Is Work from Home here to Stay?
The Covid-19 virus and the resultant pandemic has blown the lid off many existing systems, structures and processes in our day-to-day lives as we knew them. Almost overnight, the world saw a near-instant, unprecedented shift to working from home- a privilege that was mostly prevalent in the IT sector and even then, extended very conservatively. For most companies in the non-IT sector, this has definitely been a first.
Companies, big and small, have been forced to question the concept of a physical office space and thoroughly evaluate the pros and cons of having their employees work from home from a long-term perspective. Has the Covid-19 virus altered the workplace as we knew it forever? Possibly. N Ganapathy Subramaniam, COO of Tata Consultancy Services, for example, recently commented that they do not need more than 25% of their staff present in the office to be a 100% productive.
The aggressive digitization of exiting work processes may have also made many jobs obsolete. On the other hand, it may have also paved the way for a whole new set of job roles. The temporary worker economy, for example, has seen a massive boost. What was previously considered as a last resort has now emerged as a preferred option among employers in uncertain times. More companies today are open to hiring freelancers than ever before.
I do believe that the concept of the physical office space may have changed forever. We must now question why we need it as opposed to where do we need an office to be. While it may become a mainstay in the IT sector, there’s a definite opportunity here for the non-IT sector to take a hard look at the existing processes, embrace technology and cut down on their overheads. I for one, have my eyes peeled to see how this one plays out.