Working from home is no longer a luxury for most businesses today. With the change in global dynamics, modern business has to embrace it and build the necessary infrastructure to support and manage employees working from home while keeping up their morale and at the same time maintaining productivity.
The biggest opposition to adopting this culture may come from top executive management themselves where present-day subordinate lines and hierarchy makes it easy to manage and control employees when they are in a closed office environment and where it is easy to keep an “eye on them”.
Change in climate is a fact and while some of the most powerful leaders of the world may dismiss it as a conspiracy by environmentalist to keep their jobs going, recent environmental changes and events cannot deny the fact that our current state of existence on this planet is undergoing a change and which might be a threat to our existence. Climate catastrophe is not something new and scientist at the Natural Museum, the Swedish Museum of Natural History and the University of Florence have long been studying about a global warming event which happened 183 million years ago during the time of the dinosaurs.
Recent events like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Dorian, bush fires of Australia and California, highest ever recorded temperatures in Alaska, melting of the polar ice caps at alarming levels and many more similar happenings all around the globe are a sure indication that things are changing. While the world has been grappling with these ongoing changes, the recent threat to the entire globe comes in the form of a virus which has completely changed the way we live and operate. The coronavirus is shutting down entire countries and borders are being closed to prevent mass movement of people. Even in their own countries, governments are enforcing lockdowns forcing citizens to stay at home.
Probably this is just a start of events which point to a bigger picture of change. A change in the way we do things currently and one of the very important factors for consideration for today’s business would be to look into the possibilities of establishing a culture of work from home rather than to wait till it is too late. In today’s interconnected world and with all the powerful technology available it is easier for today’s businesses to start working on this change as soon as they can.
Here are some of the initiative’s companies can use to start implementing the work from home culture.
Management needs to work out a strategy on which departments can start the work from home approach and not cause productivity loss to the organization. Initially, it could just be a one day or two-day work from home, every week, kind of approach. With constant learnings, more and more departments can be added. Once the entire organization has undergone this exercise, it will be an asset to the organization that they have a ready infrastructure to make sure that work carries on as usual when we are stuck with global events which restrict the mobility of people on a large scale.
Management needs to understand and train its employees in the use of tools which allow them to work from home without the loss of productivity. Many of the tools may be already in use within the organizations and employees may already be using these for productivity, time monitoring, project management and communication tools but they may have to learn some new tools like the use of VPN’s and other security tools to maintain the confidentiality of the work of the organization.
Most management would like to think that employees will slack from work once they are asked to work away from a controlled environment but that thinking reflects the failings of the management and not the employees. If the organization has built a culture of trust where employees are inspired to achieve their goals with a greater objective of achieving the organization goals, then such organizations should not even harbour the thought of employees slacking off work. In-fact such a culture may increase productivity where employees save time on travel to and from work and will be more energized to complete their daily tasks.
Building a culture of trust would be very important and with constant inspiration and communication with the employees, this concept can very well achieve better things including higher employee satisfaction and motivation. Management has to get away from thinking of subordination to a new way of unification.
In conclusion, they say that greater things happen to those who don’t stop trying and learning to do things which they have not attempted before. There could be perhaps a no better time than to start now.