As the world unlocks and restarts after months of standstill, there are a common few questions on everyone's mind: Is this it? Is the worst behind us? Can we go back to normal now?
While some feel we have lived through the worst part of the pandemic, most believe that the end is a long way to go. It is not easy to speculate on what will happen, given so many variables and the unpredictable nature of the situation. But remote work will continue to be the new normal.
Even with the relaxed rules, most businesses prefer to keep their employees work remotely with a home-office setup. Contrary to the common perception, businesses don't want their employees at work under the supervision of their managers.
Corporations want their employees to continue working remotely due to safety concerns. Countries like India have been unlocking because keeping their economies shut any longer will result in a full-blown economic crisis.
The risk of employee exposure to the virus is still high due to unlocked phase despite the ever-increasing numbers. Hence, organizations understand the benefits of working from home, outweigh the risks.
Initially, the level of productivity was the major concern managers had regarding remote employees. The notion that employees are productive at the office than the home made them skeptical towards WFH. However, the past few months proved this wrong, and they found employees more efficient than before during work from home.
Most employees also reap the benefits of working from home. Working from home has bought a better work-life balance and helped employees work efficiently, even during these stressful times. Above all, knowing that they aren't unnecessarily putting themselves and their families at risk, puts their mind at ease.
However, there are a different set of challenges that employees have to manage while working from home. The most common work from home challenge is the lack of proper infrastructure. When remote working was seen as a temporary hiccup, working form couches and beds didn't seem problematic.
However, in the long run, everyone who spends more than a few hours on their laptop needs to have at least a basic desk. Be it wall-mounted or even a simple folding desk, it is a bare minimum for the employees to have a small corner in the house dedicated only to work.
At times, work and home-life boundaries have become blurry that employees struggle to keep both apart. The common situation is distractions from the home environment which impacts their overall focus.
In such situations, establishing a home workspace makes a lot of difference. Even a simple home office setup with a small folding work desk, a space divider and a chair can make work seem more like....work. It goes a long way to set better work-life boundaries.
A space dividers are foldable dividers that not only give you privacy during impromptu conference calls but also set a physical boundary between your workspace and your home space. Consider this as a solution if you have your desk in your bedroom or in a high footfall area like the living room.
Do you know what has been the biggest pain-point for many employees working from home? Back pain!
Most of us are guilty of lounging on the bed while making that exhaustive report or doing something mundane. What you need to take your mind away from your living room sofa is a good chair.
Seems too simple to be true, but a good chair with solid lumbar support can make sitting for hours comfortable. It can save you a lot of back pain in the future. If there was just one work from home tip we could give you, it would be to invest in a good chair.
It is easy to overcome most of the challenges of working from home by simple and affordable solutions. If we are mindful of our needs and give ourselves time to adjust to this inevitable reality, we can not only meet the standards of our working selves but also exceed them.
This is not how most of us predicted things would turn out. We believed as the lockdown restrictions lift, things would go back to normal. But the pre-pandemic normal isn't the normal we can go back to, not anymore.
A lot of organizations are changing their structure to enable all employees to work from home permanently. Others have announced that they would not be opening up their physical offices until next year.
Meanwhile, what we can do is make the best of our situations and adapt to the changing environment.
Even if working from home extends for another year or longer, we have to be equipped with the tools that will help us work better. It will also keep us sane enough to ride this tide of fear and uncertainty to come out on the other side as not only better employees but also stronger and resilient individuals. Stay Safe.