Adapting remote-working during the Covid-19 pandemic

By Priya Chetty on June 23, 2021

As more and more people are getting affected by Covid-19, the concept of ‘workplace’ has been shifting from the idea of physical location towards remote-working. The concept of physical work location has been gradually losing its importance mainly due to the advancement of information technology. This shift in ideology has made modern working life adapt to the system of work from home. The term work from home can be defined as the system of working in a concern where employees are not required to commute to a central or single place of work (P and Shahid, 2020).

Therefore, it can refer to any place such as the worker’s home, a public place, or a friend’s house. It has also been termed as remote-working. The COVID-19 outbreak has compelled countries around the globe to implement various restrictions on people’s movement and this has made the adoption of remote-working a new normal. Organizations of varied sizes and industries have now been forced to implement new ways of working in order to remain operational and ensure continuity (Mohite and Kulkarni, 2019).

The remote-working environment

Due to the advent of Covid-19, most companies in India’s service industry saw a sudden and unprecedented shift to the remote-working setup. It prompted them to face a number of challenges, particularly with respect to infrastructure, execution, process and people management, communication, and security. To enable smooth functioning remotely, leaders are turning to sophisticated tools such as monitoring tools, network topology, order management systems, and data security systems. In addition to this, companies are also turning to technology to manage channel partners and distributors in a better manner. Coffee breaks, chitchats, fun activities, and celebrations are being encouraged to create a friendly work environment (Nasscom, 2020). Remote-working environments offer benefits in the context of the employee, organizational productivity, and profitability.

Better work life balance and savings

With remote-working comes flexible scheduling, employees can start and end their day as per their choice, as long as work is completed. This leads to strong positive outcomes. This control over work that comes in remote-working is invaluable when it comes to attending to the needs of personal life which improves job satisfaction, motivation, and engagement (Garg and van der Rijst, 2015). People when working from home save money which they spend on gas, car maintenance, transportation, parking fees, professional wardrobe, lunches, and many more such expenses can be reduced and eliminated (White, 2015). By providing staff with the choice of where they can choose their location can certainly help employees by letting them have a better grip on their work-life balance (Thorstensson, 2020).

Improved inclusivity

When following remote-working environments, companies can embrace diversity and inclusion mainly by hiring people who belong to different socio-economic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds and also have different approaches and perspectives towards different situations. Employees prefer working in communities where they are comfortable and supported (Owusu, 2020).

Impact on sustainability

The use of the concept of remote-working can assist in a variety of sustainability initiatives like economic growth, reduced inequality to even towards sustainable cities, climate change, and responsible consumption. And one of the most important ways for employers and employees where they can reduce their carbon footprints is by reducing commuter travels (Han and Goleman, daniel; boyatzis, Richard; Mckee, 2019).

Expected future of the remote-working environment

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered various aspects of people’s lives and some of which are here to stay for a long time to come. The strict need for social distancing has compelled businesses to explore the work from home concept in order to protect their employees, customers, and communities of people who are dependent on them. Although covid-19 has led to some serious economic, health, and social devastations, it has also provided the world with an unprecedented opportunity where it was possible to run the biggest ever workplace experiment. The following experiment has yield some insightful application with respect to the future of work from home (Varma, 2017).

For the companies to continue with this new model, should also keep in mind that it will not be completely bereft of challenges. It will require all the businesses to explore new ways of team management in order to engage employees remotely. For instance, the Indian companies can go for adoption of a new pattern of employment such as subcontracting model which is adopted in the United States and Western Europe. Further, it has necessitated the adoption of a leaner structure for the purpose of providing greater autonomy and accountability of leaders. Also considering the present situation businesses need to insulate themselves from disruption thus they need to adapt more digitized workflows and focus towards migrating their location of work from the brick and motor infrastructure to the cloud-hosted address (Felstead and Henseke, 2017).

References

  • Felstead, A. and Henseke, G. (2017) ‘Assessing the growth of remote working and its consequences for effort, well-being and work-life balance’, New Technology, Work and Employment, 32(3), pp. 195–212. doi: 10.1111/ntwe.12097.
  • Garg, A. K. and van der Rijst, J. (2015) ‘The benefits and pitfalls of employees working from home: Study of a private company in South Africa’, Corporate Board: Role, Duties and Composition, 11(2), pp. 36–49. doi: 10.22495/cbv11i2art3.
  • Han, E. S. and goleman, daniel; boyatzis, Richard; Mckee, A. (2019) ‘Remote culture’, Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, 53(9), pp. 1689–1699.
  • Mohite, M. M. D. and Kulkarni, D. R. V. (2019) ‘Job satisfaction Factors of Employee in Virtual Workplace: Review’, International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development, Special Is(Special Issue-FIIIIPM2019), pp. 38–42. doi: 10.31142/ijtsrd23059.
  • Nasscom (2020) Remote Working: Did You Forget the Culture Back in The Office?, Nasscom.
  • Owusu, D. (2020) ‘Remote Work The New Norm’, (June).
  • P, S. and Shahid, M. (2020) ‘Work from home during COVID-19 : Employees perception and experiences Dr . Shareena P Mahammad Shahid *’, Gjra – Global Journal for Research Analysis, 9(5), pp. 7–10.
  • Thorstensson, E. (2020) ‘The Influence of Working from Home on Employees ’ Productivity’, pp. 1–20.
  • Varma, C. (2017) ‘IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION & JOB SATISFACTION FOR ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE’, International Journal of Social Science & Interdisciplinary Research, 6(2), pp. 10–20.
  • White, S. (2015) ‘The six key business benefits of remote working What started as a minor workplace trend has recently picked up pace and now shows no sign of slowing down . The amount’, pp. 4–5.
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