Look before leap
Due to the environment and difficult situations created by Covid throughout the world, the talk of work from home or remote working has suddenly gathered momentum. The phenomenon is not new to business world. It has been in place since long but was in very limited space. Adopting work from home by organizations during Covid and resultant lockdown is not by choice but with compulsion because there was no other option in sight to continue some working. Believing that since WHF has worked during Covid lockdown will also continue to work even after lockdown and return of normalcy in business will be simple innocent thinking away from hard ground realities.
The question we need to answer before we go for and against success of this working model is when this model was in place in many organizations especially in IT/ITes sector since long why it was not accelerated and adopted by whole business world irrespective of nature of activity and made it permanent in spite of having all support of technological tools? Probably because this model has more negatives than positives in the present set up of business environment in India in which employees work and organizations operate. The nature of business activities also do not permit such model to function. Apart from this, there may be one inherent issue and that is of trust deficit between organization and its employees. Neither organization trusts fully its employees to the level to allow them to work remotely having out of sight nor employees are interested to adopt such working model because of social implications. When he goes to office every day, it carries sense of pride and visible social respect which is missed out in WHF model of working.
Apart from trust factor, there are many other riders which HR needs to study, understand the implications and develop work relationship model away from workplace for notional extended workplace and make it successful. It is true that this tough time challenge has given us an opportunity to explore new alternatives and ways to do business but it has to be beyond rhetoric. Massive behavioural shifts are required to be adopted. While hiring is done, some other personality traits are to be identified and given priority in candidates to suit WHF model of working. Managements have also to change their mindset is believing employees working remotely. Micromanaging has to go away and culture of output has to take place. Unless all this is achieved, one should think twice before blindly going for this model.
June 2020 edition cover story on WHF is an attempt made by industry experts and HR professionals to examine this model 360 degree, explore possibilities and challenges, tips to handle them and preparing ground ready to adapt to new realities that's are coming on the way.
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