COVID-19, rising fuel prices and Work From Home

The novel coronavirus has disrupted lives and livelihoods has compelled the whole world to wake into a whole new definition of the “normal”. With no cure for the virus at present, the lockdowns and social distancing being the only solution, millions of people, excluding the essential workers have had to resort to working from home worldwide.

If you think that work from home is a new concept, many organisations have already been practising it from times before COVID-19 and there is nothing abnormal about it. It is not a practical option for people in hospitality, performing arts and manufacturing industries, sure, but work from home saved many companies that would otherwise have been shut as an aftermath of the pandemic.

Image credits- The New York Times

Health and productivity wise, work from home is a safer and better alternative. Most corporations are reluctant to reopen workplaces and go back to traditional method of working, taking into account the risks that the virus poses. Even one infected employee could wreak havoc and cause disaster for the entire organisation. Working form home has additional benefits like increasing productivity in employees since they don’t have to travel to their offices anymore, which also helps employees to cut down on the travel expenses. This makes working from home a time-efficient as well as a cost-effective mode, given the rising fuel prices.

Fuel Prices have been constantly rising in India.

Besides benefits, this mode of work also comes with its own set of challenges. Working remotely could interfere with the barrier between work and life, leading to difficulty in managing your own personal and professional space. We have never felt more the reality in Aristotle’s saying: Man is by nature a social animal. Staying indoors for long periods of time could take a toll on your mental well being.

In case of opting for work from home as a long-term alternative, companies need to invest in improving data security and infrastructure that enables effective digital communication and ensures there is constant touch with colleagues despite being remote. They need to ensure availability of ample digital tools to aid in efficient management of the workforce and supervision over the completion of tasks, as well.

As the world overcomes the pandemic and the economic disruption caused by it, organisations and individuals need to join hands digitally in order to get past these trying times.

Is work from home here to stay?

For now the answer is quite visibly positive.

Is it better? Well, it depends on how you adapt to it. Adaptation is what existence is all about.

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