Work from home (WFH) or Return To Office (RTO), the debate of the decade. We are into a decade where we have witnessed a huge modification of work culture that was never seen before. Until our previous generation, we were happy to think that work culture revolves around traveling to a place that was dedicated to the word ‘work’.
Whereas thanks to the pandemic, now we have been introduced to another option, which is to travel nowhere, sit at your home, and work. This new WFH model was initially introduced as a survival strategy for the companies but gradually it became the norm of the day while battling the pandemic for two long years.
For many, it is a situation to celebrate now that the pandemic is seemingly over and a relief to return to the office. However, surprisingly, for some, work from the home model has presented greater benefits than physical offices and that is true for both employees and employers simultaneously. Even after the difficult period is over, companies as well as employees are still buying time to go back to the normal working environment.
The reasons are various. Let’s see first see why the Work From Home model actually is a hit and then move on to discussing the present dilemma between WFH and RTO.
Reasons why the WFH model became successful
First and foremost, without technology, there would be no WFH. Probably we would have landed into a dark era had not been for the presence of technology. It is the technology that has kept us going through the entire phase, whether it was connecting to a dear one or delivering work to your boss, technology had the ultimate say.
2. Survival strategy
It was a time of medical emergency, financial emergency, and administrative emergency, and all landed up to one solution, working from home. Companies had the best-case solution to save their organization in the form of the WFH model. This model gave them the possibility of continuity through the online delivery of work.
While online meetings became the code of conduct for politicians, teachers, and others, the entire online system became a mode of survival for the corporate world.
3. Cost cutting
With oil prices running in a negative index and a global crash of stock markets, it was a time of immense financial emergency. On one hand, when the WFH model was helping the companies to keep their heads above the surface, there was also the huge opportunity for cost-cutting that was generated due to the minimum usage of office space.
Less office space consumption, and less power consumption along with no requirement of departments like security and water supply services, saved a lot of funds for the organizations.
4. Remote option became available
Many families who had their earning member working outstation could now be near their dear ones. Professionals who were away from their hometowns and had to relocate due to their job locations now could work from their homes, irrespective of geographical location. This way they could keep working while still being available for their families in hard times.
Reasons why there is still time to say no WFH model
1. Staff is more productive
In the instant, there is no need to travel to the workplace, it is equivalent to employees dedicating more time to the company. The employees are in a much more comfortable zone and therefore do not mind engaging in longer hours. Email communication is more so the matter can be kept very crisp. Also, due to technical shortcomings, the employees need to complete the work in shorter meetings making them much more effective.
WFH model presented unprecedented flexibility for the employees. Employees can now work from anywhere around the world, be present with near ones, and also, more or less, function with flexible working hours. This system of flexibility cannot be entertained in a traditional office culture.
Many professionals who had relocated to attain the job are now demanding to continue with the WFH model so that they can stay back with their families. Thus, employees benefitting from such options are invariably going to vote for the WFH model.
3. Better communication
According to employers, in the new online system communication is much better. Whether it is due to technical limitations or the urgency to prove the effectiveness of working from home, employees are seen to make effective communication through online platforms. Where there were long hours of meetings or unnecessary discussions over a matter, working from has cut the conversation into effective communication.
4. Effective use of office space
If employees are not taking up office space, that means the space can either be freed from paying rentals or can be utilized for some other important purposes like storing inventory, organizing an important event, or running any other physical operation.
5. Comfortable night shifts
Employees working under night shift conditions are now much more comfortable since now there is no hassle of traveling late at night and work can be delivered easily from their beds. With a secure environment to work during the night time, employees are reportedly more productive in this system.
We have heard of many instances where employers were termed as non-inclusive. Now, when the system is working remotely, people do not seem to mind the inclusivity factor of the working environment. Different professionals all over the world are joining the same workforce without bothering about the origin, or kind of the other employees.
Not all could gain from the new form of work culture. Frontline workers like doctors, nurses, other health workers, policemen, and many others had to visit even in the hardest of times. So, for them, WFH was never an option. But yes, even if we cannot say that the WFH culture will be completely eradicated, it is also not going anywhere soon.
Companies have introduced a Hybrid model where WFH and RTO are both parts of it. Also, many companies are seeing it as an opportunity to reach out to more credible talents through the remote system. Hence, while Return To Office is inevitable, Work From Home is a new but not unwanted member of our work environment.
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