Work from home is the new normal

In 2018, when an article appearing in Forbes stated that 50% of the U.S. workforce would soon be working from home, for most other countries, including India, it seemed a distant dream. The long believed to be the future of work, so far only in theory was triggered abruptly by the onset of  COVID-19 globally. With more than 20 countries being forced into total lockdown, work from home sprung to be the mainstream. Twitter strongly encouraged all of its 5,000 employees around the world to work from home. Other organizations, regardless of the industry operating in, followed a similar trail. However, not every company was ready to plunge in the sudden technology adoption while planners never truly had the time to think through all implications of this decision.

The long due reform in the way businesses operate came to the front and it is here to stay.

“It’s almost time. Our current operating model is a 20-year-old legacy. In some ways, this crisis actually leapfrogs us into a new model” – Tata Consultancy Services CEO, Rajesh Gopitnathan. 

He’s gearing up to adopt the new borderless workplace security model even after the Coronavirus pandemic comes to an end. It is probably a once in a century opportunity where you have more time and relatively less work. The current situation cuts the commute time of employees and prospective establishment costs of companies. A Harvard business review paper states that employees accept 8% less pay to work from home, making it evident that they attach a monetary value to the flexibility provided by remote working. HR heads need to see it as a win-win situation and sense an opportunity to reap cost benefits. 

Most people admit that a WFH gives them the extra space they always required and helps maintain a better work-life balance, while some even admit to having the freedom to resort to playing Ludo as a stress buster. And yes, we completely support making formals discretional when attending virtual meetings.

So what’s exactly stopping businesses from faring extremely well when we are supposed to have an employees’ productivity boom when working from home?  What hinders employees in achieving pre-targeted outputs? It is in these times that the need for a re-equipped workforce that comprehends challenges of the dynamic business environment cannot be overruled. Companies need to rethink their existing IT strategies. A tweet by Sachin Bansal (Co-founder, Flipkart) garnered immense interest in which he implicated a disliking for work from home. It seems that the world is divided in its view. 

While some think that it increases productivity, others are opined that they lack the skills and knowledge of automation required for remote working. 

The knowledge acquired over the years becomes obsolete or requires innovative re-skilling. Employee engagement, too, poses to be a big challenge when you’re leaping towards increased digitization. 

Even more, market demand is at an all-time low for a majority of industries making it challenging to adequately compensate the existing workforce. Some firms have already taken to cutting down the monthly pay or lay-off the majority of the workforce. This is undeniably one of the toughest tasks managers face, given the emotional, legal, and monetary stakes involved.

Having said that, what best practices should companies be implementing to protect their workers’ interests and maintain business operations in such situations?

Upskilling is one such way out that is an absolute win-win for both employers and the employees. Learning and development lead its way for companies and enables long term beneficial associations without having to hire new people. Meanwhile, it’s a catalyst to enhance employee performance as their personal development boosts their morale. 

“Doing things the right way now is the cost of your future.” ― Johnnie Dent Jr.

Additionally, organizations with the help of L&D leaders can opt for learning sabbaticals instead of retrenchment. It is a smaller investment compared to hiring and training a new employee while giving the existing employees enough room to re-invent their knowledge domain. Thus, once they’re back on the field, they are ready to seize the business transformation. As you re-skill your employees, you create a more adept, cross-trained workforce across different sectors, and increase your team’s effectiveness. When employees feel a sense of belonging with their company, and clients are satisfied with their work, they become stronger brand advocates. Work from home is the new normal and its time businesses and individuals upskill themselves to be future-ready.

At Yogya.ai we understand the responsibility of giving back to the world when an invisible danger is looming large upon us all and we are committed to doing our best to support businesses. We’re offering a skill-specific learning experience for free for 3 months. The AI-powered platform identifies skill gaps and makes learning a KPI oriented process as per individual needs. It enables tracking the progress of individual employees towards a defined goal which eventually enhances the capability of organizations.

Let’s connect to help your company grow and safeguard your workforce even in these challenging times and future too, because work from is the new normal, and let L&D make it meaningful, start for free!

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