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Will WFH be the New Normal?

We’re social beings. We were born to love, hate, fight, bond, manipulate, surge ahead. Not as one but as a collective or a team. And that’s what makes business grow. 

Until now.

Covid-19 has changed our lexicon. From social beings, we’re now social distancing. From working late nights, we’re now working from home. We consider ourselves on par with all those techies we worship – those multi-billionaire geeks in their ear pods and hoodies, who smugly balance a coffee mug and a Mac. And while organisations and their people struggle to adapt to this new routine (in between feeding the baby and rushing out for toilet paper), we have a question – do organisations have policies that define work from home?

Given Mother Nature’s serious threats, and how lightly us humble humans take them, WFH may just flip from adulation to stipulation. Companies may well be staring at a future where physical distancing becomes a necessity. To save lives. To cut budgets. No need for the dramatic eye roll (did you ever think your bags would be screened for weapons when you visited malls?). In such a scenario, it would become important, mandatory even, for companies to have in place a clear process and policy w.r.t Work from Home. 

We consider ourselves on par with all those techies we worship – those multi-billionaire geeks in their ear pods and hoodies, who smugly balance a coffee mug and a Mac

We can jumpstart the process by answering some questions:

  1. Can some functions switch to a permanent WFH?
  2. Do their teams need to be physically present in the office? And how often?
  3. What infrastructure do WFH employees require? How does that translate into cost, or savings, for the company?
  4. Can point no.3 offset the high rentals companies pay for huge office spaces? If not, then what? 
  5. How do you define the new performance parameters?
  6. How does it impact remuneration?
  7. What happens to team building if the virtual team never meets other in the physical world? 

Virtual teams today are not a rare commodity, but most organisations restrict it to small teams within the organization. Can every function – Sales, Marketing, HR, IT, Finance, D&L, Customer Service, Purchase – have a policy that covers a WFH option for them?

These are just a few questions that have popped up in our heads and we feel it merits a bigger conversation. Covid-19 is going to impact the work life of an entire generation, if not more. Conversations need to begin now and scale rapidly. We must learn from one another and bring forth solutions that not so long ago would have seemed unrealistic.

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