Work culture as a concept has been the same since the 1840s which is when the office workstyle became the next big thing. Gone were the days of working on site and being in an unorganized environment to get the job done. People became more inclined to work in a safe space with the rulings of a management to ensure effectiveness and higher profits. Thus, it comes as no surprise that it is only a matter of time before the work culture faces yet another revolutionary change.
New questions are starting to rise regarding the necessity of a physical common space in order to carry out multiple tasks in the name of achieving an end goal/purpose. Maybe there is a new approach that should be taken in this modern era as change is inevitable at the end of the day as society continues to progress and evolve over time. The concept of working from home may have been foreign to us decades ago but today that term has garnered a new sense of familiarity amongst many. This concept is now a viable option for those who choose to pursue it, so surely there has to be something behind this brand new idea that makes it so appealing.
Technology has experienced exponential growth over the years and with such tremendous growth, there will surely be huge changes made in various industries. Technology has managed to seep into the workforce time and time again but it was merely used to increase efficiency and standardizing the working format. People started to rely on software when it came to accounting due to the introduction of VisiCalc in 1978 and this truly came as shock wave in the accounting world as more people started getting laid off due to the effectiveness of technology.
However now it is time to look at the benefits from a different angle and recognize its effects on the work culture as a whole allowing the average worker to live a more well integrated life. Technology has cast such a well-connected web around the world allowing individuals to gain access to any form of information at any given time. This basically means distance is irrelevant and the overbearing worry of geographical boundary can be neglected when it comes to the use of technology. This provides job opportunities for those who may not be in well developed countries with numerous job prospects. Those who prefer working remotely from foreign countries can do so with minimal grievances.
A company that integrates technology into the workforce allows the workers to have constant access to the company’s database ensuring work will never be delayed regardless of the situation. This level of convenience and simplicity is what more people need in order to make the most out of their day and provide better overall results. This means the individual is given the freedom to work from home and this not only brings benefits for the individual but ultimately benefits the company in the long run when it comes to productivity.
The idea of productivity is often times associated with burnout but by allowing employees to work from home, this worry can be thrown out the window. The employee is given more flexibility, allowing them to work at the time they feel is most convenient for them and this level of comfort promotes a more effective workstyle. When workers are more drawn into the task at hand and are allowed to work in the environment of choice, the overall numbers in the company will also increase relative to the satisfaction of the workers.
The company is also no longer pressured into forming a conducive work environment as that freedom of choice has been handed over to the employees themselves. Another effect of working from home is reduction of cost and expenditure for both effected parties. Meaning not only does the employee save money but so does the employer. A prime example of cost reduction is proven by the amount of money spent by the average American to commute to work. Numerous surveys have been carried out to tackle this pressing issue that seems to affect millions worldwide.
In a survey by the Business Insider, it is found that the average American spends from as little as $2000 to an exorbitant $5000 annually just to commute to work depending on the state of residence. Most people who commute to work already earn minimum wage and the added burden of having to pay for their transportation is equivalent to rubbing salt on a fresh wound. Working from home eliminates this expense altogether alongside other petty finances such as meal costs and road taxes. The working class can in fact save more and reduce unnecessary costs in the name of maintaining a job and it opens up more opportunities for those who are not financially fortunate to begin with.
The financial effects of working from home don’t stop there as there is still the employer to take into account. The company also ends up saving money assuming the entirety of the company’s operations are carried out in the cloud and there is no longer a use for a physical location. Consequently, there is no need for an office space, property taxes become non existent and the overall need for amenities is negligible. All those costs can instead go into salary increments, bonuses and also as an investment into the research and development of the company.
As a result of working from home, there is a better work life balance which is something many people struggle with. It can be easy to lose sight of our mental wellbeing due to the constant stress of work and by working from home this level of stress is more manageable. There is a more seamless integration between a person’s professional life as well as their personal life. There is less need for holidays and taking extreme breaks as more regular breaks can be taken allowing for a more standardized work structure on the daily.
A rigid environment can be a burden for many. The thought of having to carry out a task in a controlled environment that may seem foreign often times sparks anxiety and discomfort. Working in an office space also puts into practice these social standards and dress codes that may not be practical for everyone so working from home provides an added level of comfort and familiarity by diminishing these minor things that may not have ever been job requirements to begin with. This balance between familiarity and professionalism often times gives out the best results as the worker experiences the best of both worlds.
Having a good work-life balance is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent overexertion. Working from home is the best way to venture into different aspects of life without having to merely focus on work. Being at home can also be a wake up call to prevent oneself from spiraling too deep into an unhealthy work schedule which many people tend to do in the office. It is easy to lose sight of the core aspects of life when most of an individuals life is spent in a glass building filled with workaholics. This type of work culture may seem harmless at the beginning but it can in fact be destructive in the long run.
Is This The Future?
However, there are potential negative effects as well when it comes to working from home and a good example is isolation and a lack of human connection as well as home distractions. It is hard to draw the line when it comes to prioritizing tasks as the individual is faced with the challenge of choosing work over home errands and this can be a fatal problem in the long run. Working from home could also negatively impact the company in the sense that there is a greater risk of security flaws if the company works with huge amounts of sensitive information.
All these negatives can definitely be overcome over time, some may require a higher level of technological sophistication while others may require a change in work ethics. Regardless it is inevitable that the work culture as a whole will face massive changes over the years and it is up to the individual to adapt to those changes. To draw a conclusion, it is best to shine the light on the current state of the world and lament on the fact that change was not done sooner.
Working from home was not the norm in the past but over time we have learnt to adapt and humans as a species have come a long way due to the change that has a occurred in a multitude of industries. We have managed to solve problems that we face and those solutions often times become the foundation for the next generation to thrive. The same can be said to the work culture, we have stepped into a new realm of endless possibilities and it is only a matter of time before we make the next massive change in our civilization.
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