By Vatsal Jain
The COVID-19 crisis has triggered disruptions in businesses, economies, and affected the lives of people physically and psychologically. Working from home (WFH) has been the most reasonable option for organizations and employees owing to the social distancing protocols to avoid further the spread of the virus.
However, after months of staying under nationwide lockdown and glued to their homes, working professionals are complaining of fatigue. The WFH trend has worn out. We need to understand that it could be a suitable option, yet it cannot replace conventional workplaces.
Here are the reasons why WFH cannot be considered as the new normal:
Every working professional has a different situation at home. Many deals with a high degree of mental and physical stress due to WFH culture. Employees are experiencing a strain on physical and emotional health. Extended work hours and poor postures have frustrated many in their effort to focus and stay productive. Studies have revealed that a majority of remote workers do not have a suitable set-up at home for work and are not able to establish one easily.
In the absence of user-friendly options, working professionals are compelled to bank on couches, dining tables, and beds as their workspaces. Distractions from other members of the family, the absence of a work ecosystem in tandem with the commitment to household activities have escalated the strain on employees.
It is important to comprehend that user-centric seating and efficient work tools boost productivity, reduce strain from bad postures, and enhance concentration – an ecosystem that is tough to set up at home for long durations.
Creativity at Stake
Some sorts of work are smoothly done at home but when productivity is linearly associated with innovation, creativity, and transformation, they are hard to gauge and accomplish virtually. Virtual meetings all day long appear to be draining for working professionals. Now, teams that can work together easily have to depend on virtual communications, which has become toilsome.
“A lesser familiar fact is that the brain seems to push itself further to understand and grab attention on all these virtual communications. When the attention period is low, and there are numerous distractions – focusing is tough.”
It has become imperative to keep an eye on voice tone, facial expressions, and body language during virtual meetings. While traveling to work can be exhausting, facing elongated virtual offices leads to enormous mental stress. Sitting in the same place for long periods takes a toll on body and mind and does not contribute to offering innovative and collaborative solutions.
The virtual ecosystem hampers the course of normal conversations and access to body language – both of which are vital behaviors for innovation. The concerted efforts and collaboration needed are hard to achieve in a virtual landscape. Conventional workplaces provide the ideal set-up for employees to work simultaneously, brainstorm, conceptualize, and share insights with each other more sleekly.
No More ‘Me’ Time
At first, many of us highlighted the pros of WFH – comfy clothes, no traveling, and more family time.
“Working professionals across the globe are realizing that their average workday has surged drastically since the advent of remote working amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The long work durations have begun blurring the lines between work and home. Individuals strive to differentiate weekends from weekdays due to the tedious daily schedule.”
Short trips, traveling for leisure, or interacting with family and friends help employees separate their professional lives from their personal lives.
In spite of the umpteen benefits of WFH that might lure many, it is not a feasible long-term solution. Organizations must now implement norms that make sure employee health and safety at workplaces without affecting the overall productivity. A novel approach to the workplace is required – one that is compelling and safe for employees, and innovative for the businesses.
Let us know your work from home challenges in the comment section.
Vatsal believes in the mantra “Write until the ink runs out”. Despite being a B.Tech Grad in Computer Science, staunch inclination toward writing as well as keen observing skills motivated him to churn out write-ups in the online arena. Coupled with the technical insights he has ingrained, he’s tapping white spaces in the writing bracket in a bid to facilitate people with recent technology and market trends.
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