Many people across the globe, including me, have started to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic that is only making its grip tighter as we speak. It has been almost four months since the first COVID-19 infection was reported in China, the epicenter of this global threat.
When the outbreak happened, most of the world and companies didn’t consider it as something that requires urgent attention. And then the time came when people were forced to lock themselves in their homes. As a result, their employers provided them with work from home opportunities to do whatever contribution they could.
Until now, work from home opportunities mostly revolved around data entry jobs and part-time jobs. These positions are mostly filled by people who are looking for some side-income.
There are still many sectors where work from home jobs can’t happen. We are seeing automobile and smartphone production plants shutting down, product launches getting delayed to curb the spread of the virus.
So, either such employees are getting paid leaves, or self-employed people are trying to survive on whatever cash reserve they have.
While all this is too scary, there’s no doubt that coronavirus has brought some significant changes to our daily lives. As speculated by many, it could permanently change the way humans live on mother earth.
Social distancing is a common thing now, practiced by many so that they don’t get infected by the deadly coronavirus and end up spreading it to others. But there are other things that might bring some positive consequences.
Will work from home jobs boom after coronavirus goes away?
My job gives some level of flexibility when it comes to getting the work done. Most of it happens via the internet, and so, it becomes helpful in those days when you just don’t want to get out of the bed. I can choose to work from home instead of dragging myself to the office and wasting the entire day in lethargy.
Now, almost three weeks have passed since I am on a forced workation (kind of!). While doing so, there are many perks that I can enjoy. For example, it saves my commute time; I can work in the comfort of my pajamas, gobble down some munchies whenever I want (even during meetings), and what not?
While doing all of this, a shower thought crossed my mind: will we continue this work from home culture after the dark days are over? Organizations across the globe may not want to end office culture altogether but offer it as an option without too many restrictions. This is one thing that the coronavirus pandemic might bring into our lives.
You might have seen recently that more and more companies are optimizing their tools to help the world population working from their homes. Here, a big problem that needs to be tackled is the lack of communication. This has boosted the customer base of services such as the overnight success Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.
However, the experience with these apps isn’t super great when the global internet infrastructure is crippling due to the excessive load it’s handling. I find myself getting irritated quite often due to choppy stream during video call meetings.
But this is just the beginning of the story. If the work from home culture is going to be adopted in the long run, then companies will make necessary efforts to make the infrastructure more streamlined and reliable.
To name a few, US-based companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Deloitte are already famous for allowing remote work to their employees. The problem may arise in the case of smaller companies as a decentralized setup is harder to manage.
In the future, we can expect more companies to join in and become more welcoming to remote jobs than today. They can’t ignore the cost benefits that work from home jobs provide.
Of course, there are disadvantages to working from home
Not just the companies, but employees will have to make sincere efforts if remote jobs are going to be the new fashion. As said, many companies don’t prefer it owing to the lack of control they have on employees.
A manager might have sent an important message that needs immediate attention, but you are wondering that the kitchen is only a few steps away. Hard decision, huh!
Or, you order food online and end up spending the money that you saved on the daily commute and not buying new clothes.
Call it a disadvantage but remote jobs require a lot of willpower and motivation to keep doing our designated work and finish it on time. Every place has its own vibe and energy, you know. You can feel it when you walk into your office or a gym, or maybe a bar for that matter. So is the case of your bed and cozy recliner.
Then you need to fight the boredom that comes as a freebie; it’s more consuming if you live alone. Such a setup might lead to a solitary life and might encourage people to start living as a Hikikomori – a trend largely witnessed in Japan.
Also, there could be times when you have connectivity issues, like a power cut or a bad internet connection. The infrastructure provided by the companies is obviously more reliable than our homes.
Surprisingly, a teammate of mine lost internet connectivity just when I was writing this section of the piece. It’s a small world after all, but, you get the gist of it.
Nonetheless, the question still remains whether work from home jobs will become an industry-standard after the Coronavirus pandemic ends or not?