Why India Inc. is reluctant to give you work from home.
Are you sitting in the office right now and wondering when an email will pop-up saying, all employees to work from home until further notice? If yes, trust me you are not the only one. Hundreds of thousands of employees across India are waiting for this message, especially after Maharashtra announced a lockdown resulting in companies asking for people to carry their operations from home.
But I’d like to throw light on the reasons why your company is delaying this necessity:
- They do not trust you, and
- It will result in huge capital expenditure and maybe revenue loss for them.
Why doesn’t your company trust you? The reason is your laziness. Employees have a tendency of procrastinating things, and are super friendly and sociable in nature that it’s easy for us to turn a minute worthy call in an hour-long discussion. People live for social media, need too many breaks, and the list goes on and on. Where is the time left for work?
While in the office premises, our brain keeps an unconscious check on actions. Employees function well while being monitored. They try not to come under the spotlight for the laid-back attitude. But can the same be said while people are working from home? You are totally independent to do things when you feel like, without reminders from the boss to complete the task.
It may not affect the working of some people, but let us be honest, many of us are not able to digest such degrees of independence. This adds to the company’s already increasing list of worries: declining business growth due to a global pandemic followed by loss of current business due to remote working teams. Of course, a lot depends on the nature of industry your company is in.
IT? eh! It’s easy to go remote but what about the other industries?
What kind of capital expenditure companies may have to incur? Why are small businesses afraid?
To start with, though many companies couldn’t survive the start-up bubble burst, the ones that did are now facing another dilemma in this pandemic time. Advertising agencies, new-age IT companies, home-run businesses with small teams, etc. employ at-least tens of thousands across India. The majority of them are situated in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Pune, Indore, etc. Sending their employees on remote working will put stress on their already draining capital:
- Many employees work on desktop PCs, like application developers. Sending them remote will require laptops and code accesses through VPN, which means incurring huge capital expenditure.
- Data security. Application development services makes it mandatory for software engineers to work on premise located systems. The reason is to protect confidential application codes from getting leaked. Giving access to the network outside premises can compromise the integrity and spillovers are possible. Remember, the trust factor creeps in here too.
- Need for high speed internet connection. Though the entire country has smartphones with active network connections, the data speed is not enough to fulfil high-end operations. That’s why corporations rely on dedicated optical fibre lines. Not all employees have LAN based connections at their homes and that can hamper their working.
- Double revenue loss. During the mandatory work from home period, the companies are morally and legally bound to pay employees in full. It can result in twice the revenue loss if teams are not able to deliver results during the remote working period.
What is the solution?
The key to the current scenario is finding a mid-way. While the companies need to take a leap of faith to hold up their end of the bargain, they need stronger measures for monitoring the tasks assigned to employees. Whereas it is the moral responsibility of employees to not take undue advantage of the remote working period, banish any lethargic work attitude, and help their organizations pass through the rough phase. Good meeting culture, easy communication and better coordination are some of the jargons used for solving the puzzle.
Now the question is, when will India Inc. take the first step? We genuinely hope the action doesn’t come too late. Peace.
Written by Mayur Ghiya
Mayur is a word wizard; from blogs to emailers to social media content and everything in between, he is the guy for the job. Self-taught skills backed by years of reading and writing, Mayur believes in embracing the change and growing with it. Apart from key-ing down his ideas, he loves cooking, eating, and binge-watching pizza videos on YouTube.