Is Working from Home the New Normal?
As More Countries Opt for Social Distancing to Contain Covid-19, Companies Must Adapt
SAN JUAN — As the threat of the novel coronavirus disease Covid-19 pandemic seems to proliferate on all continents, the economic framework that supports industrialized countries seems to be reeling from a new reality. The signs seem clear: the economic-social systems that prevailed for much of the 20th century are unsustainable in the 21st century.
These changes disrupt all aspects of daily life and the impact it will have on the workplace is imminent. With more and more countries establishing severe measures of social distancing, the reality of working from home becomes more evident.
Viviane Fortuño, president of CTI Consulting Group, a leading human resources firm in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean that offers professional talent management services, confirmed that companies have had to face the Covid-19 crisis by while sending their employess to work from their homes.
“Work flexibility is increasingly in demand by employees and now, as we are experiencing the spread of communicable diseases, it is even more necessary.
“Remote working can be a real solution for companies. Technology has transformed the workplace and our capabilities, allowing many people this type of work,” explained the Master Certified Coach (MCC), while indicating that “remote work can be a real solution for companies. Technology has transformed the workplace and our capabilities, allowing many to work this way.”
The expert said that the effort of the companies’ human resources departments should be geared at creating high-performance work strategies with the technology available.
“The focus of the companies should be to create a culture around the experience of working remotely with courses, tools and training, in addition to remembering that when working remotely, it is evaluated based on results,” explained Fortuño.
“Communication should not be only via email. Calls or video calls should be made and, occasionally, in-person meetings. The development and professional growth of employees should not be blocked by virtuality,” she added.
The consultant insisted that the option of companies to offer the alternative of working from home is great for the retention and attraction of talent since this alternative benefits the balance between professional and personal life.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, a research and consulting firm focused on new ways of working, noted that nearly half of U.S. workers perform tasks that, at least in part, can be done remotely, the Chicago Tribune reports.
On the other hand, Bloomberg reported that, according to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2017 and 2018 only 29 percent of employees worked from home. Although that percentage has presumably begun to grow rapidly due to the unprecedented nature of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, there are currently no precise data on the rise in this practice, which has now been imposed temporarily on companies.