WFH – Challenges, Contradictions & Consequences

The challenges that have been thrown in the #covid pandemic era at organisations, employees and governments have created confusion, contradictions and chaos more than clarity on how to mitigate and deal with the new normal.

I have been in plenty of discussions with colleagues, friends, customers and connections on these issues. But hardly have I come across articles, posts, news items discussing this topic in detail though vast number of employees are airing their views in various online forums.

But companies and organisations are not making their views public openly as much as they should. So, I decided to write on this topic:
Challenges and Solutions to deal with the new normal.
And how my world class software technology platform
SELF X ANALYSIS, TEST & TRAINING TECHNOLOGY
is helping companies and employees to tide over these challenges. 

John Lenhart , the world's top most modeler has called my system #SXA the ONLY BALANCED Test & Training Program in the world - helping companies to effectively Identify, Engage and Retain their talents.
And for individuals (employees, entrepreneurs, coaches) to discover their #uniqueness and immediately improve their standard of living by generating additional income and enabling them to develop their unique talents to further their growth.



Here is one giant global corporation which has made its views and policies public on WORKING FROM HOME (#WFH)

But before that - here is just one comment from an employee on an online forum where hundreds of thousands are venting their grievances about #wfh

.....................................................

Is work from home increasing the pressure on employees?

Pugazhendhi VAnswered September 28, 2020 · Author has 341 answers and 23.7K answer views

"Yes, yes very much. Too much.

This WFH has led to a total brutal exploitation of work force is happening. A big torture is directed on the employees. Very cruel. Poor employees, since the there is no other chance of alternative to put papers, all are undergoing this torture and stress.

By all means, these corporate entrepreneurs prefer to continue WFH only. Bcoz, they get 20 hrs of work from everybody at lowest cost. This in unethical, cruel and brutal. Must be stopped immediately."

.......................

Washington, United States: 

Software giant Microsoft will let employees work from home permanently if they choose to, US media reported on 10 Oct 2020, becoming the latest employer to expand work-from-home provisions prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Verge said most Microsoft employees are still at home as the health crisis drags on, and the company doesn't expect to reopen its US offices until January of next year at the earliest.

But when it does, workers can chose to work from their residences permanently, although in that case they will have to give up their office space.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live and work in new ways," Microsoft's Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan said in a note to employees obtained by the tech news outlet.

"We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workstyles, while balancing business needs and ensuring we live our culture."

In a statement to AFP, a Microsoft spokesperson didn't address whether work-from-home would be made permanent but said, "Our goal is to evolve the way we work over time with intention -- guided by employee input, data and our commitment to support individual workstyles and business needs while living our culture."

The Verge report said employees will need approval from their managers to work remotely on a permanent basis, but can spend less than 50 percent of their week outside the office without approval.

Some employees won't be eligible for remote-work arrangements, such as those who work in Microsoft's labs or train other employees.

In its memo, the company co-founded by Bill Gates said it is possible for its workers to relocate across the United States or perhaps overseas, The Verge reported.

Those that relocate may see their salaries change depending on where they go, and while the company will cover expenses for employees' home offices, it won't cover relocation expenses.

As of the end of June, Microsoft employed 163,000 people, 96,000 of them in the US, according to a securities filing.

Some major tech firms have already allowed permanent work-from-home arrangements including Facebook, whose boss Mark Zuckerberg said half of the social network's staff could be permanently working remotely within five to 10 years.

Just 3 days ago ........

'Online meetings can make employees tired and make it difficult to transition from a work mindset to private life, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft and owner of #Linkedin said at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council on 7 Oct 2020.



Work From Home – The Challenges, Contradictions & Consequences.

We are in Unprecedented times, facing Unprecedented Challenges

All bets are off. Whatever you learnt in your college, jobs, life are not going to be enough to deal with the New Normal.

Lets continue with what the CEO of Microsoft had to say about Work from Home #wfh . These are the highlights of his speech

  • Satya Nadella says remote work can feel like "sleeping at work"
  • Microsoft Corp. has been major beneficiary of work-from-home boom
  • Video meetings can be particularly enervating, the CEO noted

·       Microsoft Corp. has been a major beneficiary of the work-from-home boom spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic. But Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella is realizing the pitfalls of being away from the office for so long. 

