture to a complete information technology-based environment during the COVID-19 crisis. The organizations are reducing the cost of paper-based activities to save the environment whilst encouraging computer-based work activity.

Hence, governments and international organizations too may adopt work from home policy as a new norm and implement effective decisions. An efficient working culture through work from the home policy will help the governments boost productivity, improve efficiency, and contribute to smart governance.

Several government departments and international organizations which are involved in policy formulation may thus adopt such innovative work from home strategy.

Learning and Development Through Work From Home Option

The advent of video conferencing through many user-friendly applications has enabled seamless connectivity whilst helping the people to stay abreast of the latest developments without much disruption. Work from home will also help the organizations to save costs on learning and development related activities. Some of the examples include conducting online learning sessions, learning management system (LMS) based e-learning modules, mentor-based video sessions, etc.

The online learning modules adopted during such a crisis has thus provided an opportunity to work from home and contribute to learning activity without the need to commute to office locations otherwise.

Work From Home Post COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to sustain business continuity through the work from home option. Many employees have switched to work from home as an alternative to office commute to avoid the risk of COVID-19.

Many organizations including mid-size and start-up firms have now adhered to work from the home policy as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that the employees do not use or visit office-spaces. Hence, the work from home option may act as a new norm for offices aided by good technological infrastructures like VPN connectivity, remote working devices, smart applications to track productivity, etc.

However as the pandemic is yet to subside globally, there is a need to sustain work from the home arrangement as a permanent option and provide the employees the flexibility to choose to work remotely. Work from home option will otherwise contribute to reduced carbon emissions and help to boost productivity while ensuring business continuity.

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Workstation at Home

Workstation at Home

Key tips to Work From Home Effectively

As the demand for Work From Home is increasing at an alarming place across various verticals, it is also essential to adhere to best practises while following a work from home routine. The following are some of the best tips that may be incorporated-

  • Always ensure a tidy place to work on a computer/laptop. Do not work in a congested place at home which may lead to physical stress.
  • Keep away from distractions that otherwise hamper smooth work from home option. Some of them include keeping away telephone ports, music systems, pets, food etc.
  • Do not encourage visitors to enter your workspace at home. This may lead to distraction and often lead to delay in executing work from home assignments/projects accordingly
  • Keep pen and paper ready to jot down essential notes while working remotely at home. These things ensure that you stay updated on any important events and helps you to adhere to project timelines, when necessary.
  • Ensure to keep technical equipment handy, as these may be vital during disruptions or when required to switch to an alternative option. For example, keep extra audio ports ready for video conferencing, storage drive to copy/transfer files, printer to print documents etc.
  • As much possible avoid external distractions and do not use work locations near doors and windows.
  • Ensure a calm and serene environment, as much like the office, for your workstation at home.

Conclusion

Work from home, which erstwhile existed for only select few groups in organizations, has now become a new norm post-COVID-19 crisis. Work from home has enabled flawless networking while giving a boost to productivity and to save costs on physical infrastructure otherwise incurred by the organizations.

While it is essential to maintain social distancing norms in public places, work from home opportunity otherwise has enabled many organizations to take better preventive steps and let employees work safely.

An innovative strategy may be adopted in a phased and comprehensive manner to let the employees choose to work remotely, even after the end of the pandemic. The policy will also help conserve and preserve the environment as the same contributes to reduced carbon emissions due to the non-usage of vehicles for a commute to the workplace.

Work From Home After COVID-19