• Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Can we work from home indefinitely?

  • Published at 08:45 pm April 26th, 2020
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How working remotely can result in increased productivity in the long run

The outbreak of coronavirus as a global epidemic has left nearly all the people of this world sitting at home. Many organizations across the globe have instructed their employees to work from home to ensure not only the safety of their employees but also the continuation of their operational activities to serve their clients or customers in this critical situation.

However, some employees still have to work outside of their homes. They are: Doctors, other medical workers, technical support staff members, bank officials, journalists, those who work at superstores, pharmacies, and mobile food marketplaces as delivery persons, store assistants, managers, etc.

So, this “work from home” movement has made it evident that it is not mandatory for every staff member to be present in the office to smoothly conduct the office activities.

But it is not possible to implement the “work from home” trend as a forever strategy without certain changes. As an effective change after the situation gets better, a departmental roster can be made. On a particular working day, certain people of a department will work in-office and others will work from home.

And on the other day, the staff members of that department who worked from home earlier will have to work in-office and others who worked in-office earlier will then work from home. Some organizations like banking institutions and hospitals are already undergoing this strategy.

By applying this strategy, staff members will also get the opportunity to develop leadership skills. In the roster system, in favour of which I am opining, departmental heads will also get to work from home.

In this system, the roster for acting as the department head in the office on different days of a week or month will be made as well, consisting of the main department head and one or more (depending upon the size of the department) most senior or important official(s) of the department.

As such, upcoming departmental heads/managers will have practical leadership experiences before they even actually attain that leadership post. And if this strategy is really enforced by organizations, not only the organizations and employees, but the whole world will be benefited greatly as well.

Potential benefits organizations will enjoy

1. Costs will lessen.

As fewer staff members will be present in the office, less electricity will be used and organizations will have to pay less in electricity bills.

Organizations which provide food facilities to their employees in a fully or partially subsidized manner will then be able to save money from the food expenses.

Organizations which provide transport facilities to employees will have their transport costs reduced as fewer vehicles will be doing pick up and drop off duties every day.

2. Productivity will escalate.

This “work from home” strategy will definitely boost job satisfaction in employees as the flexibility employees will enjoy in their work will make them more productive.

3. As employees’ productivity will increase, the organizations will be able to serve their customers more efficiently. As a result, existing customers will be more satisfied and the number of new customers will subsequently grow too.

4. More profit. 

As costs will lessen and productivity will increase, both will make the organizations perform better and earn more profit. This additional profit will help cover up losses being incurred by organizations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Potential benefits employees will enjoy

1. Employees’ expenses will lessen.

If employees go to office on their own expenses, they will be saving money as they have to go to office every alternate day in this strategy.

If they have to bear their own food expenses during office hours, they will save money on the days when they are working from home.

2. Employees’ growth 

Job satisfaction + employees working more productively for the employer = organizations being benefited more by the employees than earlier = employees being rewarded for their additional contribution to organizations.

3. They will have more time to stay with their families. Time saved because of not travelling to and from the office on days when employees are working from home can be utilized well by spending it with friends and family.

4. For themselves and their families, they will be able to save and/or spend additional monetary resources that they will have in their pockets because of the reduction in the costs. 

This will be due to working from home on certain days, as well as the additional financial rewards that employees will receive for their extraordinary contribution towards their employer.

Potential benefits the people of the world will enjoy

1. Creation of new many jobs.

2. Less air pollution as less vehicles will be on roads due to less people going out to work.

3. Less traffic jams due to less vehicles being on roads.

4. The economy will once again start to accelerate.

Hence, implementing the “work from home” trend of now as a forever strategy with the change suggested above will not only recover the world from current severe economic decline but drive the world to outstanding economic improvement as well.

Nafis Ehsas Chowdhury is a contributor to the Dhaka Tribune. 

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