WFH… A curse or boon?

For many of us, the coronavirus has been the most significant, and perhaps the most traumatic, experience of our lives. It will have a huge impact on us as individuals, as a society, and as a workforce. It might be hard to imagine right now, but the coronavirus crisis will end, and things will get back to normal. Well, some things will go back to the way as they were. For others, there will be a new normal. History has shown that whenever a major event happens that poses an existential threat, many of the norms of life change, some in the short term and some for the long term. In the future, entire treatises may be written on how the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the nature of work. Millions of people have already relocated to the living rooms and kitchen tables, pundits are already touting the death of the office, a new era of flexible timetables and mass exoduses from industrial cities. Whether these sweeping predictions prove true remains to be seen. Take those staples of modern office routine: meetings, emails, and time spent at work. According to a recent study by researchers at Harvard Business School, employees have been attending more meetings by video conference, rather than in-person sending more emails and putting in more hours since the widespread shift to work from home in March. Compared with pre-lockdown levels, the number of meetings an average worker attends has risen by 13%. The number of people in the average meeting has risen too, by 13.5%, perhaps because video conferences, unlike office-bound ones, are not constrained by space. One ray of hope is that meetings are shorter, by about 20%, or 12 minutes, on average. Surely, the lack of a commute at least should mean workers have more time to themselves? Alas, no, the researchers find. In a modern variant of Parkinson’s Law, working hours have expanded to soak up the extra minutes, and more. On average, people have clocked up an extra 48.5 minutes a day, more than the average commuting time. This is mainly because of a rise of 8% in the number of emails sent after normal business hours. Internal emailing during normal hours has risen too, along with the average number of recipients, presumably as a substitute for talking face to face. 
Although WFH could boost employee satisfaction, but only if a balance between work lives and personal lives could be found. With kids at home, people often find it difficult to manage both lives. Therefore employees need to be trained for work for home, Also man people like to work within the office campus. Since working from home needs a lot of discipline which is hard to find at home. Some employees operate better in a structured environment. Despite studies which show that work from home employees perform better, are more productive. but it doesn’t necessarily mean that all employees perform better. Also, office environment is structured to boost a sense of comradery with co-workers can be extremely difficult for full-time work from home employees.remote workers can make it difficult for management to monitor overtime. With the flexibility, many problems also arise due to WFH. We’ve have to make sure that we can get out most out of what is available. With such unprecedented and uncertain times, things ought to change and we should accept the change with positive attitude.