"When you are working from home, it sometimes feels like you are sleeping at work"

·       Video meetings can be particularly enervating, the CEO noted, citing brain studies on the subject. "Thirty minutes into your first video meeting in the morning, because of the concentration one needs to have in video, you are fatigued."

·       He also said remote work misses some of the benefits of the office. "Video meetings are more transactional," he said. "Work happens before meetings, after meetings."

·       Microsoft has a new product that attempts to address this. Together Mode places participants on video calls in a virtual space, such as an auditorium, meeting room or coffee bar to try to recreate an office atmosphere. 

Microsoft shares have surged more than 30% this year as corporate customers sign up for more of the company's cloud services and internet-based software subscriptions to help their sprawling workforces work from home.

·       Nadella said the pandemic is teaching him about the value of transitions between work and personal activities. "I am learning more about transitions," he said. "So how do you transition? Do you have dinner with the family?" He said he has paid attention more to his schedule.

He also sympathized with employees joining companies while working remotely. "You need to on-board them, on-board them successfully," he said. "Learning, re-skilling, upskilling is going to become a huge issue."

..........Here are pros and cons as described to me by a young employee
of a top US Tech company.

‘It impacts work life balance as there is no boundary of work timings. Physiologically & Psychologically it feels like I'm always working or not working at all’

Cons:

- If work from is an option why did companies not consider it earlier as a solution? It could have solved problems of space, traffic congestions of the streets, relocation pains and costs, infrastructure costs to a huge extent.

- Work from Home can't be a permanent option for employees as I feel in the long run it reduces efficiency, energy and motivation to do good work.

   - It impacts work life balance as there is no boundary of work timings.

   - Same applies to other co workers and employers and eventually it creates extra burden and work overload.

   - There is no way to measure efficiency and it's effectiveness of work from home

   - It becomes boring and monotonous.

- Collaborating & Communicating with team members face to face physically is a need I feel, if not frequently, at least occasionally .

- Work from Home makes the employees feel isolated .

- Working on critical issues which takes huge bandwidth could be challenging sometimes.

Pros :

- No need to bear the pain of high rent in the metro cities and employees can stay in their hometowns and save a lot of money.

- Better food choices and living standards

- Save commuting time which is a great advantage.

- Organizations can save a lot of money on infrastructure, resources utilized by employees and save time for extra curricular activities.

..............Now ..............

There are companies on both sides of the aisle. Some are paying additional money to employees to work from home, like the one who just listed the pros and cons. And there are companies who look at the covid challenge as an opportunity to reorganise their people, locations, costs and way of life and work to save costs because business has taken a huge hit. There has been drastic fall in sales and revenues and the choices organisations face are hard ones - to keep their existing number of people at reduced salaries or to let them go.

There is a huge confusion in the face of these unprecedented challenges. 

The key challenges for organisations are:

* Keeping their existing employees motivated, especially now that they are out of physical supervision, working from homes.

* Employee performance assessments has becoming challenging more than ever before.

* Recruiting and onboarding new staff.

* Ongoing training programs which were mostly conducted offline at physical locations are nor an option anymore on account fo covid new normal norms of social distancing, limiting the number of people coming together in a confined space such as meeting halls, shop floors, offices.

Humanity always has risen to challenges thru out history. And I'm sure we will meet these new challenges once again successfully.

Here are the Solutions that my platform 
SELF X ANALYSIS, TEST & TRAINING TECHNOLOGY
 is helping companies and employees with to deal with the new normal.

* No drop in performance with the world class
SXA Test & Training systems.

Complete Online based recruiting and onboarding system
backed by cutting edge technology.

Long before covid19 appeared, Self X Analysis Test & Training Technology developed world class hrtechnology, hrtools, hrsoftware, hrsystems for reducing the pain points of the recruitment training process for hiring and training managers to discover the uniqueness in each candidate behind the mask of personality. 

SXA is a boon for organisations as well candidates in these challenging times.

SXA is aiding virtual hiringprocess for companies

SXA is aiding candidates in their preparation and training to find the right#jobs

*for wanna be entrepreneurs turning ideas into business

*students starting their careers

*employees looking to turn their xperience, xpertise into a coaching career.


Hiring managers : Try the SXA system by taking the free 3 min demo to see how our cutting edge #hrtech can support you in these trying times. 

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...............................

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