Category All, Best Practices Why COVID-19 Could Cause a Permanent Shift towards Working from Home Is working from home going to become more common? Find out what are the benefits and challenges of working from home during COVID-19. July 28, 2020 By Guest Author Working from home has been increasingly popular lately. This popularity has only intensified during COVID-19 pandemic, which has had devastating effects across the globe. For the first few months, most people found themselves without their jobs and at a loss financially. However, companies have recently started to adapt to COVID-19 and even embrace the inevitable change which they feared the most- allowing employees to work from home. While some companies were quick to accept this new change, most were reluctant to allow their employees to work from home. Many issues came as a barrier, such as decreased interaction between employers and employees, unable to track work progress, getting constant updates, keeping employee productivity in check. However, employees around the world soon began to prove their worth to companies. ➡️ To successfully answer to your employees’ needs, check out our surveys to send to your employees during the COVID-19. Work from Home Benefits Working from home has started to become immensely successful – with many employees being able to manage their working hours better, spending time with their family, having their alone time, time to de-stress, while at the same time providing increased productivity in work. If this is the case, then maybe working from home is not such a bad thing after all. Well, it seems like remote working may be here to stay, even after the pandemic is over! Here are a few reasons why working from home could become the new norm, even after COVID-19: Less stressed employees Stressed employees = decreased productivity. No organization wants its employees to be stressed to the point where it is affecting their work-life balance or employee wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a tremendous change in most people’s work lives- we are now forced to work from home. Although working from home does not guarantee less stressed employees, some employees find it harder to maintain a work-life balance while working from home. However, many employees around the world see that it is easier for them to keep the right balance between their work life and personal life. Cutting down costs Commutation costs have vanished, so have a lot of other expenses, which were part and parcel of office life. Offices had to pay a considerable amount every month for rent, electricity bills, and other miscellaneous expenses. With working from home, these costs have been cut down immensely for the employees as well as the company itself. The long hours spent in commutation have also been eliminated. Now, employees can shut off their laptops and get back to their families as soon as their work is over. Earlier, they would have to spend at least an hour more, traveling back and forth from work. Now that this has been eliminated, there is a greater sense of comfort, stability, and wellbeing amongst employees. Overall, a company’s good response to COVID-19 situation contributes to their employee experience. Flexible working The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many sudden and drastic changes, and all we can do is try and somehow adapt to them. With more and more employees working from home, employers are beginning to notice that flexible working from home is increasing employee productivity. Before work from home became somewhat of a norm, employers believed that remote working would decrease employee productivity. However, employees are showing a significant increase in their productivity and mental wellbeing, by adapting to the new work from home lifestyle. ➡️ Read the full list of remote work benefits for your company. Work from Home Challenges Although work from home has many benefits, it does not come without its challenges. The thing that employers were most scared about was losing control over their employees. However, there are ways to diminish the challenges of working from home by setting some ground rules, trusting your employees and enabling them for success during COVID-19 pandemic. ➡️ Here are emails you could send out to your employees during COVID-19 to keep them updated and safe. Control over employees When an employee is working from home, the employers can generally expect more lag time in communication. Lack of face to face interaction, meetings, and conferences can also make it harder to set rules and guidelines for employees. Often, employees even walkout during their working hours to complete some other household chores. However, employers are now finding better ways to regain this control over employees without violating any privacy rights. Although the trend of ‘watching over the employees’ using the employee webcams could be seen happening for a while, this is not going to become a norm. It is a gross misuse of technology and an invasion of privacy. Instead, employers can host daily meetings at the start or end of a working day. They can use this time to check in on the progress of their employees. They can also use these meetings to boost employee motivation and encourage interaction with each other- be it through a computer screen. Communication with and between employees While working from home, many employees’ challenge is to maintain the same level of communication with their coworkers. It is also challenging for an employer to make sure that employees are taking in the news and COVID-19 updates. After all, employees themselves say that communication and collaboration are one of the main challenges related to working from home. ➡️ Check out our COVID-19 workplace communication plan to optimize the way you communicate to your employees’ work from home. Permanent Shift towards Working from Home? Many companies are now actively considering a permanent shift in their work lifestyle. Not only are there immense benefits, as mentioned above, in remote working, but it is also the only option as of now. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible for people to step out of their houses, and even after this is over, many will be wary of joining offices again due to the fear of contamination. Employers must make it a point to provide their employees with all the necessary tools required to work remotely – and make it successful. Computers, headsets, and more advanced software can be implemented so that communication, interaction, and sharing of progress and updates are more accessible while working remotely. It is also essential for employers to check their employees’ contracts for mobility clauses. In case this is not present, the employer must change the terms in the agreement and gain the necessary employee consent, allowing them to work from home. Whether or not working from home is about to become a permanent change in our lives, we do not know for sure yet. But what we do know is that remote working is here to stay, at least till the COVID-19 pandemic is present in the world. If companies can provide the appropriate tools to their employees, and even change specific terms, working from home might turn out to be more successful than working from an office. Something that companies can consider after the COVID-19 pandemic is over is – maybe instead of working from home or an office, employees should be allowed to do both. Work flexibility is one of the most desired traits of a job among candidates. Many employees are dying to go back to the office, which find motivation and joy in working in an office environment. Maybe instead of making remote working the norm, a joint venture of remote working and office working can be introduced into offices soon. However, some employees might feel like they are experiencing discrimination, unfair dismissal, workplace bullying or any other work-related issue during COVID-19. If this is the case, they can contact an employment solicitor. It is extremely hard to maintain the same level of employee motivation in case of doubting in unfair treatment. How Semos Cloud Can Facilitate Easy Work from Home Experience ➡️ Check out how our Employee Success Suite can help you excel in giving your employees all the necessary tools to work from home. Our Employee Recognition Solution JobPts enables you to appreciate your employees and motivate them by endorsing their great skills. With SurveyRocks, you can survey your employees and find out if there is anything stopping them in doing their best work. Nurture is a powerful Employee communications solution that can help you deliver highly personalized messages to your employees while saving time. FeedBck can help you easily give and receive both top-down and peer-to-peer feedback. Our Team collaboration solution, BoardFlo, enables your teams to track project progress and collaborate efficiently. Last but not least, Healthain can help motivate your employees to stay healthy and keep their wellbeing levels high.