There was a time when working from the comfort of your home, not travelling, and enjoying your personal space felt like a dream come true. And now, after months of battling a global pandemic, that dream is slowly turning into a nightmare. Yes, it is more of a need of the hour than a want. It does have a lot of advantages, but it’s not as easy and comforting as one had hoped.
While many people are making the most of the WFH lifestyle by clearly separating work from personal time and indulging in hobbies and other enjoyable activities; others are finding themselves amid an endless ocean of work and deadlines, leaving them deprived of personal space.
The upside of WFH
Thanks to technology, working virtually has become easier than ever before. With apps for almost every organizational task and operations like meetings, project management, tech support, and more, it is no longer necessary for employees to be in an office setup to get the daily work done or be productive.
People now have the flexibility of time, space, pace, and mode of working. In fact, many roles that could be easily fulfilled remotely and virtually are now being done effectively without any physical presence.
Employers can now cut down on real estate costs among other resources while retaining their valuable human resources and getting the job done.
With this fresh approach to work, organizations can now look at revamping their work model and processes, focus on automating major organizational functions and join the digital revolution, which was much needed to step into the new era of work.
A whole new stream of work culture is evolving, with enterprises creating a new work model and opportunities for professionals seeking remote work and flexible jobs.
Having said that, every new trend and work practice comes with its own set of challenges. While WFH does offer a lot of benefits for both companies and their employees, it also demands a lot more in return.
The downside of WFH
For many enterprises around the world, WFH is a new system altogether. Both employers and employees are trying to strike the right balance between work hours and personal time. But until that equilibrium is achieved, employees will face the brunt of an unorganized work environment. The lines between work and personal space have blurred, resulting in no weekly offs, no “me-time” or designated shift timings. Most people end up working through nights and weekends.
“Permanently working from home can be damaging
for social interaction and mental health for workers”- Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
With a major hit on the economy and businesses suffering losses from reduced productivity, companies are either furloughing their employees or drastically downsizing. Many employees are working longer hours on a reduced salary, resulting in a lack of motivation to perform and reduced productivity.
Working from your personal space sounds cosy and comfortable, but it is distracting. Pets, kids, or even parents hovering around disrupt your workflow and concentration.
People have lost the sense of timing. Since there is no need to wake up early to get ready for work, many people are slacking in their daily routines, making it more stressful. Those who wake up early in the morning are now finding it difficult to even get up. This is also because they end up working till late since commute time and office hours are out of the window. And thus, the vicious cycle continues.
There is an increase in mental health issues and overall stress levels for both employers and employees. Being isolated from friends, family, and other social circles have left people lonely and depressed. For those who were used to travelling every day to work, meeting their peers, coming back home, and unwinding with their favourite leisure activities are simply moving from one room to another, causing monotony in routine. As employers struggle to keep their companies afloat, they are pushing the boundaries to get the maximum output with minimum resources. This results in employees feeling burned out, leading to excessive stress and anxiety.
Irrespective of what is happening, you cannot blame anybody. Both employers and employees fear the economic conditions and what the future holds. And it is normal to feel so. The present setup of WFH might become the norm or eventually, things could normalize. But until we reach there, we will have to continue working effectively and make the most of what we have in hand.