Work from Home– A blessing in disguise

Tausifur Rahman | April 07, 2020

“I have no idea what's awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends.”
(Albert Camus, The Plague)

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the globe. The storm of death did not stop at Wuhan, after inflicting debilitating devastation in the commercial city it rose again and flew across the oceans and mountain ranges to unleash the horror in the dazzling cities of Milan, Madrid, New York, London and many more.

The powerful and brazen political empires are on their knees against an invisible and invincible enemy with no room for negotiation. The global economy is crawling under the deadweight of lock down, finding means and methods to break away from the iron clutches of today’s gloom. Notwithstanding the prevailing crisis and uncertainty, the business organisations are rapidly evolving and adopting smart technology to keep the ball rolling. Many services and technology organisations have enabled and empowered employees to work from their home. The experts and consultants are waiting for the work data generated during this period to comprehend and analyses the impact on productivity together with other key performance indicators. Perhaps, the result would shape the evolution of an alternate workplace “Home Office” and the paradigm of work culture will be redefined forever.

What will happen when this all ends

The crystal ball gazing to predict the economic growth curve may not be the best choice at this point of time. When the storm settles down, when the demon is defeated, when the employees return back to vibrant and bustling offices, when the office grapevine and gossips make you giggle with glee, the debate would commence about the practicality, suitability, applicability and acceptability of the Work from Home (Home Office) model as a viable alternative.

Work from Home (Home Office) model as a viable alternative. Much before this catastrophe hit the planet earth, many organisations had extended this facility to select group of employees subject to their job profile in the organisation. The consulting and services organisations are also experimenting, hitherto it remains an exception with limited usage. Many traditional organisations who loathed the idea of virtual meetings and preferred to have in-person conversation have been accidentally pushed into virtual meeting rooms. The feedback of the reluctant participants and naysayers would help to fine tune the model.

Work from Home -Business Drivers and Challenges

The Work from Home (Home Office) model will evolve over a period of time to offer multiple variants based on the industry sector, organisation culture and job profile of the individual employee. Amid the wrenching changes, it is imperative for the organisations to clearly understand, analyse and compare business drivers and possible challenges for adopting the Work from Home (Home Office) model. Below is the summary of key business drivers and challenges.

Business Drivers:

  • Enhanced Talent Pool – The talent pool for hiring skilled employees will multiply many fold as the work location would not be constraint any more.
  • May attract younger workers who prefer the gig economy with flexible hours, and autonomy.
  • Enhanced productivity and better utilisation of employee time as the time to commute to work will be significantly reduced.
  • Work Life Integration – It will create more synergies between all areas that define 'life': work, home/family, community, personal well-being, and health etc.
  • Cost reduction – It will help organisations to reduce the facility cost (Office Space etc.)


  • Coordination and collaboration between team members operating from different locations may be a difficult task for the project managers.
  • The productivity for certain functions, work group or employees may decrease due to either nature of job or personal challenges at home.
  • Internet and mobile connectivity may not be robust to attend online meetings or access application for performing required tasks.
  • Confidentiality and Information Security –Many service organisations have access to confidential information of the large customers and are in legal agreement to protect the same. The implementation of security control framework to avoid, detect, counteract, or minimize security risks to physical property, information, computer systems in order to protect the confidentiality would be mammoth task for the organisations.
  • Work Culture and Organisation Values- The office represents the organisation culture and values enshrined in it. The question of sustaining and carrying forward the value system in new work model where sizeable number of employees are working from home would require momentous changes in the current approach.

Every cloud has a silver lining

These dark clouds of woes and worries will recede with the passage of time. The calamity has created an ideal opportunity for the business organisations to revisit their existing policies and redesign their strategy vis-à-vis employee work location options. The acceptance and transition to new model would be an onerous tasks for the management of the organisations. The critical checking points for the smooth and seamless adoption journey is elucidated below. It is not a comprehensive list but an indicative list that may be expanded based on the organisation need and requirements

  • Job Profile assessment to determine the fitment for the WFH (Home Office) model
  • One size doesn’t fit all- Design Work from Home(Home Office) model that is aligned with the organisation core values and vision.
  • IT application – Deploy robust IT application to track, monitor & control Work from Home (Home Office). The implementation of IT application would be a crucial step to pave the way for new model.

Times change and we with time - Who knows, that the time would come, when “Work from Home” would not be an exception but an expectation from employee.