The coronavirus outbreak has led to widespread calls for and adoption of work from home (WFH) options.
In India, Flipkart, Twitter and various other companies, particularly those in the IT sector, have issued advisories encouraging employees to WFH. By some estimates, close to 20L IT employees will be working remotely in the coming days.
Abroad, Italy has instituted the world’s first nationwide lockdown. Restrictions across Europe and the US have meant more and more firms are pushing workers to self-isolate and WFH.
But WFH is a challenge for both employers and employees. Broadly speaking, this is because of two reasons – ability and infrastructure.
Not all industries can adopt WFH, even if they wanted to. Take Uber and Ola drivers, or those employed in manufacturing. The nature of their work makes it difficult or downright impossible to WFH.
And many firms that do adopt WFH could find it to be an uphill ordeal simply because they’re not prepared for it and not equipped with the necessary infrastructure. WFH demands fast internet connections, seamless coordination, constant updates and harmonious video conferencing habits. And it’s a two-way street, with these requirements necessary from both employers and employees.
While we wait for the coronavirus pandemic to subside, India Inc. Is temporarily embracing WFH. Will this cajoled tryst make WFH popular in India? Or will the challenges companies face turn them away from the model altogether? Only time will tell!
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