- With the coronavirus induced lockdown and social distancing measures in place, organisations allowed their employees to work from home.
- Lately, with declining number of COVID-19 cases and increasing economic burden, countries have eased the restrictions and organisations are looking forward to re-open workplaces for employees.
- However, continuation of work from home seems to be a prudent idea in near to mid-term, given the benefits of job satisfaction and work-life balance, along with avoiding second wave of infection.
Among various transformations that organisations across the world have gone through during COVID-19, one major transformation has been to work from home (WFH) that kept millions of people employed and businesses running. In the last few months, things turned upside down, and hopelessness was seen taking charge among people amid the alarming situation surrounding coronavirus.
With the outbreak of coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, China, and its spread across the globe, the whole world was put behind closed doors, and social as well as economic activities were brought to a halt. Technology turned out to be a saviour for many organisations that could continue to run during such an alarming situation by allowing their employees to work from home.
Currently, situation seems to have cooled down a bit, as several countries are witnessing a decline in the number of COVID-19 infected cases and things have started getting under control. Moreover, New Zealand has emerged as the only country that has recorded zero cases of COVID-19 for 19 consecutive days, as on 10 June 2020.
Moreover, the country has moved to Level 1, relaxing the domestic restrictions on gathering numbers, with tighter controls being placed on those coming to New Zealand at the border to ensure the safety of the people of New Zealand.
Although returning to work can now be pronounced to be safe for employees; however, working from home has its own advantages, especially in times when coronavirus is not completely eliminated in many major economies, and many are yet to take control of the situation.
Along with enjoying the comfort of working from home, the employees are also sceptical about the second wave of coronavirus infections that is anticipated very soon by numerous experts across the globe. In view of several advantages of working from home during such critical times, employees are willing to continue the trend.
Let us look at a few benefits of working from home in the present scenario.
Increased Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction is one of the most imperative factors that keeps an employee engaged in a particular job or organisation at is enhances the productivity of the individual, keeps an individual engaged as well as motivated, and commonly helps in developing team spirit and effectiveness in teamwork.
The practice of working from home ensures flexible working arrangements for employees and is seen as the top work perk by a good number of employees across several organisations. Work from home is also considered as an element of job satisfaction.
Moreover, staying connected at all times is no longer a challenge for organisations with innovation in video streaming and real-time communication apps designed for the workplace. Along with this, these apps also ensure security and reliability are maintained while communicating and unwanted elements can be kept away.
In totality, work from home in current times is facilitated by several technological enhancements which help in ensuring all-time connection, while keeping employees safe at home and not exposing them to the risk of COVID-19 outside.
Travel Time Saved, Improved Productivity and Work-Life Balance
One of the challenges for employees at organisations is the challenge of travelling time to and from the workplace. Waking up early and making it to the workplace is a challenge that most of the people face before reaching the workplace.
Moreover, travel time to and from the workplace has become a factor to consider while taking up a job, for many. Current situation of COVID-19 has helped employees save their travel time and has helped them maintain a work-life balance.
Maintaining work-life balance is an important part of job satisfaction, and organisations lose many efficient and hardworking employees because of lack of it, since their jobs offer less or no work-life balance, which may be due to time-consuming travel.
However, if workplace comes to an employees’ home, it shall prove to be an opportunity to restore the lost balance, since less time consumed in commuting on public transport or busy roads would mean more time with family or for leisure.
Moreover, while working from home, employees can enjoy the comfort of being in their own space, with their own things, and wearing what they like. Also, they will have the advantage of addressing their household duties like putting on a load of washing or letting meals cook while working at the same time.
While working at home, employees also find it easier to schedule their exercise or just take a break by going for a walk around the block to freshen up and maintain productivity. Often job switches are driven by lack of job satisfaction and tiresome schedules.
While allowing people to maintain productivity and improve work performance, the current work from home is also helping in maintaining work-life balance.
Fear of a Rebound in COVID-19 Infections
Earlier this year, as soon as restrictions like lockdown and stay at home were placed due to coronavirus pandemic, several organisations across the globe kept functioning by allowing their employees to work from home.
With the ease in restrictions and freedom for social as well as the economic movement of people, there has been rising fear of the second wave of COVID-19 infected cases. The city of Wuhan, currently known as the point of origination of COVID-19, has also seen the second wave of COVID-19 infections with ease in restrictions.
A more worrying situation is prevailing in countries that are yet to see their peak in COVID-19 cases and have opened economic activities. Moreover, experts have warned of a stronger rebound in the number of COVID-19 cases than the initial one.
Also, as China recorded continuous imported cases in recent days, experts from the country said that the people could soon witness a second wave of the COVID-19 cases and have advised people to avoid the same from growing.
Employees travelling to work amid such alarming times are prone to get infected and might be a part of the expected second wave of infected cases. Moreover, working in office spaces would need employees to interact individually, as well as in groups where social distancing measure may or may not be possible.
Of late, organisations have allowed only a limited number of employees, say 30% or 50%, to work from the office space at a time to ensure safety of employees at workplace. However, staying at home is one of the best practices to ensure the safety of all employees.
Viewing the warnings and instances of a rebound in cases, continuation in work from home might be a prudent idea for the employees at this time. Moreover, organisations that have been working smoothly throughout the tough times by keeping their employees working from remote locations are now experienced in maintaining consistent workflow.