Last Updated : Jun 02, 2020 08:29 PM IST | Source:

Is remote working a new normal or a revolution altogether in the industry?

The lockdown has confined us within the four walls with a laptop and a mobile - our only tethers with the real world during WFH.

Moneycontrol Contributor @moneycontrolcom
Representative image
Representative image

Narayan Mahadevan

Head bowed down and an ethereal glow on the face - what generally describes a human in prayer is now also synonymous to a millennial engaged in a tête-à-tête through his mobile. Our unconditional love for continuous interactions and engagements can be proved from the fact that almost half of the world population is registered on some social media platform. Finding excuses to catch up with friends every other weekend, going for movies, planning a short trip to a popular hotspot, and carefully uploading the choicest screenshots of these memories to our timelines define our regular activities.

As social beings, we always crave engagements with other humans as much as we love to bask in our own freedom of movement, now and then. In this world of social media, the idea of social distancing can be deemed as cruel, hostile, and forced. But isn't it a necessary evil to ensure our well-being and, simultaneously, awaken us to an ultramodern future?


Testing waters

Our regular tryst with peer engagements recently hit a dead-end. The lockdown has confined us within the four walls with a laptop and a mobile - our only tethers with the real world during work-from-home (WFH). Today, our watercooler interactions with colleagues take place online as we try to remotely connect with them. Although the phenomenon can play with our otherwise sane ‘social’ mind, there are also some good aspects attached to it. With more time at our disposal and having to focus solely on the work at our hands, the WFH is turning out to be quite effective for employees and organizations alike. Teams and managers connect online to discuss current assignments without hovering or fidgeting on the future course of events. Colleagues and leaders take initiatives to connect with the employees and ensure their wellbeing on both professional and health fronts, thereby making them more confident and productive meanwhile.

A few ills

Due to the blurred work-life boundaries, it has become as ‘difficult to ignore household chores while working on an assignment’ as it is to ‘not take a sneak peek into the official chat group at the dinner table’. The home is the new office and the relaxed yet erratic routine, the new normal. These huge alterations - an intrusion into our personal lives, or the professional ones - are confusing us to the edge. The case is the same with millions of us who are struggling each day to come to terms with the new reality. The role of a colleague known for his bonhomie or a proactive manager becomes paramount at such times that can take our minds off trivial matters and help significantly to remain our positive selves.

The new normal, new revelation

But, despite all the difficulties an employee must be facing during this time, the present-day crisis has unveiled a remarkable facet. The WFH culture, initially feared as unproductive by all employers, is proving to be a more efficient mode of working. Apart from its slight shortcomings, remote working has struck down the hype around work-from-the-office. Though the official setup has its advantages, like an uninterrupted power supply, a robust internet connection, and seamless coordination for official assignments, it no longer has far-reaching implications for organizations or is a prerequisite to productivity.

Before today, we must have fancied the notion to take a day off and WFH. We, however, would have never imagined it to get enforced so rapidly, drastically, and for such a prolonged time. Nevertheless, the fourth industrial revolution has driven the influx of cutting-edge technologies into our day-to-day lives and taught us to be ‘self-reliant’ with remote working. With a few days into the lockdown, our enhanced productivity quickly replaced our initial apprehensions. The robust digital infrastructure has further created a conducive environment for everyone to work remotely. WFH has been instrumental in making us realize that work and healthy camaraderie can go beyond the office premises. It can then be said that this isn’t merely a ‘new normal’. It might as well be a modern revolution altogether.

The author is Founder – BridgeLabz, an IP-driven incubation labs aimed at nurturing engineering talent and ideas in the emerging technology space.
First Published on Jun 2, 2020 08:28 pm