While Covid-19 has certainly impacted the whole world in lots of negative ways, there are some areas though, where the impact is felt to be positive. What once used to be a stigma, like; work from home, having virtual meetings, getting virtual education and frequent use of technology to change the way we used to do things, is a more common and accepted reality now. The debate is more now towards pros. and cons., whether there are more advantages or disadvantages in working from home.
Thanks to work from home, the organizations, and economies, were able to sustain and avoid total collapse. This was not only essential to keep the economic activities alive, but also helped us avoid massive spread of virus. It was this pandemic, that forcefully pushed all organizations to switch to Working from Home, as otherwise, it would have taken much longer time to adopt these practices. Work from Home has been in consideration for quite some time, but most organizations were shy and reluctant to take the final initiative due to fears and uncertainty.
In this article, my intent is to briefly discuss the advantages of Working from Home. In next article, I will try to cover the opposite so that we could well evaluate the Pros. and Cons. of this and then decide if it will have overall positive or negative impact on our respective lives.
1. Convenient & Flexible Schedules:
This is by far, the best advantage of working from home, especially for those who have always been hating to follow strict office timing routines. This gives the flexibility to set your own schedule, around 24 hours window, and take the breaks as and when needed.
2. Better Productivity – No distractions:
Research has proven that actual output of an average person in Pakistan should be 8 hours per day, but in reality, lots of time is wasted in; arriving late in morning, chit-chat and tea before settling down, lunch and prayer breaks, post lunch tea and brief socializing in person or on social media platforms. Therefore, despite that we are spending 8 hours in the office, our actual output is hardly 2-3 hours. Whereas, in working from home, such distractions are not there so one can spend only 4 hours to achieve double output while still giving sufficient time for families.
3. Cost Saving:
Working from home provides cost savings for both organization as well as the employee. Organizations are able to sustain during these challenging times by reducing their operational expenses and fixed costs. Organizations are saving operational expenses normally spent on utilities bills, petrol and entertainment etc. whereas employees are also saving their expenses on petrol, lunch, gatherings/outings and laundry etc.
4. No Commute Stress:
Trust me, there are no better feelings then avoiding rush hours drive in morning and evenings. Commuting to office is even more challenging for those who are using public transport. The amount of stress one gets through in commuting to work place, directly impacts his/her mood, productivity and output. While working from home, all these pains and stress are avoided and individuals have the flexibility to stay at their beds and start their office work.
5. Casual Dressing:
Every morning waking up and putting on formal dress, especially “tie”, is a routine that every worker hate doing, but have to do this to follow the office decorum. Thanks to working from home option, now one can work in their trousers and sweatpants and enjoy wearing casual dressing throughout the day, which used to be a weekend routine pre Covid days.
6. Sufficient Family Time:
No more complaining family members asking for quality time. Now you have got enough time to spend with the loved ones, especially kids and elders. Those who have sick family member(s), can now take care of them and spare spending more time with them. Lockdown during this pandemic, and associated work from home routine, has rejuvenated family bonds because everyone was staying at home and had plenty of work to spend with each other. What once used to be a dream, to have some time for our loved ones, is now a reality, and we all have enjoyed and utilized it to it fullest potential.
7. Time for yourself:
We all have been feeling squeezed between work and family time and had no time to spare for ourselves; to enjoy reading books, to start some exercise, watch movies or just sit alone and spend quality time with ourselves meditating or thinking about what has been achieved and what goals to set for future. Covid-19 lockdown and working from home routine has helped us take a break, and evaluate progress towards life goals, may it be getting healthy, being happy or earning lots of money.
8. Secondary Source of Income:
This pandemic has alarmed everyone to not keep relying on one source of income. During such testing times, organizations are forced to cut down their costs, so jobs can be lost, even those considered most secured ones. In such sudden loss of jobs, when there is a slight chance of getting the replacement, maintaining the life style becomes a major challenge. Therefore, lots of people, have started thinking towards creating a backup plan. For educated class, freelancing comes out to be the most attractive option, since assignments can be taken through platforms like Fivverr and Freelancer, and completed while staying at home during extra hours. For those who posses no technological skills, are considering side business. E-commerce is another area where lots of focus is shifted and more and more new platforms are being launched every month.
9. Customized Office Space:
It all started with working from couches and beds but as the lockdown kept stretching, the need to have a formal working space in homes was felt. Though it sounds relaxing, but working on a couch for long hours is quite uneasy and usually involves frequent posture changes. Now most of workers who are regularly required to work from home have arranged work table, and found a good seating spot where work can be performed, away from noise and regular home activities. Home offices give freedom to chose the fixtures, layout or accessories as per his/her own wish and make it whatever they want.
10. Location Independence:
Working from home doesn’t only mean staying in your own home, but it gives complete location independence, as long as you have an internet connection to connect with. Now you can make a family or friends trip to a holiday destination and/or to a relative house and still continue to work from remote changing locations which will hardly be felt.
Now since everyone has settled in, organizations have realized that employees can still be productive when not in office and staying at home. In some cases, the results are even better. Though this arrangement can not work for every job, it still covers around 75% of today’s workforce, which leaves a substantial impact.
Will companies go back to their old work routine requiring everyone to work on-site, or will they continue to enjoy this “new normal” and make efforts to further strengthen this arrangement to make it more efficient? They certainly require to do lots of changes in their processes to be able to better fit with this new work mode. One thing is for sure, that wherever possible, companies would try to keep their employees at home for at least 3 days a week asking them to come in office only for remaining days or come in rotation. This will help businesses reduce their work space so overall office spaces are expected to shrink.
Problem is, that not everyone can work from home. Work from home is certainly possible for managers, professionals and tech workers who can complete their job tasks on laptops, but there are some support positions, who are mostly involved in physical works, so this “new normal” has affected them a lot. In the extended lockdown, their jobs are at a greater risk since they are the one being considered as zero contributors during these tough times.
In the following article, will discuss the disadvantages of work from home. Stay with us and keep reading.