Working From Home: Boon Or Bane?
Almost the entire world has shifted to remote-working in 2020 due to COVID-19. There has always been a never-ending debate about remote work & a global pandemic like COVID-19 is quite literally putting things into perspective for us. Whilst some people consider it as a blessing, others would claim that it is nothing more than a boon in disguise. Several researches have been conducted over the years to find out the most accurate claim.
Let’s have a look at some interesting statistics related to telecommuting:-
- The number of regular telecommuting employees (excluding the self-employed population) has grown by 115% since 2005.
- In a Stanford University study, employers who offered a work from home option had employee turnover rates fall by over 50%.
- 68% of millennial job seekers said a work-from-home option would greatly influence their interest in working for a company.
- Employers offering at least part-time telecommuting can save over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter each year.
According to the European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, June 2018 edition, working from home is best suited for those employees reporting high levels of autonomy and emotional stability, whereas employees reporting high levels of job autonomy with lower levels of emotional stability appeared to be more susceptible to strain.
Apparently working from home isn’t the stress-free mini-vacation it seems!
As we say, there are pros and cons to everything, so is the case with telecommuting. Published in a survey by Buffer on remote work, 78% of remote workers said, their companies don’t cover internet costs. Apart from the tangible drawbacks, it also has some intangible drawbacks such as loneliness or isolation, lack of cohesion within the team, missing the in-office appreciation & no engagement in team-building activities.
However, if companies decide to provide useful sessions to their employees on how to leverage the maximum out of telecommuting then, the positive results could hit the sky. Part-time remote working such as few times a week could also help keep the drawbacks at bay.
FastCompany predicts that, as the workforce becomes more progressive, virtual tools, like mobile remote-working tools and virtual reality conferencing, will become the preferred modes of communication. AI is also speculated to play a paramount role in managing remote staff.
Many employees now expect remote work opportunities. In fact, according to Buffer, 90% of current remote workers plan on working remotely for the rest of their careers. Because of this increasing popularity in this trend, some refuse to accept an onsite position, knowing they can find a more convenient and flexible gig elsewhere.
If an organization is concerned about productivity and performance issues associated with a company-wide ability to work from home, it is recommended to create standard key performance indicators (KPIs) for both management and employees. This way, remote team members are aware of expectations, and their performance can also be monitored.
Emergencies like the COVID-19 outbreak may push the companies to re-evaluate the way they work, however, it is always a good thought to consider diversification in one’s business model and build a more sustainable workplace strategy that is proactive, adaptable, and comprehensive.