WORK FROM HOME : EVOLUTION, ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES. AN ARTICLE BY ME.
The Work from Home concept has gained immense popularity since the Pandemic Covid-19 took over the world. According to the European Statistics, published by http://www.squaretalk.com, only 5.4% of workers in Europe in 2019 were employed remotely, according to statistics. Furthermore, 36% of independent contractors worked from home. Additionally, according to ILO figures, just 7% of people worldwide were doing any work from home before to the epidemic.And now the situation has changed.
As per the survey of ILO ( International Labor Organization) in the second quarter of the year, 2020, an estimated 550 million workers made their living from home, thus, accounting for 17.4% of the world’s employment generation.
Working from home (WFH) denotes an employee who is working from their home, apartment, or other place of residence as opposed to the workplace.
Many businesses have a WFH policy, also known as a remote work policy, that enables their staff to work from home either full-time or only when it is most convenient for them.
EVOLUTION OF WFH
Image : Lawrence University
In the year 1973, the OPEC led Oil and gas crisis, resulted in a steep hike in gas prices which almost quadrupled during the said period, thus, creating a problem in transportation. As a result, Jack Nilles, a NASA engineer, created the concept of Telecommuting in 1973.
A small number of IBM employees worked from home to explore the viability of telecommuting long before modern remote working became popular around the turn of the millennium. These were the days when Skype and Zoom were not available.
Initially, there were five workers who worked from home and gradually, their numbers increased to 2000 around 1983. Staff at the call centre had the option of working from home as they did all of their job over the phone anyway.
Branch offices and home workers would connect to corporate mainframes by the early 1980s using personal computers and terminal emulators. People began to recognize the fact that the actual work involved doing a productive activity that needn’t necessarily involve traveling in 1995. This led to the creation of many startups in the houses of potential entrepreneurs having limited financial means. A convention in ILO came up with the innovative idea of Home Work scheme to safeguard the interest of people working in their homes in 1996. ( Wikipedia)
The acceptance of remote work has been steadily increasing since the 1980s. For instance, from 2003 to 2006, 4 million more Americans worked from home and, in 1983, academics started experimenting with web conferencing. In the 1990s and 2000s, technology such as collaborative software, virtual private networks, conference calling, video telephony, internet access, cloud computing, voice over IP (VoIP), mobile telecommunications technology such as a Wi-Fi-equipped laptop or tablet computer, smartphones, and desktop computers, were used to facilitate remote work. Software like Zoom, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Slack, and WhatsApp were some examples of this type of technology.
Now, around 74 % of businesses are considering the option of working from home for their employees. A survey by The Times Of India states that now 82% of people prefer working from home than commuting to office.
( Courtesy : Pew Research Center)
( ClickTime.com and Angel.com).
1. Time and money saved on commutation.
2. Flexible Schedule
3. Increased productivity
4. More employment opportunities to people with disabilities.
5. Zero pollution because traveling is not involved.
6. Spending quality time with family.
7. Freedom to work without a hostile office atmosphere.
8. The chances of getting sick on work is reduced to a great extent.
9. We get an opportunity to enjoy traveling to exotic locations and still continue working on our laptops.
10. It provides for a better Work-life balance. In a 2019 research, 81% of participants indicated being able to work remotely would help them better balance their personal and professional lives. It has been demonstrated that working remotely improves sleep, lowers stress, and leaves more time for exercise and other healthy routines.
ClickTime.com and digest.myhq.in).
1. Lack of teamwork and co-ordination.
2. Plenty of distractions while working from home like arrival of guests, salesman canvassing their products and so on.
3. Lack of resources that are available in office to your work efficiently.
4. Unable to retrieve information in the absence of certain documents.
5. Tend to procrastinate certain project.
6. Decrease in productivity because of diversion from work.
7. Sometimes, people are overworked, considering that they are working from home.
8. There might be network connectivity issues.
9. Family demand more attention.
10. Physical movement is restricted within the house.
Solution for the WFH problems: ( PCMag.com)
1. Set appropriate fixed regular working hours.
2. Follow a morning routine.
3. Set rules to be followed and shared by family members including division of house hold work. 4. Take scheduled breaks.
5. Go out for fresh air before resuming your work.
6. Keep an organized separate workspace.
7. Usage of VPN is highly recommended.
8. Consider going for a refresher or an online training course to improve your efficiency and productivity.
9. Actively participate in Webinars or video conferences to be up to date with the company activities.
10. Be positive on your approach towards your work.
We must be physically and mentally fit and healthy before taking up any kind of work. A sound mind and a sound body will ensure your enhanced efficiency and productivity, whether working from home or office. Our approach and attitude is of paramount importance while working. We should never let negative thoughts or self-doubt take control of our mind which will hinder our progress. An ideal job could combine the benefits of working from home as well as office. For example: A company could opt for work from office for three days and from home for two days.
( Times of India)
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