The impact of the coronavirus is there for all to see. Employees are working at home. The future looks uncertain as the virus keeps mutating. Just recently a new strain of the virus has been detected in the UK and is believed to have already traveled to India. Mumbai is experiencing night curfew as a result. Companies have declared that their employees will continue to work from home till 31st March 021. Those companies that are willing to work out of offices are either looking at moving to cheaper office spaces or looking at co-working spaces to deal with the uncertainties they are facing. For most companies’ sales have plummeted and revenue numbers have gone down.
Most companies have accepted the new normal and have adapted to it as well. The new normal being that we will have to live with the coronavirus and till more research does not produce better vaccines ‘prevention is better than cure’ as the old adage goes.
Despite all the gloom and doom, one must not underestimate the human spirit to survive and overcome hurdles. Despite a serious drop in office space requirements in the 3rd quarter of this year (2020), the year has not ended all that bad for the corporate leasing industry as well as for co-working spaces. The average lease out area for Co-working companies has actually gone up from 35K sq. ft to 70K sq. ft in 2020. In this background let’s analyze the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
Work from Home
- Eliminates Costs to Company -Companies looking at cutting costs and growing cautiously are preferring co-working spaces where they can scale up as a business grows and eliminate the cost of several months of security, rental, and interiors.
- Eliminates certain costs and saves time for employees. Employees save on commute time, traffic jams, and crowded metros.
- Very helpful for the freelancers, young mothers, pet owners who can work from the comfort of their home and yet manage both work and home.
- Very good for employee motivation who can work from home, yet are welcome to the office if they so feel like.
- Those companies that have a sizeable number still coming to the office, as well as manufacturing facilities, have improved safety and sanitizing standards. This is likely to stay for the future. Most have regular check-ups as well as the use of infrared thermometers is now the norm.
- Work from Anywhere: Work from home allowed many employees to move back to their states, cities. They can work from their home or can visit their parents and work from there. They can also decide to take a cup of coffee and work out of the café. Very convenient
- Better talent acquisition: Most companies found it difficult to hire and retain talent that was not located near the office. Work from home opportunity has allowed companies to hire better and more diverse talent.
- Environmental impact – Air got cleaner. Cars were off the road reducing pollution and at the same time deaths due to accidents came down dramatically. Noise pollution was down.
- There was a sudden need for better technologies for work from home. Many new apps came up for companies to perform different functions, like communication, meetings, monitoring time utilization by employees, etc.
- Finally, less holidays and less need for sick leave or absence.
- Many players believe that for a good working environment, a healthy face to face interaction of employees is essential. They believe that working from home effects the creativity of their employees. They prefer working from the office.
- Covid has made companies understand the need for human interaction, social interaction.
- Working from Home has many distractions of family, bell ringing, and other distractions that cannot be avoided.
- Work from home fatigue has started to kick in.
- Costs have not really come down for employees. The use of air-con at home has gone up resulting in higher electricity bills. Internet bandwidth is another issue at home.
- Difficulty in monitoring performance is another issue. Companies are finding it exceedingly difficult to monitor their employees.
- Large companies have the resources to upgrade technologies or adopt new technologies but smaller companies are finding it difficult to cope up.
- Negative impact on health, information security concerns, decreased staff morale over time are some other negative side effects of working from home.
- Working from home has also blurred the line between office and work. Many employees now find themselves always at work. They are finding it difficult to maintain the work, home balance.
- It has been observed that employees feel so much into the workload that often makes them depressed and anxious.