Is Work From Home a long term solution?

June 29, 2020

Ravi is ensconced in his comfy chair with the laptop lit before him. His fingers are typing something, furiously. A reminder pops up, “Zoom call with the team in 5 minutes.” He gives one look at the reminder and increases the typing speed. Suddenly the room echoes with the click-clack of the keyboard. As he went on to do the final touches to his draft his wife accidentally switched off the WIFI while going for the mobile charger’s switch. In a moment, everything fell silent.

While this may not be the case with most of you, the struggle to work from home is real and getting out of hand. No matter how distinctive is space which is your home office, the fact remains – it is your home and not your office. I’m not going to debate how distracting or enriching working from home is. I do get it that it is different for different folks. But what we will be delving into is, is work from home a long term solution or not?

Alternative vs Solution

Work from home was never an ultimate solution. It was always an alternative- a quick fix. The entire world was caught off guard by the pandemic. No one had a slightest of clues on how to deal with it. No wonder, soon the #WFH culture gained mass popularity. Many companies welcomed the initiative with open arms. Some even went a step further and announced that a majority of their employees would continue to work from home till the end of the year.

For those of us in the commercial real estate industry, the future of flexible workspaces looked hazy and full of unprecedented challenges. We needed a strategic approach because let’s admit it – being cooped up in a room and working out of it without real human interaction can’t go on forever. A lot of people working out of home have admitted to this fact.

Preparedness is the Solution

Our world has undergone a tremendous transformation in the last few months. Words like ‘social distancing’ and ‘abundance of caution’ ruled our vocabulary. All this was the harbinger of a new future that most certainly won’t be spent working from home! Office models needed a fresh new approach. We asked ourselves, ‘how prepared are our offices for COVID-19?’ The answer propelled us into creating a safe and hygienic ecosystem that can withstand any pandemic.

Isolation with Caution

What the world needs today is isolation with caution. While working from home is a good alternative, something which many companies should adopt given the need of the hour but with a caveat. It is imperative to understand it is by no means a long term and sustainable solution. The responsibility ultimately falls on our shoulders, as companies and commercial real estate players, to ensure a safe and healthy return to work.

In Readiness We Trust

The pandemic sure has caught us off guard, but now it has widened our perspective like never before. We’re anticipating and preparing more. Automation is the product of this anticipation. It won’t be wrong to say that the COVID-19 has ushered in the new age of technology. We’re now exploring fusion of safety, precaution and technology at the workplace, which wouldn’t have come to fruition if we were looking at work from home as a long term solution.

We all want and deserve a safe environment like home to work. No wonder, we gravitated towards the idea of working from home permanently. While it sure looks appealing, it doesn’t prepare us for the new future. With more and more companies adopting world-class solutions to create a safe and healthy ecosystem, it’s time we embrace our new normal and start to live fearlessly.

Ravi was somehow relieved that this was his last day of working from home. His office was now prepared to resume operations. He gets up from his comfy chair to switch on the WIFI. Within moments the room echoes with click-clack again.

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