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Making the best of working from home

  • Published at 08:37 pm May 5th, 2020
Office work home computer

This is a chance to build up new skills for a new digital era

The invisible virus, Covid-19, has literally shut down the world. Billions of people have been sent back home to wait out for the virus to finish its act. With no vaccine on the immediate horizon, humanity is bracing for this social distancing as the new normal. 

Health care providers have been pushed to the front line of this pandemic with support from the wider society. In a nutshell, none of us have ever known life like this ever before, no one!

The business community the world over has literally had to adapt to this new normal overnight. With empty shopping districts and other public places, businesses have no choice other than to go digital. It can be argued that in many ways, the coronavirus has accelerated humanity’s journey towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In my view, this grim atmosphere has created a unique opportunity for the employees in different companies to visualize for real how the future of work will look like. 

Irrespective of the industry one works in, employees around the world are witnessing how businesses are going beyond their core to engage with the crowd of skilled resources online to source for the new idea that will make their business tenable in the new digital reality expeditiously created by the coronavirus. 

This new reality is forcing companies to dabble with artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and such other advanced digital technologies to reach out to the customers who are all crowding around the digital space. 

Business models like “Online to Offline (O2O),” which were made popular by global online giants like Amazon, Alibaba, etc are now being replicated by many industries with traditional distribution systems like, FMCGs, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications etc, where the O2O model is rapidly becoming the mainstream model with application of new digital technologies in their value chain. 

The common feature of the O2O model is to have the orders and the financial transaction taking place online only for the products to be delivered to customers’ doorsteps. In case of platform-based companies like WhatsApp or Facebook, almost everything can be done remotely without compromising on customer experience.

If anyone ever doubted about the prospect of having to work in a completely digital environment, I would like to believe that coronavirus has dealt with it better than any organizational change management expert could have ever done. 

So while we all remain in a panicky situation, smart employees will take these work from home days as an opportunity to honestly reflect on their skill-sets, to ascertain whether they are ready for the future of the job market. 

The best part is that the employees don’t even have to compromise on social distancing to address the gaps in their skill-sets, as they can learn new skills through taking online courses from different digital learning platforms offered by renowned online institutions. 

So, when they head back to the office once again sometime in the future, they can transform themselves into the most desired human resources in their respective companies. We can continue to panic about the coronavirus pandemic and then at some point start worrying about certainty, or we can use these work from home days to give our careers a fresh momentum.

If I have managed to convince you with my thinking, I would urge you to follow the following seven suggestions during your work from home days:

  • Use work from home environment as an opportunity for self-development

  • Demarcate a day into specific segments for you and your job

  • Believe time spent for yourself will have positive ROI in future

  • Schedule online learning that will sharpen your existing knowledge base

  • Upskill yourself driven by the dream you want to pursue

  • Take some test or online survey to confirm your movement from point A to B

  • Let other people know that you are on a path towards excellence

Md Faisal Imtiaz Khan works at Human Resources, Robi Axiata Limited.

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