Work from home, as the name suggests, allows an employee to work from his comfort zone, i.e., home, and complete the tasks assigned within the general office timings. Work from home is also known as telecommuting.
Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates generally. It is a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down. Work from home can boost an individual’s productivity, and an employee can work flexibly within his comfort zone. For the companies, employees working from home reduces the company turnovers, save electrical costs, and infrastructural costs.
Top companies like Amazon, Dell, Humana, Kaplan, and Salesforce offer remote work opportunities to their employees.
There are a set of requirement for an employee to work efficiently from home:
- A laptop/desktop
- A stable internet connection
- Chat and conferencing applications
- A workspace (preferred)
- Self-working apps installed on mobile phones like skype, Google classroom, etc.
- All-important files and documents
- Self-motivation and discipline
- A strict schedule
With the World Health Organization(WHO) confirming the coronavirus(COVID-19) outbreak from an epidemic to a pandemic, millions of business organizations and companies are forced to manage their projects by the remote workforce.
Advantages of Working from Home
- Flexible work schedule: An employee can take breaks at any moment he/she feels. They can eat lunch at the time they want because there is no strict time-restricted lunch break.
- Custom environment: An employee can multitask. He/she can listen to music or watch a movie while working from home. The noise level can be whatever he/she desires.
- Cozy clothes: An employee can be in his cozy house clothes while working. There is no strict dress code that he has to maintain unless on a video conference.
- It’s easier to make calls: An employee doesn’t have to find a conference room to make a call. It is a lot easier to call through VoIP systems provided that there is a stable internet connection. But there are external distractions like kids and pets at home that can hamper a call.
- No office distractions: An employee is relieved from office distractions like co-workers debating, constant buzzing in the office, unfavorable AC temperature, and so on.
- Save money: For an employee working from the office, there are many expenses like lunch, transportation, tea, and coffee, etc. At home, one can cut off a lot of expenses that can save on outside food and transportation.
- No crowds and traffic: An employee doesn’t have to get stuck in traffic early morning or work in small busy work stations. He can work comfortably in his house, lying on a bed or couch.
- More time with family: Every employee needs to have a balanced personal-work life. But most of them are stuck at the rat race in the office and are not able to devote enough time to their family. Work from home enables an employee to work as well as spend some time with their family.
Disadvantages of Working from Home
- Willpower: At home there are various things that could distract an employee, and to finish work on time, the employee must have strong willpower and put away his distractions as much as possible during the working hours.
- Difficult to stick to a routine: It is not entirely possible to create a work environment at home. It can be tough to monitor your schedules and processes once outside the office.
- Missing important calls: There are too many distractions at home for an employee to forget about important calls or not being able to take them for a certain reason.
- Boredom: For most employees, it is difficult to work in a room all alone. Having office co-workers encourages an individual to work. How long can one go without seeing another human being?
- Working slowly: The office has a positive energy that helps its employees to work faster and efficiently. A home does not have that. An employee gets lazy in a comfortable environment.
- Poor internet connection: Sometimes, the WiFi or internet connection that an employee is using in the house gives poor services. Hence, he is unable to finish his work effectively, and it is delayed. A virtual phone system doesn’t work if there is an unstable internet connection in that area.
- Waiting for an answer: An employee has to wait for confirmation from the project leader or manager before proceeding to the next task. Replies can be late, and thus, this delays the entire work of the team.
Security of company assets and information
While working from home or remote work, an employee exposes company assets and internal information to a greater risk as they leave the safety and security of the workplace. The devices need to be protected against loss and theft with options such as:
- Full-disk encryption and installation of password-protected systems ensure that even if the device has been stolen, the company’s data is not accessible. One can also set inactivity timeouts that adds to another level of security.
- An employee should log out of the system when he/she is not using it both at home and in public places. It is essential to take precautions at home also because a child might accidentally send an email to the boss or a customer while clicking a button.
- An employee should never leave the device unattended or on public display.
In this crisis of the outbreak of COVID-19, working from home is no longer a privilege; it has become a necessity.