The pandemic has significantly impacted our work-life. With the advent of “work from home,” which was previously not widely accepted. The idea of working from home is relatively new, but its widespread acceptance in our lives is astounding. On the other hand, companies have indeed suffered a lot as a consequence of this; that’s why, all of a sudden, companies are attempting to restore the previous working pattern (be it partially). Since the last week, big tech companies have started announcing that they’d very soon bring their employees back to the workplace. If employees wish to work from home for more than 14 days, they’d be asked to take permissions for the same. The case is clear: employees who live along a commuting path will be forced to return to work, implying that the days of staff chilling and working on their computers by the beach are long gone. Although the employees can work more flexibly than before, most people will now need to return to the office. This idea of returning to the office contradicts the event from last year when these big techs were extolling the benefits of remote work.
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If we look at the official statements from last year, these large corporations emphasized working from home. It was thought that this would be the “new normal,” and businesses would operate with minimal staff in the workplace. It’s becoming increasingly clear that this will not be the case. And, if you look closely at the comments made by tech executives, you’ll notice that some of the complexities were overlooked over by the press; in brief, there were ‘if’s and ‘but’s added to most of their statements. The intention is clear; the companies want their employees to spend equal proportion at both office and work from home, thus maintaining a balance; this is what they call “flexible” working.
Each company has its strategy and reasons, be it Microsoft which wants less than 50 percent of the workers working from home, or Amazon, which intends to re-introduce its office-centric culture because obviously, it’s a place to learn and grow together. This clearly states that it is not an official beginning of the modern work-at-home age. Part of the reluctance derives from the fact that, while many workers want to have more flexibility, it’s still unclear precisely what sort of model would work best for businesses. And it’d take some time to be sorted.
Remote is attractive
Proponents of remote working, claims that the tech firms have been the one who’s stood for quite long at the forefront of the idea of remote working. All those who evolved themselves, be it companies or individuals, and have accepted and embraced this remote work model, will have a tremendous advantage in attracting talent (due to obvious reasons). This sure gives an optimistic view of the whole scenario. No tech company wants to lose its capable workers to competitors that provide more flexibility in the form of the working model. Spotify, for example, appears to have some of the most “flexible” working procedures for its employees.
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Companies have started providing flexibility, and now the employees can either work from home or a mix of both. Because the perfect amount of both is the only right choice, nonetheless, if and buts are somehow still being able to pave their way and this time, in the form of apparently some “modification” in the plan along the way. It drives us to conclude that each company is it Amazon, Google, Spotify, or Microsoft, has its own set of definitions for the term “flexible working.”
Currently, nothing has been implied, but as soon as the office reopens (even at 50%), there sure would be a challenge for the employers to face due to a mix of working types. The main question is if the approach would work after the reopening when meetings would partly be held face to face and another half on a video conferencing? Let’s assume, even if the whole chaos due to the partly face to face and zoom is somehow gets managed, wouldn’t their scope for partiality rise in context to the relationship of the employees on zoom and face to face with the managers? It’s a fact that employees who’d work in person would receive more advantages while the remote workers would stand disadvantaged.
The employers feel that the trajectory of the experience of their employees would have a negative impact if they continue working from home forever. This is the reason why companies like IBM are announcing a compulsion on in-office presence for a minimum of three days a week. By taking steps like these, the executives are trying to ensure that the graph of their employees’ progress in terms of career stays up to the mark.
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Employers feel that it wouldn’t be justified if those who work remotely get huge responsibilities to manage because they’d not understand the work culture itself and the whole management task due to this remote culture. Therefore, if these people want to work as a manager or hold greater responsibilities, they should be present in person; otherwise, how can they be relied upon? Because tech firms adopt many various approaches, we’re almost certain to figure out what’s best and what isn’t.
Some companies are looking over to the west coast of America to see what’s going on – and what is not and, as seems to be the case with everyone in the contemporary civilization. No one knows how the working method will evolve and change, but one thing is sure: there is now a range of choices for working. What used to seem to be a 9-5 abstract work is no longer just that. There are many benefits associated with today’s workplace, as well as many opportunities for all of us here. A significant change would be visible evidence, but a revolution is yet to come.