For over a period of almost a year, we all have been confined among the four walls of our home, engaging in work calls, video meetings, and the occasional ‘virtual’ Fun Fridays. As we are slowly embracing the remote working culture, the advent of coronavirus vaccines has assured many that working from the office again will soon be a reality. But, the main question that lies here is ‘Are you ready to go back to your office yet?’ ETimes Lifestyle conducted a poll where 1,000 people participated and revealed their preferences for working from the office again and the results are quite surprising!
Heavily competing against numbers, 53.4% of respondents are willing to continue working from home, compared to 46.6% of people who can’t wait to resume their work at offices. Manisha, a software engineer says that she is quite relieved to work from home, as she can attend to her children, and comfortably work in the premises of her home, mainly her bed. Whereas, Gurgaon-based Pradeep is finding it utterly difficult to concentrate on his work, given the noise and usual clutterings at home. “I really want offices to resume. It is getting difficult day-by-day to work at home because there is simply no work environment at all! I now understand, how important it is to work in a particular office space.”
Work output levels acquired during remote working
With factors of comfort, familiarity, and travel expenses, working from home is a much-appreciated model that has worked out for millions. But, at the same time, one might point out that mental health issues have been increasing extensively; there is a lack of a peaceful work environment and work output gets hampered to a great extent. However, 71.3% of people have strongly disagreed with the fact that their work output has suffered. With the rise of technology in the modern age, new-found applications and devices have made it very easy for teams and colleagues to efficiently communicate via texts and calls. Highly interactive video conferencing apps have emerged as a winner during the pandemic as people have solely relied on these to get their work done. And as recorded, they have had no problem in producing the desired work productivity, sitting at their home.
Viha, a 27-year-old lawyer disapprovingly comments, “No matter how good our apps are, no one can replace the knowledge we acquire by communicating with our teams at offices. Remote working doesn’t provide that. And I don’t think it ever will.”
With a slight difference of 1.3% between people who believe working with team members in the office space is necessary and those who don’t, it’s hard to say what people consider best. Experts have suggested that team coordination relays a much greater experience for an individual for their career build-up. Besides the basic motivation here and there, team members can get to know each other better, which provides for a healthy working space. There’s a higher morale boost and employees feel valued. Making decisions as a team helps employees to gain experience and knowledge from every perspective, and such methods are only applicable when working together in the physical office space. The pandemic has surely eliminated the prospect of team building and prosperity at one point.
The prospect of a hybrid model
Employees will soon be introduced to the future hybrid model that suggests a flexible working culture where employees can distribute their working days in the office and at home. This step is on par with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic that focuses on social distancing as safety norms. Some companies across the world have asked their employees to work two or three days in the office and the rest, from their home. This is a trial method to test the productivity levels of the new hybrid model which can change the future of the workplace.
When asked, what employees consider the most important in their employment scheme, 64.2% of people positively recorded the ability to work from home, rather than paid incentives or engaging in office activities. People are inclining towards a flexible working model that allows them to work from home, especially when this has been successful.
An overall take
Remote working is here to stay. At least, a large percentage of employees think working from home is a better option than to regularly visit the office for many possible reasons. With technological advances, there’s very little chance of work productivity going downhill. The digital push has helped employees to succeed in this remote working model. Large sections of people are divided against working from home and working in offices and as the future of remote working shines bright, employees should be ready to embrace the concept of remote working or the new hybrid model for the better.
Are you ready to go back to work?
Do you think working along with your team members in the office space is necessary?
What do you consider more important?
Did work from home hamper your work output?