The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many things. Things that were previously considered normal are now “new normal” and there have been many adjustments. This drastic change makes almost everyone in the world yearns for the return of a normal situation.
However, many of us have accepted this change and realize that even if the pandemic ends, things will still change. One of them is a work from home (WFH) work pattern. Workers are currently being asked to utilize technology and create their own workspaces at home.
Head of transparency business of Transparent Business, based in New York, Moe Vela, predicts that there will be a lot of commercial office space that is empty because workers prove they can get their work done away from the office.
Vela said, companies that were required to implement WFH were relieved to know that their main concern, namely the decline in productivity did not occur. “We find that productivity increases, satisfaction increases and employee turnover decreases. You have a healthier workforce with fewer absences. And you can attract and retain the best talent because this is what millennial wants,” Vela said.
WFH remains effective
Tim Huxley, chairman of Mandarin Shipping, based in Hong Kong, claimed he never liked remote work. He believes communication and interaction that is built in the office will lead to ideas that might not be put forward separately. However, the experience of the last few months has softened his stance.
“We realize that we can work more efficiently, that we can get work done, and be more productive. We realize you don’t need to be in the office from 9:00 to 18:00, or until the boss leaves,” Huxley said. His views reflect the results of a recent survey by global research and advisory firm Gartner. The survey found that 74 percent of senior officials in financial companies plans to move at least 5 percent of employees who were previously work on-site to work from home after Covid-19.
“This data is an example of the long-term impact of the current corona virus crisis on the way companies do business,” said Alexander Bant, vice president of research at Gartner. According to Lad, many companies that survive the pandemic will lose money and will look for opportunities for financial savings. “This reminds me that the last few weeks we have paid dearly for an office that is hardly used,” said Huxley, whose office is in the Admiralty District, central Hong Kong.
Breaking down old beliefs
Meanwhile, Executive Director of Meraki Executive Search & Consulting, based in Hong Kong, Kirti Lad, said Covid-19 has become a catalyst to prove that working from home is an effective choice. “This outbreak shows that changes can be made to the traditional work model,” Kirti Lad said.
According to him, the company gets inspiration not only from others in their industry, but also by seeing what is happening around them. The closure of schools in Hong Kong at the end of January 2020 has made teachers find innovative ways to teach online. Social restrictions have encouraged people to find inventive ways to use technology to stay close to friends and relatives.
“We can learn from these things and apply them in the way we hold meetings and presentations,” Lad said. Hong Kong companies are known to run conventional things. The assumption is that employees only work if they are in the office, where superiors can see their work. “The belief that has existed in Hong Kong for many years is that remote work is impossible, there are concerns about the absence of workers. Now, companies have been forced to give up old beliefs,” Lad said.
Some employees find freedom in keeping their work and personal life in one place, and completely eliminate travel time. But there are also employees who want a completely separate work and personal life. But giving employees the opportunity to choose whether to go to the office or from home to work can mean greater benefits for all. Nobody suggests that the steps taken during pandemic that have caused terrible human suffering and hardship must be the basis for a sustainable future. But the disruption caused by pandemic forces us all to reflect on work life. The role of telecommunications is played in a new world that cannot be ignored.