Coronavirus has led to many employees working from home, and that could usher in a new era.
Work from home employees were already increasing across the globe. It’s better for employees and it’s better for companies. But a forced introduction to work from home could also hasten the process.
So, is this a harsh new reality businesses just have to adjust to going forward? Or, is this a welcome development that can actually help the global economy in the long run?
Let’s take a closer look at what’s happening now.
Why Work-from-Home Has Lagged
Work from home was all the rage just a few years ago. But some companies struggled with its adoption. Large companies that experimented with work from home discovered that employees were less likely to be productive, and more likely to spend their time on personal things and distractions. Some companies pulled their work from home strategies entirely.
Today, companies like Microsoft are encouraging their employees to work from home to avoid illness. And the forced adoption could ultimately lead to better processes.
The Advantages of Work-from-Home
Work from home has multiple advantages. Companies are able to hire employees who live anywhere, and employees are able to live in more affordable locations. Employees can work where they want and when they want, leading to greater levels of productivity. And companies are able to downsize their physical offices, reducing their overhead. All these things are beneficial.
But the downside is that the company has less control over employees. This creates both productivity and security risks. Employees need to be motivated in order to work when they’re at home, and they have to have the right protocols in place to protect their data.
How COVID-19 is Increasing Work-from-Home
Now, many tech employees are being told to work from home, because they are best-suited towards doing so. Their jobs are often isolated, so that they don’t need to work with other people. And they are already savvy enough to secure their work.
Many of these tech employees may end up not going back to the office. Once they are able to prove that they can work from home as effectively as working elsewhere, there’s very little reason to ask them to come in.
Still, some employers have been reluctant to latch on to the work from home trend. Work from home can make it more difficult for employees to feel like part of the team, and employers may still worry about whether they’re truly being productive at work.
Today, new technologies are making it far easier for employees to work from home, and external forces like the coronavirus are also making it a more attractive proposition. Though it once had a rocky start in terms of productivity and attentiveness, it may very well become the de facto standard for work in the future. Not only does it save money, but it ultimately leads to happier employees overall.