Is Work From Home Really Productive For Long Run?
“Companies that offer more flexibility in work arrangements may have the best chance of attracting top talent at the best price.”
People who worked from home spent an average of 35 percent of saved commuting time on their jobs, the researchers find. They devoted the rest to other activities, including household chores, childcare, leisure activities such as watching movies and TV, outdoor exercise, and even second jobs.
Several studies over the past few months show productivity while working remotely from home is better than working in an office setting. On average, those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive.
But now companies are continuously scrutinising and evaluating if work from home is sustainable in the long term.
For Parle Agro, while virtual meetings have been a revelation, saving the management significant costs and time, its employees are keen on getting back to campus and working from office, says Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director and chief marketing officer.
At Crompton Greaves Consumer Electrical Limited, all processes had been designed keeping in mind everyone’s physical presence. “No Crompton leader had ever worked before in a widespread work-from-home scenario,” says Satyajit Mohanty, CHRO and vice-president.
For many, work-from-home has been a boon and will continue to be a preferred choice in the long run. However, psychologists feel it could be detrimental to people’s mental health for many reasons.
There are areas that attack the very nature of the ubiquitous work-life balance.
Women are Being Expected to Take Front and Centre Roles in Restrictive Environments.
It is reported that women exhibit a conflict between heightened anxiety and depression in emergencies as also a surprising amount of resilience. Women are also overrepresented in sectors impacted by emergencies say healthcare, education, unpaid household work, et al.
Workplace Ergonomics, Environment and Support
There has been an unwritten rule in organizations for as long as they have existed that the quality of laptops provided is inversely proportional to the job level. While the intensity of work done (and hence the technical specs) on the laptops is directly proportional to the job level. Now, this did not matter much when one worked from the office because it was easier to seek support.
Cyber-Bullying and Virtual Sexual Harassment
Cyberbullying is quite rampant in a work from home setting. Workplace harassment has taken this form. Managers and powerful peers are setting up calls at odd hours thus encroaching upon a couple’s intimacy calendar. There are faceless, insulting conversations about performance.
Work from home is a great short term solution. It may perhaps even be a great long-term solution for those for whom the choice was either this or quitting work altogether. Whether it is a great long term solution for everyone, under all circumstances is an unanswered question that should not be answered by well-intentioned decision making, it should be answered by well-researched decisions.