Work from Home (WFH) may not be a one-size-fits-all solution in the long run for the vitality of businesses
As Malaysia and most of the world goes through an unprecedented wave of forced work from home (WFH) policies, so have companies found themselves in the predicament of rushing to implement new ways of working. This, along with the required technologies and policies to keep teams together, decisions made and companies running are proving a challenging task for any company.
For the uninitiated, work from home is a novelty as the majority of businesses would not have this as an extensive option for employees, unless you are a company with a lean team on site, or by nature in a more startup/flexible work environment.
Of course, work from home has its advantages, but for companies running with a mid to large sized workforce, long periods of Work from Home will end up being counterproductive due to a number of reasons:
1) It creates a distance among colleagues
Having an office provides a space for productive work to occur and for people to congregate. Where there is a space outside of your home setting and social areas, this allows you to be at your most productive and be able to brainstorm with others in your team to get a job done.
Teleconferencing calls do work, but there is nothing that replaces a face to face meeting with your team-mate. This is where the best ideas are created and the nuances occur, that cannot be captured on video.
2) You lose the company culture
Company culture is generally acknowledged to be defined as being “values and behaviours that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of business”. Company culture is important if a company is to create loyalty and a sense of identity for staff to feel like they are part of a group which is out to achieve a goal. The longer people are apart, the more a company culture is diluted which is the ultimate loss.
3) Impacts on productivity
Working from home also assumes that the setup required to be able to work from home exists (fast internet, an office space, storage for documents). Given the range of network coverage in Malaysia, this can be a challenging activity to ensure that all staff have consistent and good internet coverage to execute on something as basic as a skype/google/zoom call.
Imagine a situation where your team just cannot be productive because of technology and network issues at home. Unfortunately, there is no IT department to call in this scenario. For those who have children at home during this time too, the separation between work and home life is ever more blurred and you may find yourself having to juggle multiple tasks at the same time through the day.
Let’s face it. Normal may never be the same as before after MCO is lifted.
Laurence Todd, director of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, told FreeMalaysiaToday.com in an interview that it would be impossible to return to “complete freedom” even after the order ends. We will still need to consider new measures and precautions to ensure a smooth transition back to “normal” once MCO is lifted.
Christina heads up Business Development for WORQ Coworking Space, taking care of enterprise solutions and offers consultations about business continuity. When she is not working, she loves Tango dancing, food and travelling. Linkedin |