April 20, 2024


Delighting finance buffs

Work from home likely to be new normal in post-novel coronavirus world

A majority of countries across the globe are relaxing lockdown rules and pushing to reopen economies. Many across the world are now pondering about the way the world will function in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Is work from home (WFH) the way forward? Will companies call employees to office on a rotational basis?

Many employees who have been working from home are dreading the prospect of going back to crowded offices with the foremost reason being no available vaccine for Covid-19 yet. Many predict work from home to be the new normal.

Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics speculates that the recent crisis will be a tipping point for employee work-from-home programs.

Most people who are working from home would prefer to continue doing so “as much as possible”. The fact that most companies are looking to adopt this style will, in fact, work in favour of those who want to continue working from home.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recently said that as many as 75 per cent of their 3.5 lakh employees will work from home by 2025. “We call this philosophy 25×25, which means only 25 percent of our employees may have to be in the office to ensure that 100 per cent are productive,” N Ganapathy Subramaniam, chief operating officer and executive director, TCS said recently.

Kate Lister predicts that workers will be looking for the “happy medium,” splitting time between remote work and showing up at the office. The hope is that the pandemic will have shown managers that workers can be trusted to do their jobs without constant supervision.

“Any kind of flexibility is something that people are really, really ripe for, just some control over where and when they work,” Lister added.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, 25 million to 30 million employees in the US will regularly work from home for the next two years. This number is five times the current rate. At present, only five million workers work from home either half-time.

Rahul Agarwal, CEO and MD, Lenovo India, believes changes in work culture were visible even before the outbreak and it seems like both companies and workers are adapting to the new normal.

Other companies like Tech Mahindra are planning towards permanently moving to a hybrid model. CP Gurnani, MD and CEO, Tech Mahindra said, “We would like 25 per cent of employees to work from home long-term. Technology solutions will quickly evolve but it is the human angle that will be important to watch.”

Another silver lining pointed out by many is the reduced real estate cost that companies will have to bear once work from home becomes the new way of functioning.

It would not just be companies that will save costs, for employees too, it could be a win-win situation. Data by Global Workplace Analytics shows that people can save on an average of $2,000 to $6,500 every year by not spending on fuel and daycare.

The benefits of work from home are not limited to work-life balance but expand to a cleaner environment too.

As humans retreated into their homes, Mother Nature came out in its glory. Reduced pollution was noted in major cities around the globe, New Delhi, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris to name a few. This is another reason for those who worry about climate change to be happy as they will be able to reduce their carbon footprints by avoiding vehicular movement.

At the moment, it looks like a post-Covid-19 world will see more work from home, improved work-life balance coupled with lesser pollution.

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