Understanding Scope and Benefits of Work From Home or Remote Work
With companies developing a better understanding of what exactly work is, they are becoming more and more certain that working for home is at least as good as working from the office. Due to unexpected situations, such as Covid – 19 crises, making employees work from home has become a dire necessity for many, but even before that, it wasn’t just restricted to the freelancers.
Reasons behind the expanding scope of Work from Home
1. Less Organizational Cost
No matter whether it is a big firm or a small or medium one, as long as the employees stay in the office, they are entitled to certain benefits. For an employee centered business, the per employee cost of these benefits could cost the firm dearly, and in terms of expenses, it might even compete with their salaries. So, any saving in this department would save the firm from plenty of expenses.
2. No Inconvenience of Travelling to work
In most of the thickly populated cities of the world, everyday the employees have to face a great dilemma. They have to make a choice about whether they should travel by public transport like metro or whether they should commute by taxis or private vehicles. The public transport systems would save time, but it might be too crowded. Taxis and private vehicles would cost too much of time, especially when one is commuting during the peak hours. While they are working from home, employees don’t have to face this dilemma. In addition, it also comes as a relief for the companies, as then they are not entitled to pay the travel allowance to their employees.
3. Better Work Environment
While this might not be true for everyone, for a lot of people, it is. Offices with their intimidating building designs, insipid cubicles, and an excessively formal atmosphere make them uninspiring for many employees. According to The Remote Work Report by Zapier, as many as 74% of workers are willing to quit their jobs in favor of working from home and 26% have already quit a job as it didn’t allow remote work.
4. Increasing Property Prices
This is a factor both for the companies and their employees. To accommodate more employees, the companies have to pay heavy rent for their office space. The employees, on the other hand, if they want to save them from travel related woes, are forced to buy/rent a place that’s nearer to the office, which is bound to be much more expensive. Therefore, the work from home option is feasible for both as it gives the companies a choice to rent a smaller office and allows the employees to work consistently, even when they are living in the suburbs.
5. Changing Social Structures
Almost all the nations of the world have either risen or are rising from a society dominated by gender roles. Based on these roles, the men were supposed to do the work while the women were supposed to take care of the house. In cultures supporting matriarchy, it was often the other way around. This way, the family could support their living, and at the same time, afford to have children.
But because of disappearance of these gender roles, many developed countries like Japan and Germany are witnessing a negative population growth. When both man and wife are working, they cannot afford to have any children. Since they don’t stay at home all day, they’d have to shuffle their children, between daycare and home, which is something that many couples don’t like to put up with. If they are allowed to work from home, they might decide otherwise.
6. Personal Commitments
Having a child isn’t the only personal commitment that the employees might have. They might be having a sick relative at home, or there could even be a disability preventing them from visiting their office. Whatever the case might be, there are many employees who would be able to maintain a better work life balance if they were to work from home.
Effect of Telework/ICTM (Information Communication Technologies- mobile work) on Homeworking
Irrespective of what advantage work from home entails, we cannot deny that without strong communication technology backing it up it would’ve been impossible. It owes a lot to the changes that happened in the last one and half decade.Availability of high-speed internet and mobile data being the two of the biggest. According to data by Global Workplace Analytics more than 20% of workers commute at least part of the time. This includes audio/video conferencing, working remotely via internet connection, etc. The trend has seen a significant rise in the past and is expected to grow significantly in the near future. The current pandemic crisis might simply accelerate it, as it is already evident from sudden popularity of video conference apps like Zoom. All in all, remote workforce offers some undeniable advantages, so it is important for both flourishing and established businesses to utilize it to its utmost potential.
The time of Coronavirus pandemic might provide an unprecedented boost to the work from home strategy. Millions of companies worldwide are forced to make most (or all) of their employees to work from home. If we were to believe the researches done by the Harvard Professor Prithwiraj Choudhury and his colleagues, this is bound to lead to positive results. And when it does, there are many firms won’t mind making the switch.