01 Jul

Remote Working as the “New Normal”

Remote Working as the New Normal

The cases of COVID-19 continue to rise worldwide. As of June 17, 2020, there are almost 8 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide with 435,000 deaths. As countries battle with the virus, a drug  named dexamethasone comes into the picture. According to the article released by NY Times, the drug is believed by scientists to decrease the mortality rate of severely ill patients.

It is a major breakthrough in this pandemic but its macro-effect will still take a long time. So, the global economy is still expected to still be on the rocks for the next quarters.

Now, businesses and private sectors are adapting to this global health crisis. No matter how prepared they are with other disasters, natural or man-made, most of us surely didn’t see this coronavirus coming.

To continue their day-to-day operations,  businesses and private sectors enforced work-from-home arrangements for their employees. This is due to the prohibition of employees and individuals to go to offices/work and even outside their own homes after the implementation of national and local community quarantines and lockdowns.

Now that most of the graphs are showing little signs of recession, remote working is becoming the new normal.

The rise of remote working

The feasibility of this work arrangement relies on the company’s efficiency and willingness to ‘setup an office’ to their employees’ homes. Their employees will be needing a computer/laptop if they don’t have a personal one and a reliable internet connection. Most companies are generous enough to directly deliver computer sets and a pocket internet connection to their employees’ homes.

But this setup is not for everyone. In industries like the IT, most of their advanced equipment are installed in their office premises and it would be almost impossible to transfer it to their homes. One industry that is also deeply affected  is the manufacturing industry. They can’t implement this kind of work setup because of the nature of their work.

The issue with the work-from-home setup

The issue of productivity has always been an old-age argument.  Many still believe that employees working in a brick and mortar office are still more efficient. Because of the company’s trust issues, they think that the quality and quantity of work would be compromised.

That is not always the case. Thanks to technology as there are software/programs like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom to closely monitor their workers, their work process, and productivity.

Tools like Zoom have been useful for companies and organizations in this quarantine period. Meetings, seminars, and such are usually held on this software. “Zoom said on Tuesday that sales jumped 169% year-on-year in the three months to 30 April to $328.2m, as it added more than 180,000 customers with more than 10 employees since January – far more than it had expected,” writes bbc.com.

It is no secret that the modern workforce (Millennials and Gen Zs) prefers this kind of setup as they value work-life balance.

Additionally, security concerns are also raised regarding this kind of work arrangement. Are the clients’ sensitive information guarded? Yes, these kinds of problems are solvable. There are tools like Desktop and Process Analytics to monitor the activities of your workers on their desktop/laptop computers. It’s kind of creepy and uncomfortable for the remote workers, but it’s part of the setup for them to be more secured in the process.

The realization

Most businesses are still able to operate despite the extreme measures and solutions implemented by their own governments. It may not be their usual full-blown day-to-day operation, as some allowed only their essential workers. This phenomenon proved that the industries can adjust and adapt in this setup.

In the near future [with the pandemic gone], it is expected that businesses will be adapting this work from home setup. Of course, with their own measures tailored to the nature of their work and industry. Indeed, it’s a win-win situation for both the employees and employers, as they can have their work-life balance without compromising their work productivity.

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