Coronavirus has affected our daily lives. But as a matter of fact, what better can the opportunity be…to weight the ups and downs of efficiency after the sudden and unprecedented shift to Work From Home(WFH) due to COVID-19 pandemic. We can see the shifts in all our activity level, changes in daily plans, how employees manage to keep themselves steady outside and inside work, i.e., office and home. Twitter announced that employees would be permitted to work remotely ‘forever’ and Amazon CTO Werner portrayed the change to cloud-based workplaces as “permanent” in May.
In spite of all the positive press about working remote, some studies suggest it’s not what it’s supposed to be. Social detachment, employment uncertainty, Work From Home burnout and the virus itself have consolidated to stun the well-being and prosperity of laborers around the world. Though, work from couch wearing pyjamas is a reality now, it is taking its tolls to many with long hours virtual meetings, blurred lines between the work and managing the personal life. With the rise of Work From Home (WFH), studies report that Work Remotly is disadvantageous as far as the work productivity and mental health is concerned from one investigation to another. They all feel WFH demands more work compared to the office hours.
Negative Effects of Working from Home
As per the research done by the researchers globally, most of the employees expressed negative impact of WFH activity. Majority of them said that their mental health is affected since the pandemic outbreak; there seems an increase in the anxiety and stress level amongst the employees . According to a study, WFH is causing staff workers to lose their sensibility and dedication towards the work and life balance during the COVID-19 situation. Some of such adverse effects include:
- Employees have been attending more meeting through video-calls while being at home in comparison to working in the office. Long working hours for meeting preparation, presentation can lead to mental exhaustion. Employees are likely to record their presentation to have smooth meeting and strengthen their relationship with clients, leading them to slog hard on it. Since sensitive information can’t be leaked on video calls with the threat of calls being hacked, mail chats and phone calls have increased; leading to increase in stress level. A full week of virtual meetings leaves employees completely tired and stressed. No wonder employee complaint that WFH demands more work.
- Loneliness is one of the most risky mental illnesses. Majority of the employees miss the zeal of going to office and bursting their heart out with colleague. But, stay home culture has indirectly made people just work and have no social interaction, just to maintain social distancing measures. But after all, “Man is a social animal”, asking him to remain aloof is like asking him to invite mental disturbance.
- Some employees felt burnt out, they were working more than their original working hours. Since large conglomerates divided their staff into working from office and working from home, the WFH staff felt that they are contributing more than their in-office colleagues. People who are new to remote work feel that they are compelled to work more to prove that they can be more productive with less post-work option, proving that WFH does demand more work.
- Employees working from home had to purchase virtual private network (VPN) during the pandemic. A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Some had to specifically create workplace at their home, which included office furniture like working table, WIFI arrangements and much more. This appeared to be the financial draining movement to many. Moreover, some employees felt more cyber secure while working in office than that of WFH.
- Additionally, with the corona virus around, employees feel the blur between personal and professional life. Since the schools are closed, children’s are home. So the working parents struggle to separate responsibilities. Distraction from the surrounding during office meet or children while at home is proving to be major cause for mental illness amongst the employees. Balancing home and work life in one space for months is becoming tiresome now.
Despite some advantage and convenience of working from home like preparing meals and looking after the house, schedule home maintenance and repairing at any time of the day; there are few negative impacts as stated above. Something, that seemed positive months ago is now a challenge to most of the employees and is instigating them to return to office as soon as possible. It is now actually being disliked by majority of the workforce as WFH demands more work.
Some say that pandemic has turned around the future of work, but it has actually increased the velocity of work. However, this speed may not be always good to the employees; it may cause unhealthy future instead of evolving into the fruitful one.
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