Flexible or remote work options are no longer extra perks that innovative and startup companies offer; it has become the norm in these Corona times and maybe the acceptable mode even after the crisis.
The forced adoption of the work-from-home option has shown both its pros and cons more starkly then any amount of studies over the years could have done.
The upside for work-from-home is that companies have discovered the employees are more productive and engaged. A Stanford University study for Ctrip that employed more than 2000 people proved that work-from-home employees tend to put in a true full-shift compared to employees who trudge to work from far off places, take time to settle down and focus on work. The employer saved on expensive real estate space too.
The downsides have become very apparent in these times. For employees, it is the overzealous managers keeping tabs on your time spent tethered to the computer, the isolation, and the fudging of work and leisure time. Psychologically, the guilt factor of taking breaks away from work seems to have increased, say experts. There are higher number of burnouts being reported as people are working more and not taking enough time to relax
So what is the happy middle path here?
It seems having some in-the-office days to break the monotony for the workers and keeping the management happy of seeing a full office on some days, might work. It will take care of the administrative hiccups, provide opportunities to meet in person and promote better cordiality and work relationship among workers.
Balancing Work with Life
The out-of-city workers could be flown in periodically too. The logistics will not be easy as a perk of remote work is savings on real estate for companies, but temporary workspaces or smaller premises might be the answer.
What is needed is finding the right balance for a new norm.
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