HomeBUSINESSWorking From Home - An Opportunity And A Challenge

Working From Home – An Opportunity And A Challenge

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, many employees and managers were forced to work from home quickly. This meant that the reservations of many work organizations and their managers about the home office were thrown overboard almost overnight and even turned into the opposite. Current studies show that many companies want to continue to work from home. What opportunities do the home office and virtual collaboration offer? What challenges have to be taken into account, and what are the prerequisites?

Up until March of 2020, many companies – and especially their managers – were highly skeptical about working from home. For example, an employee of a large multinational company based in Germany reported that the approval of the application for a home office day took up to three months, comprising several pages, and several conditions had to be met for this option to be considered at all. This changed suddenly with the COVID-19 lockdown. Now you have to give a detailed and well-founded explanation of why you want to come to the office to work.

Lack Of Trust And Loss Of Control

According to a recent study, around 60% of employees in Germany can work from home at least temporarily. Whether the home office is even possible depends, of course, on the type of activity and the industry. The home office potential was by no means exhausted before the Corona crisis. A study we carried out years ago on the introduction of teleworking or one home office day per week in a company showed that the low proportion of home office permits was primarily due to the managers’ lack of trust in their employees. Working from home meant a loss of control for managers, as they could not see their employees at work directly, approach them and monitor their work progress.

Increased Productivity And Working Longer

With the Corona crisis, the home office experienced an enormous boom. According to a survey by the professional network LinkedIn, 67% of its members in Germany worked from home during the lockdown. A current study by the Ifo Institute in Munich showed that 73% of the almost 800 HR managers questioned continue to work from home due to their positive experiences. In the job advertisements between March and June 2020, a study found more than doubling of home office jobs. In contrast to the earlier assumptions made by managers, studies show that employees are sometimes more productive at home and work longer than in the office. Working hours, office space, travel expenses, and, in some cases, work materials can all be saved. Streets, Air, and public transport are less polluted, and with qualified workers, the possibility of working from home can become a competitive factor. Our study had shown that employees who were granted a day home office during the week perceived this as a leap of faith that they did not want to disappoint and therefore worked with corresponding commitment.

Self-Management Skills

Several prerequisites should be considered so that these positive effects of working from home can also be used. The essential requirement is a well-functioning technical infrastructure that meets the necessary safety regulations. This also includes a correspondingly reliable network connection and the software required for the work. Of course, you also need to know how to use these technical aids, which many employees quickly familiarize themselves with, thanks to online learning videos. In addition, our study has shown that employees with families need a separate survey for concentrated work, which could be a challenge for many families. Working in the home office also requires self-management based on personal specifics such as one’s biorhythm and its consideration in work planning – as far as this is possible in terms of work and family ties.

Virtual Collaboration With Colleagues

While the increases mentioned above in productivity of working from home were mainly observed in independent activities without a significant need for coordination, projects are often processed that require virtual collaboration with colleagues in today’s home office activities. Virtual collaboration brings advantages as well as challenges. One of the challenges is that technically mediated communication is poorer, i.e., less additional information is provided for the communicated word than transmission in person. 

This increases the potential for misunderstandings. This means that in the case of asynchronous written communication, for example, via email, the context of statements should also be specified and inquired if anything is unclear. Video conferencing, In which the communication takes place synchronously, allows direct inquiries in case of ambiguity. They are, therefore, usually more productive than sending a lot of emails back and forth. In addition, visual contact also allows you to react to non-verbal signals. In addition to eliminating travel activities, which saves money, especially with geographically dispersed colleagues, there has also been a greater discipline in online meetings in some cases. However, good session management should be ensured in a more critical online conference. This includes a plan sent in advance and good moderation. It is guaranteed that all participants can express themselves equally and have good follow-up with the appropriate protocol.

They are, therefore, usually more productive than sending a lot of emails back and forth. In addition, visual contact also allows you to react to non-verbal signals. In addition to eliminating travel activities, which saves money, especially with geographically dispersed colleagues, there is also greater discipline in online meetings in some cases. However, good session management should be ensured in a more critical online conference. This includes a plan sent in advance and good moderation. It is guaranteed that all participants can express themselves equally and have good follow-up with the appropriate protocol. They are, therefore, usually more productive than sending a lot of emails back and forth. In addition, visual contact also allows you to react to non-verbal signals. In addition to eliminating travel activities, which saves money, especially with geographically dispersed colleagues, there has also been a greater discipline in online meetings in some cases. However, good session management should be ensured in a more critical online conference.

This includes a plan sent in advance, good moderation, in which it is guaranteed that all participants can express themselves equally, as well as good follow-up with the appropriate protocol. Which saves money, especially with geographically dispersed colleagues, has also shown greater discipline in online meetings in some cases. However, good session management should be ensured in a more significant online conference. This includes a plan sent in advance, good moderation, in which it is guaranteed that all participants can express themselves equally, as well as good follow-up with the appropriate protocol.

Which saves money, especially with geographically dispersed colleagues, has also shown greater discipline in online meetings in some cases. However, good session management should be ensured in a more significant online conference. This includes a plan sent in advance and good moderation. It is guaranteed that all participants can express themselves equally and have good follow-up with the appropriate protocol. All those involved can express themselves equally, as well as a good follow-up with the corresponding protocol. That all those involved can express themselves equally and a good follow-up with the corresponding protocol.

Leadership At A Distance

For managers, home office means management at a distance. Here, the instrument of leadership with goals is indispensable, in which the focus is shifted from the input working time to the expected work result. In principle, it does not matter what day or night you work, as long as the employees deliver the work results on time. So-called SMART goals are required for this; formulated work goals should have the following characteristics: specific, edible, distance ( achievable) or realistic, and end date ( timebound). In addition, when leading at a distance, managers should ensure that they only call meaningful and necessary meetings, as meetings are time-consuming and interrupt employees’ workflow.

Role And Importance Of Social Exchange

When working from home, useful virtual meetings can also include an informal gathering for lunch or (voluntary) exchanges at the end of the day. The latter was initiated during the COVID-19 lockdown, especially by employees living alone to have opportunities for social interaction and work. The role and importance of the social exchange made possible by working on-site should not be neglected. Our study also showed that employees with small children were happy to use the home office offers with the above-mentioned existing infrastructure. Singles, however, still preferred to go to the office because they missed the social exchange. Hence, it can be assumed that work on-site at the employer – or in shared offices – will continue to be justified despite increasing homework.

Also Read: Project Management Tools If Trello Isn’t For You: 7 Alternatives In Comparison

Tech Gloss
Tech Gloss is a site dedicated to publishing content on technology, business news, Gadget reviews, Marketing events, and the apps we use in our daily life. It's a great website that publishes genuine content with great passion and tenacity.
RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST ARTICLES