Back when the world seemed just a little bit saner, the ability to work from home was, generally speaking, a foreign concept. In companies of all sizes, working from home was a rare exception given to a select few employees, often due to specific situations. Even freelancers and entrepreneurs were making the shift to serviced offices and coworking spaces.
Around mid-March, however, we were all forced to adapt to this previously coveted work situation under the worst of circumstances. Our day to day routines was shaken as working from home was at first encouraged and then made mandatory.
The daily hour-long commutes have been replaced by zoom calls, the morning routine replaced by cooking and cleaning while formal pants have been replaced by pyjamas (usually). Having a home office or study is not too common. Hence, the office is now your living room or your dining table (or even your bedroom if you’re feeling particularly daring that day).
While most of us faced a lot of pressure and stress to keep our businesses operational and running, the transition itself from office to home was fairly manageable at first. Working from home may have even seemed like the one positive to come out of the whole ordeal as you could
- Balance your work life and family life
- Spend more time with your kids
- Avoid waking up extremely early to beat the traffic
- Avoid the harrowing commute entirely
- Have more flexibility around your work timings
- Have time to develop skills you’ve always wanted to learn
- Enjoy home-cooked meals and power naps
- Get more time and freedom to get things done
…Well, this was the expectation, at least. Turns out it’s actually quite difficult to work from home. Rather than achieving a balance, we find ourselves compromising. The house is full of distractions. Your work time is disturbed by your home while your home life is interrupted by your work. Add to this other hiccups like noisy surroundings, poor internet, electricity issues, etc… It’s difficult. It’s especially difficult for someone who is used to a more traditional office set up. It’s a change of lifestyle that’s not easy to adapt to. Even freelancers and solopreneurs can feel the added stress. Now consider that you’re still paying rent on an office space you’re hardly using. It’s enough to make you spiral.
A poll conducted by the Institute For Employment Survey (IES) over two weeks found that :
- 50% of the respondents were not happy with the current work life.
- 33% reported that they were feeling isolated, with increased concern over matters such as job security.
- 64% responded that the health of family members was causing loss of sleep.
The results of the survey make it quite clear that most employees are not happy with their work environments. Business owners are under additional pressure to keep their employees' happy while also having to find ways to cut costs. Working from home is simply not a viable long term solution.
The Many Challenges of Working From Home
You can probably relate to most of these issues. You may even have a few challenges that are specific to your work/home environment.
1. Mental Health
Working from home is a sudden change in lifestyle and routine. Combined with the added burdens brought about by the pandemic can lead to mental strain. Recently, Microsoft CEO Sathya Nadella claimed that “The idea of permanently making employees work from home can damage the social interaction and the mental health of workers. ‘Lack of touch’ can have an adverse impact on the Psyche of Employees.”
2. Physical Health
According to an article published by the Indian Express, people working from home have reported a surge of backaches and other joint pains due to bad posture. This is a result of people using laptops on desks that are higher/shorter than their office desks or neglecting to use a desk at all, and instead of working from a couch or bed. Lack of physical exercise and movement is also a contributing factor.
3. Communication barrier
One of the most common challenges faced by teams since lockdown is the ability to coordinate effectively. While it is possible to meet and discuss online, the lack of a professional space in which to do so is a hindrance. One is still subject to distractions, interruptions and technology setbacks.
Even if you have a separate area in your house designated for work, it is difficult to avoid interruptions. It could be a conversation taking place in another room, the TV playing or the microwave running, or even your kids running in to play. It might even be reasons beyond your control. Be it honking traffic, inopportune construction, or simply noisy traffic, we’ve all been part of meetings that have been interrupted for some reason or the other. It’s hard to pay full attention in an environment like this.
5. Reliance on Technology
At least we have Zoom, Skype, and Google Drive, right? Well, Bangalore summers are often accompanied by unwelcome power cuts and load shedding. Not every house is equipped with a generator or UPS and these cuts can sometimes last up to 8 hours. Even if you have a UPS, a power cut can derail an online meeting for 5–10min. Poor internet connectivity, in general, can make collaborating online an arduous task and given that every family member is stuck at home using the same network, connectivity issues are inevitable. Many of your team members may not even have access to a good laptop or computer from which to work from. Technology and infrastructure are essential to run a business effectively.
6. Balancing your work and home life
It’s always important to set clear starting and stopping points on your work. Work has a way of bleeding into your personal time. Being preoccupied with either can be a strain on relationships and productivity.
7. Data Security Concerns
There’s a reason why millions are invested in IT every year for cybersecurity. People working from home are more susceptible to data theft and ransomware attacks. They simply do not have the same level of security afforded to them by more secure networks made available by companies in their offices.
Working from home is simply not a sustainable long term solution, posing a whole host of problems for employers and employees alike. But unfortunately, it seems as though this pandemic, for the time being, is here to stay. Most companies still urge their employees to work from home and regardless of whether or not the government-mandated lockdown is continued to be implemented, the safety of yourself, your family, and your team must be given utmost importance.
So if working from home is not viable, what’s the solution?
Remote Working with Serviced Private Offices
The answer is simple- Downsize the office. Decentralize your team. Let your teamwork from professional spaces near their home. Get rid of all excess costs. It’s time to reevaluate the very role of an office. It’s time to survive.
Remote working was never a problem. In fact, working remotely is not only cost-effective but can be extremely efficient. The issue of working from home mainly boils down to productivity and infrastructure. However, with a Serviced Private Office, all those issues are not only solved but improved upon. You can actually bring your office costs down by 25–40% with work solutions by Golden Square.
Remote work options, like Golden Square, have locations across Bangalore that allow your employees to work close home. It’s wise to avoid long commutes and mingling with a variety of people from different areas. With customized solutions and unmatched flexibility, you’ll find yourself in offices that will adapt to your unique needs and necessities.
These offices are fully furnished and designed to Plug and Play so your team wastes no time in setting up. Conceived with privacy and productivity in mind means that social distancing is already accounted for. Distractions and interruptions will not be a concern at all. Professional and modern, a space like this can make it easy to focus on the task at hand. All branches are equipped with high-speed internet and generator backups, ensuring your team can collaborate without unfortunate hiccups. Best of all, these offices can operate on a pay per use model- either an hourly or monthly basis.
Your team can also receive a dedicated phone line, premium business address, and back-office support. Make your life easier with the help of secretarial support and errand services.
Most importantly, it’s an office space that gives top priority to your safety. The staff is working in shifts to maintain just 33% occupancy as per government guidelines. The whole area is sanitized on a daily basis with hand sanitizers being placed in every nook and corner. The housekeeping staff is also equipped with hand gloves and face masks.
It’s time to work smart and adapt to the developing situation. Find out how a Serviced Private Office can aide you and discuss your unique needs: goldensquare.in/p/downsize