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By Venture Briks

Will work from home be the new Normal?

June 11, 2020

The Lockdown restrictions in India have been lifted up, but the constant risk of getting exposed to the virus remains the same. With the country witnessing the highest number of positive cases each passing day, the question remains, is work-from-home here to stay?

Hitting the snooze button on the morning alarms for five more minutes of priceless sleep and rushing to catch the metro seems like the good old days. None of us would have thought that the daily hustle to reach office on time will serve nostalgia in the coming days. And none of us would have thought that the work-from-home option will be the only choice to mark your presence in the office.

Talking about the trend that took off in 2010, work-from-home is working fine for most companies. In the times where social distancing seems to be the only way out of this pandemic, work from home might become the new normal in the post-COVID world.

Many leading companies are embracing the work from home practice globally. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai announced a significant relief for his employees. He allowed his employees to work from home until 2021. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, extended the remote working policy permanently even after the pandemic ends. Tech Mahindra has also planned to switch permanently to a hybrid model of operations. Many companies are encouraging their employees to work from home.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recently said that as many as 75 % of their 3.5 lakh employees would work from home by 2025. N Ganapathy Subramaniam, chief operating officer and executive director, TCS, was quoted saying, “We call this philosophy 25×25, which means only 25 % of our employees may have to be in the office to ensure that 100 % is productive.”

According to Global Workplace Analytics, twenty-five million to 30 million employees in the US will regularly work from home for the next two years. The increase in the numbers is five times as only 5 million workers were working from home.

Remote working is not a new concept, but a decade old. The ongoing crisis of this pandemic has made it an ideal choice for employers to ensure their safety without halting their options. Apart from the comforts of the home and no commuting requirements, work from home will also benefit companies due to reduced maintenance and operations costs. According to data released by Global Workplace Analytics, an average of $2,000 to $6,500 can be saved every year.

The benefits are not only restricted to both the parties but are expanded in the form of a cleaner nature. Pollution levels that were on a surge in winters have gradually improved all over the country. The sudden reduction in the carbon footprint has resulted in a more transparent sky and fresher air.

However, companies are required to secure their data from cyber threats to make work from home effective. While work from home for large scale companies might result in a successful practice but small scale companies might find it difficult to operate for more extended periods, as most of them are not equipped with the necessary technology required for data security.

Industry experts believe that the remote working concept is here to stay. It will enable more people from all dimensions into the workforce, but a lot is needed to strengthen the workplace infrastructure.