FUTURE OF WORK: Recreating the Work & Workplace

FUTURE OF WORK: Recreating the Work & Workplace

“Progression and Development are not possible without change, and those who would not change their minds could not change anything.”

It is fair to say that year 2020 has disrupted many established patterns and compelled the business world to think differently about the nature of work and the workplace. The concept of remote working, which wasn’t looked upon much favorably before, caught on big time during the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the years 2020 and 2021.

Fact – The percentage of full-time employees working from home is expected to double by 2021, according to a study by Enterprise Technology Research (ETR).

In another survey conducted on over a thousand employees by Airtasker, remote employees were found to be more productive than their office-based counterparts. Not just that, even the organizations are discovering the benefits of having the employees work from home. Some of these benefits are:

  • Less office space required
  • Employers will move from managing employee experience to managing their employees’ health experience
  • Better balance of work and health as jobs now come with flexible schedules
  • Less stress of a commute. Saving time can allow you to focus on more important things outside of work
  • Location independence

Along with the benefits come a host of challenges as well. Some of the challenges are as follows:

Challenges To Management:

  • Safe Work Space: With the increase of remote operations, cybersecurity threats – especially cybercrime – have become increasingly common.
  • Reimbursement of costs and expenses: The employer has the responsibility to provide employees with the necessary resources to do the job. This could include a computer with programs to access and protect work files, headset, webcam, and visual assembly software.
  • Remote work affects performance management: As organizations focus more on the work done instead of the hours spent – making tools and applications to help manage the work of remote workers becomes more important.
  • Building/maintaining trust with employees: Building trust relationships becomes difficult with employees who work remotely and connect virtually.

Challenges To Employees:

  • Productivity growth: Sometimes the target becomes unachievable due to work becoming monotonous, and also because of lack of interest.
  • Overcoming distractions: Being at home and getting more surrounded by household chores builds distraction over a period of time.
  • Staying motivated: Motivation should be a continuous process to keep employees engaged and add value to the organization.
  • Maintaining social relations: Working from home puts employees out of personal touch with other employees. Maintaining social relations could therefore be tough.

Overcoming The Challenges:

Build Effective Communication: The first thing needed for a team working remotely is an effective communication channel. Virtual Groups need something quick, responsive, and flexible.

A Clear Vision: Companies should set clear goals, convey them to the employees, and ensure total commitment and dedication from the employees.

Training and Upskilling: Companies should train their employees to use technology confidently. They should keep updated and invest in new technologies. Virtual training sessions to upskill employees are also recommended.

Make Remote Work Efficient: This can be done in a few ways:

  • Set one daily goal and focus on achieving that goal
  • Take breaks to relax the overworked brain
  • Remove distractions

Maintaining Leadership: A simple and consistent response from employers and face-to-face or oral communication is an important means to effective leadership.

To sum it up, as things normalize and the industry opens up for full-time work, the work-from-home model will still remain relevant. The gig economy further spurs the culture of remote work. In the long run, a hybrid model that encompasses both work-from-home and work-from-office will become more acceptable and prevalent for optimum productivity and efficiency.

Written By
Somya Mathur
PGDM 2020-22
Jaipuria School of Business