Work From Home: The New Norm in India

Imagine it is a sunny day outside. You are in your native and are sitting on a bench with your laptop. As you sip a hot cup of coffee and listen to the familiar voices of your extended family, you quickly answer a few emails.

Very soon, this would as well be the reality. No longer would you be required to present yourself at the office premises. You can save a lot of time by just showing up in front of your laptop than actually commuting to your workplace.

Of course, there are a few exceptions such as doctors, medical staff, police, people working in banks, shopkeepers and so on, who have to show up physically at work. But a good number of people can actually work from home and the current COVID-19 pandemic is proving this.

Is WFH the future?

‘Work From Home’ is something employers would have had a hard time believing about a decade back or two. It was assumed that employees would be lesser productive if they got to work from home. Even the required technology didn’t exist back then and you had to rely on physical presence, alternate numbers, emails, and so on.

Today, we have people who work remotely because that is the necessity, thanks to the pandemic. Technology has advanced and we have Skype and video conferencing which allows us to have live videos across the world. We have screen sharing options and presentation software now. Even before this pandemic, multiple organizations and MNC’s had given up traditional offices and there was a demand for coworking spaces.

All you need is a laptop, reliable internet connection and good communication. By letting people work from their own private spaces, we can prevent the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, which will not only protect public health but also avoid hampering the growth of the business.

What are the merits of working from home?

There is better balance between personal life and official work. With work from home options, employees have access to a private office at home. Maybe a room designated solely for work, or even a desk in a designated area will do. The amount of time spent rushing to office and commuting in traffic will be utilized for something better and productive, such as completing office work, attending some calls, or even some personal work.

A work from home employee gets to be with his/her family for longer compared to an employee who physically goes to office. You see, when you work from home, you interact with your family, which makes you feel happier, which in turn makes you more productive. A lot less time gets wasted and the employee is joyful, for he/she doesn’t have to move from his native to another city/country just to show up physically at work and can instead work from the comfort of his/her house.

Even employers are at an advantage! The expenses of office space can be decreased or even eliminated, as most employees no longer physically assemble. Even the expenditure on office material such as printers, electricity, paper, and snacks and coffee/tea can be nullified.

As an employer, you wish there was little or no office gossip. Well, office gossip can be nullified if your employees work from home, This is because there would be no corners where two or more of your employees assemble to discuss why one of your employees look ugly in their new suit or why the receptionist sucks.

The government benefits from people working from home too, thanks to better physical and mental health, less traffic and traffic accidents. Given the lesser number of vehicles, there will be a decline in pollution.

Nature gets a golden opportunity to heal and animals and birds can finally move freely. All individuals can breathe fresh air and get fresh water.

Impact of WFH in cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi.

Most of us know the traffic conditions and rampant pollution in many major (and minor) cities in India. Cities like Bengaluru (Silicon Valley of India), Mumbai (largest city in India) and Delhi (capital of India) constantly face extreme pollution due to severe traffic, dumping of waste in the streets and waterbodies, and congestion. This had often led to shortage of water, electricity, and even food.

People from different parts of India (and abroad) generally flock to these cities in search of education and employment opportunities. Living faraway from family becomes a norm. Now, these folks would be the happiest to be able to go back to their homes and work from their native places whilst being surrounded by their families.

When almost all migrant students and workforce return to their native villages and towns, the major cities will get less congested and proper balance will be restored in the environment.

One size will not fit everyone.

We are all different and so are our personalities and preferences. We may be productive at different times of the day (and night). So, flexible worktime can be introduced and will be an added advantage.

My opinion is that WFH is a pragmatic reality not so distant in the future. What are your thoughts on my blog? Feel free to comment.

An Aspiring Writer, Enthusiastic Traveler and an Avid Reader