As technology and innovation continue to take centre stage in the COVID-19 era, work-from-home or WFH seems to be an integral part of this new normal. Companies are hailing the benefits of WFH and recognising its effects on employee productivity. The realisation that working from the office is not the only way to get work done efficiently has been an epiphany to managers.
According to a report released by Verizon Business, 86 per cent of companies believe that in the future, work from home and virtual work will continue to co-exist along with the physical workplace, with 61 per cent of business leaders sharing that the quality of remote work was on par with that of the physical workplace.
Many job postings today are readily accommodating remote workers and several Indian, international and multinational companies such as Tech Mahindra, Microsoft, Twitter and Google have made WFH or remote work a permanent or long term policy.
The terms are often used interchangeably, especially in the current scenario but, is work from home and remote work the same thing? No, not really.
Work from Home:
While WFH can be a part of remote work, it is seen as a temporary arrangement that occasionally deviates from the routine work from the office. The framework and structure of the office, however, remains the same.
With remote work, employees work from another location apart from the office, either from home or in a co-working space or abroad. The arrangement may be temporary, long term or permanent and requires a different set of abilities, skills and resources. Working remotely is a completely different setup and often the company provides the tools, technology and resources to facilitate the employee’s work. Some of the best examples of remote working are customer service jobs, call centres and sales jobs.
While in the new normal there is a subtle distinction between working from home and working remotely, companies today are more willing to embrace and adopt a blended working style which would see a more widespread practice of either of the two.
With the rise of new and more innovative technologies, organisations have been able to simplify certain processes even further and they have realised that the traditional model of working from the office does not always translate to being more productive. HR managers are also preparing for this shift by framing specific policies that cater to this new work reality.
So while the world is moving towards working from home, remote work and a blended work model, we have to understand that they are not all the same, but they are definitely here to stay.