Is Work From Home a right strategy for Service companies?

2020 is the defining year for man-kind. It has changed the way the world functions. Since the lockdowns have happened post-March 2020, there has been one key term that redefined the offices & work i.e. Work from Home.

When the lockdown happened, initial 2-4 weeks, companies were struggling to manage the work. Companies were struggling with

  1. How the office work should happen? Specially Banking institutions, Schools, Doctors who were mostly aloof of such work practices.
  2. How to manage the work culture?
  3. How to make sure that the employees are productive and efficient?

To the surprise of the companies, the first few months turned out to be awesome with WFH. As per my analysis, some of the reasons were

  1. Fear: All the employees were unprepared for such kind of lockdown. No one has seen that in their lifetime. Employees were not sure that whether they will have the job or not. That uncertainty led to better commitments from the employees.
  2. Work-life balance: for the first time, the Indian workforce was experiencing the work-home balance as they got to spend a great time with the family along with office work. Due to the experience, employees started contributing more.
  3. Lesser Interference: Initially, there was lesser interference of zoom meeting. Due to this, employees were productive in their work

Initial enthusiasm was so high that companies like TCS started to visualize the no-office mechanism. It will definitely help save the overhead costs.

What happened now? Why all the enthusiasm around WFH is coming down. A lot of startup guys also preferring offices.

As per our research, we came to the below conclusion

  1. Technology Sector heats up: Covid has led the absorption of the technology across laggard sectors like Health and Education. Due to the technology absorption, there has been a sudden spike in demand for technology talent. Due to this, people started looking for jobs. Due to WFH, it's very difficult to monitor the psychology of the employees. Hence, attrition has increased across the sector.
  2. Culture & Bonding: It has been widely acknowledged that the bonding and culture is difficult to create in a WFH setup. Most of the interactions in WFH are transactional.
  3. Absence of Fear: The fear of job loss which was evident during first lockdown is not there right now. As WFH is a norm as well as V shape economic recoveries instilled faith amongst the workforce.

Now, with more than 16 months of Corona world, What is the solution forward?

We believe that WFH is there to stay. The real balance lies in between the office & WFH. Some key steps which can be taken are.

  1. Flexi Offices: Companies should provide the flexibility to work. Employees should be able to work as per their convenience. It will help companies built culture as well as monitor better.
  2. Better Engagement: Companies should look for hybrid engagement strategies. Strategies to embibe offline & online employee engagement. It should be seamless so that people don't differentiate between offline and online.

What could be other ways? Please share your thoughts.