Dilip Kumar

The ‘Work From Home’ policy that has been adopted by the corporate world ever since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic has now turned out to be a situation much less impressive and productive than expected now even though it promised to be a win-win state of affairs during the first wave of the virus surge.

Employees of many corporates who once enjoyed the hybrid working style from the comfort of their homes during the first stages of the pandemic are also believed to be developing home-work fatigue and frustration due to severe work burden.

Corporate houses opine that offices are still functioning with 15 per cent of employees while the rest continue to be assigned work from home. The companies are also taking painstaking efforts in facilitating employees with proper infrastructure including laptop and internet connectivity.

Despite functioning with a comparatively less number of employees, the expenditure on infrastructure continues to remain the same which is taking a toll on medium-scale enterprises especially during times of massive inconsistency and uncertainty in profits at the time of the pandemic crisis.

The businesses also complain that a trend of a marked decrease in the level of output and performance of the employees has been witnessed this year.

Experts believe that Indian employees have not been able to adapt to this long-term change in the new culture of work and lifestyle. If the trend continues for long, it might not only cause huge setbacks in the company productivity and revenue generation in future but also further tarnish the quality of powerful human resource base that India boasts of.

“We are forced to reduce staff at office but continue to consume more time in tracking, monitoring and motivating the employees who are working at home. When we observe the Pros and Cons of the new work culture, we found several hic-ups. If the trend continues, it may lead to serious problems in sustenance of the companies,” said Jayashree Mohanty, Chairman and Co-founder, Luminous Infoways.

From the perspective of the employees, experts point at a rising graph in the quality of work and output during the first wave of the pandemic. It is believed that an all-new style of work might have instilled newfound motivation in many employees who claimed of having worked sincerely to churn out more output than the normal time. However, the work pressure has considerably increased from thereafter which has probably led to decease in output.

“We are getting extra work burden at home nowadays which is causing an imbalance between professional life personal lives. Sometimes we have to dedicate extra time when we fail to wind up the assigned works in scheduled time, said Manjulata Swain, a resident of Sailashree Vihar in Bhubaneswar who is the RTI team leader at Luminous Infoways. Swain says she has to seat in front of the laptop till late night to complete the task amid family hustle-bustle.

It is not the lone case of Manjulata only, but many such corporate employees are facing similar issues.

“Initially it was enjoyable as the staff preferred to work from anywhere. There was no burden of communication, maintaining proper dress code and office etiquette. But, the gradual mix-up of the private life with the profession has led to severe mental stress," said Subrat Tarenia, Global Enablement Manager, SAP.