Why working from office is important

Posted in Personal 21 Jun 2020

A lot of IT companies are grappling with a common problem statement these days and that is - "How much % of total work force should be allowed to work from home once the crisis of COVID-19 is over?". There are a lot of debates on this topic where a few IT companies have gone ahead and said that their 50% of workforce would continue to work from home permanently whereas some organisations have different point of view on it.

Employee productivity data of most of the organisations shows that there has not been any impact on individual productivity while working from home and, in fact, some of organisations have reported enhanced employee productivity. Thanks to joint efforts of Government, telecom service providers and ISPs which has made 88%penetration of 4G service possible in India (India has more than a billion internet users !!!).

Other major reasons for the success of the work from home model (apart from internet availability) during COVID-19 were the social fabric and team bonding created while working from office with your team. No doubt, a lot of teams have found innovative ways of connecting with their teams virtually while working from home but the emotional connect that comes with an ad-hoc meeting in pantry while getting a glass of water or heating your food or meeting your colleague/friend over a cup cannot be replaced with virtual team meetings.

My initial learnings at Infosys were mostly by watching my seniors work, observing how they prepare for their meetings and take client calls. Permanent working from home would be a big deterrent for such intangible learnings.

For business continuity model, planning more workforce to work from home is the need of hour and organisations should continue to invest on remote computing and security infrastructure. But making a large number of employees working from home permanently, can kill collaboration, idea generation, teamwork and social fabric that is created while working from office.