WFH: Here to Stay or Just here Today?
May 5, 2020
Work from home is a reality for teams in almost every industry as the Coronavirus pandemic transforms the way the world works. But what happens when we go back to business as usual?
WFH: (Virtually) gone tomorrow
SHRM’s research said about 3% of HR leaders reported having salaried employees working remotely when 2020 began. By last month, 64% reported their colleagues were working from home.
Ninety-five percent of respondents said they thought their workforce would return to pre-Coronavirus levels within six months. Of course, it remains to be seen how – and how soon – companies will be able to bring their teams back in house, conduct meetings, hold conferences and otherwise increase face-to-face business.
SHRM’s survey was conducted with Oxford Economics in mid-April 2020.
WFH: Here to stay
Videoconferencing and working from home is surely nothing new, but your clients have been called upon to fully embrace technology like never before. While some employees are more productive when working from home, others find the distraction of pets, kids, and chores – combined with deadlines, projects, and meetings – puts work and life out of balance.
From status meetings to collaborative work, Zoom, WebEx, and other platforms enable managers and their teams to keep in touch and stay productive.
FastCompany tells us WFH is a lasting option, due to one fact: Many companies have finally invested in the technology to support remote work. Now that they’ve met the challenge, some organizations may be more comfortable keeping the practices in place.
From a global perspective, the Economic Times reports “Work-from-home is going to stay, even after Covid-19 scare is over” and says HR heads view this as a “trial run on a large scale” and that virtual workplaces are moving toward the norm.
How employees see it
A survey by research firm OnePoll and Citrix – conducted in April reported by HR Dive – found employees working from home felt “overwhelmed” and 30% said they couldn’t focus due to distractions including “too many people in the house.” On the other hand, about 20% reported that they experienced loneliness while working from home.
Most employees are feeling the strain, MetLife's new Work-Life Reality survey found. Combine the worries of contracting the virus with the sometimes-chaotic, sometimes-lonely, but always-on dynamic of working from home, and they’re feeling stressed. 77% of respondents said technology makes it difficult to switch off, up 8 percentage points from before the crisis.