Work From Home and the challenges associated with it

Due to the prevailing scenarios due to Covid 19, every organisation in India small and big are looking at avenues to take their entire process online. This not just involves lots of challenges but will also cause certain operational inefficiencies which will have to be dealt with to attain a long term solution in terms of Virtual Office. We like it or not, Virtual Office and Work from Home is going to become a normalcy in the near future. The fact that a huge company like Tata Consultancy Services has announced that its working on making about 80% of their staff permanently work from home forever testifies the claim.

In this article, we are trying to cover certain major points which might be the biggest challenges in the Work From Home Concept:

  • Time management problems
  • When one gets to work from home, there are always going to be instances that the person does not follow the normal office times or login hours, unless made mandatory.
  •  It often becomes difficult to find a healthy work-life balance. Since your home is your office now, you are never technically ‘leaving’ work unless you turn off all the communication systems.
  • Maintaining this Work-Life Balance will certainly be a challenge not just for the employees but also the employers.
  • Affects Team building and Team Bonding
  • When everyone is remotely working, the completed task needs to be aligned, not just in terms of the completion but also in terms of timing of completion.
  • Disparity in the above is obviously going to increase as each team is now a group of individual performers trying to look at a smaller picture of completing the task assigned to them and not look at completing a larger piece of a larger project.
  • Team Bonding takes a hit as every individual will start thinking from personal perspective and not as a close knit group like a family.
  • Lack of interaction with co-workers can also make team-building difficult. Also, communication with co-workers or clients can easily be misconstrued.
  • Digital miscommunication –
  • With Social Distancing in place, physical interactions will never happen and all the communications would happen over the Internet driven Virtual meetings.
  • With line of communication changing, the message does not usually get precisely communicated as it was expected to be.
  • More and more complicated tasks would tend to get misinterpreted or miscommunicated, leading to unexpected errors. Teams will have to be more and more wary of it and work on improving the line of communication, maybe follow everything up with a clear email to make things clearer.
  • Without face to face communication, it is not easy to be on the same page as of your manager or colleague. Also, each and every piece of work has to be sent electronically which can be time consuming and may lead to shortcuts being taken.
  • Accountability –
  • Without physical communication, managers are not able to have direct observation on their staff as they would do in an office environment. Also, keeping track of your employee hours is difficult.
  • When you have someone to have a constant watch on your work, the quality of the work that you are doing improves.
  • Work from home hampers the productivity, which eventually affects the quality of services provided.
  • However, as per the Boston Consultancy Group Report, there is a proven study that productivity improves by 22% if an employee is given freedom to work and nobody is constantly watching.
  • Distraction –
  • It is easy to get distracted when you are working from home, and you may not be as productive as you would be in a traditional work setting. And the distractions get even worse if you are not good at following a strict schedule.
  • A noisy environment is another distraction when you are working from home. Your family members could be doing something that is so loud it interrupts your thoughts.
  • If you are not working in a dedicated office, you might be able to see so many household things and it could be difficult to resist the urge to stop and complete these tasks when you are supposed to be working from home.
  • Technology issues –
  • In this work from home scenario, when virtual meeting, through various applications, is the only way of communication, technology plays a very important role.
  • Though India is a fastest growing internet user base, the quality in terms of speed of internet is still a major point of concern in many parts of the country. Weak internet connections can hamper the work set up. No Internet is equal to No Work.
  • There have been instances on Virtual meeting apps like Zoom, where, users have reported serious security & privacy issues.
  • In an organisational set up there are critical points that are discussed which form a base for crucial decision making for the business and therefore, security is the major bottleneck that the companies will be fighting to solve in the set up of virtual meetings or work from home set up.

Although these are certain very important issues to cater to, companies are working hard to get these resolved as soon as possible because everyone knows, if we like it or not, Work From Home is the way forward for all. In our next article, we will try to deep dive in these and some other problems and try to find out solutions to these problems which will help you set up a Virtual Office Space.

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