It is no more news that the novel coronavirus outbreak has become a pandemic. The outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China was declared a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, 11th March, 2020 as it spreads to at least 131 countries, sickened more than 156,800 people, with at least 5,762 recorded deaths as at Sunday Morning, 15th, March, 2020. This has led to governments of different nations shutting down borders, Schools and Malls closed, imposed quarantines on arriving citizens, travel bans and the latest which include companies imposing compulsory work-from-home policies for employees in order to curtail the spread of the deadly virus. The stark in human and economic impacts on businesses cannot be over-emphasized.
Now that a lot of companies around the world have imposed compulsory Work-From-Home policies on their employees in order to prevent the rapid spread of the pandemic, here are some of the ways both the companies and employees could benefit from it:
There has been surveys carried out to prove that employees who work from home actually get more done than their in-office counterparts. As an employee working from home, you are less likely going to take some time out for a lot of things you usually take time out to do at work. So, that time is used to get the job done.
Also, the fact that your company trust you with autonomy to get problems solved without being monitored is a trust you would not want to betray, as such, you would work harder to get problems solved faster than you probably would when working in-office. The employees improve themselves in doing so, and the employees get problems solved faster, both parties win.
Reduction in General and Administrative Expenses
Employees working from home this period means that companies get the chance to reduce their general and administrative expenses while the employees still get job done. These expenses include but not limited to: Utility bills, feeding bills, Office Supplies.
Working From home helps employees to be more conscious in terms of exercising their bodies, at home, you are most likely be free to move around more do quick exercise more than when you are at work. According to Airtasker research, “remote employees were healthier in terms of exercise. On average, they clocked in two hours and 44 minutes of physical exercise each week, which was 25 more minutes each week than office workers.”
It is a well-known fact that employees who exercise regularly are less likely to take sick leave, are more likely to maintain work concentrations, get more problems solved faster than those employees who do not exercise regularly.
One of the psychological stress an average employee has on weekday basis is how to get to work. With Work-From-Home policies, employees spend less buying fuel in their cars, reduce length of commuting to work, whether through trains, buses or any other form of transportations adopted to get to work.
They spend less amount of money maintaining their cars. The only ‘commuting’ a working from home employee ‘commutes’ are the steps taken to his/her laptops. This gives the employees plenty of more times to relax and be more productive, the average times remaining could be used to do something else, including exercising, spend it with family, personal improvement etc., which companies would benefit from in the long run.
Schools have been shut down in a lot of the countries where the work-from-home policies have been imposed for employees, this means that employees with children and spouses could actually spend more quality times together. It is an opportunity for the children to learn from their parents, at this period, parents learn how to communicate with each other in order model expected behaviours for their children.
The children can also be closer to their parents. Time spent together helps to improve the communications between family members. The frustrations admitted by some parents about children when it comes to openness and trust could be eliminated at this time as the children see their parents more and are more likely able to trust them and subsequently listen or talk to their parents more.
Family bonding can also reinforce mutual respect between the children and the parents as the children can discover from their parents that one can actually get more done with good behaviour rather than acting out. Some children do not even know what their parents do at work, it might be an opportunity for them to learn about their parents’ actual work and may help them to make decisions about their own future.
These are hard times for the world in general as the adverse effect of the deadly virus on businesses especially those that require physical presence cannot be downplayed, hence, desperate times call for desperate measures. Companies whose employees could work from home have done well advising their employees to work from home in order to curtail the spread. It is better to be safe than sorry, but this crisis is not without a silver lining.