Article (June-2020)


Covid -19 has propelled industry to think differently

Mamta Wasan

Designation : -   Sr. HR Professional (Formar Sr. VP FIS)

Organization : -  Gurgaon


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How COVID-19 is going to impact the work of future and what can be the framework of work from home model?

MW Work, as we know it, for the near future or until a vaccine may be found will never be the same, in my view. WFH will become more common allowing for less office space requirement and having on rent.

Roles that are essential and add to the top line will be retained. Rest that are superfluous may not be retained as everyone tries to recover from major economic losses. The value of less travel time and less traffic on the roads will be appreciated by all. We may see staggered shifts as social distancing becomes the norm. Thus work force management practices will take into account that really needs to come in, when they need to come in and how often they need to come in as principles of working from home become the new norm.

Do you think that work from home has been a compulsive opportunity created by Covid for organisations during crisis? Can it be long term viable solution?

MW Yes and No. As explained above it will be a way to save on costs and time making it a win-win for organizations and employees. Organizations get savings in real estate and space and positions and employees get some work life balance in saving travel time.

Over time people will still need to meet but the usage of technology to enable virtual meetings will be optimally utilized and less often shall people meet. In high touch industries such as hospitality, healthcare and the factory floor as well as retail some changes will occur where technology allows but you will still need to come in to work.

How much remote working readiness has been achieved by Indian organisations and how workplace relationship will be redefined in such organisations?

MW A good question - I think this has propelled Indian industry to think differently and quickly adapt to this new norm. Embracing technology, a degree of informality and acceptance of people's work life and personal life, less managerial control and more collaboration are already being seen.

What is important- 9 to 5 office work culture or work output? What organisations should do to ensure better productivity adopting work from home model?

MW Of course, work output is more important. We need, thus, a way to measure this. First the infrastructure is required - technology, space and support for this. Secondly training on two aspects - one about how to conduct yourself on calls, understands body language, listen, don't talk over etc. Secondly, the training for making boundaries of how one would work and how long one should work. Start time, stop time, breaks, movement between calls and meetings etc.Then we can talk about measuring output. For this we need to create clear deliverables and apply SMART to everything just as we have been taught to.

What kind of problems and challenges will be faced in future and how HR should prepare to meet while implementing WFH?

MW The main challenge will be to prevent the feeling of isolation and building relationships. I think HR plays an important role in creating team building in a virtual world even more than ever before as well as working with their leaders to create constant communication and moral boosters.

What can be the positive and negative effect of WFH on company work culture?

MW Negative :

Isolation, lack of relationship & team building, lack of sense of belonging, sense of pride (seeing and feeling an office and its branding), lack of discipline and formality, work and personal life creep, stress at home with all at home at the same time, fear of job loss and difficulty in finding a new job.


Save travel time, reduced pollution, reduced chances of falling ill with colds and thus less sick time, clearer measurement of work distribution and deliverables, sharing of work load, huge no. of webinars and free learning channels, new skills and up-skill opportunity.

Can use of excessive technology to make WFH workable also bring the cyber and IPR threats to business organisations and how to mitigate such threats?

MW Use only company issued laptops and tools for company work not for personal work. Use only those platforms for networking that have been suggested by company and follow all the rules and guidelines laid down by them.