The New Normal
2020 and Beyond

Chapter 2

Work from Home


As the nationwide lockdowns were initiated, the white-collar workforce was forced to work remotely and the blue-collar workforce that could not work remotely was asked to observe social distancing inside work premises.

The New Normal of working from home has recorded these changes:

Saved commute time: One major advantage that the workforce experienced is saved commute time. Across the major cities in the US, the average commute time was anywhere between 30 minutes to more than 60 minutes one way [6]. In cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai in India, it varied from 60-90 minutes one way based on the start time of the commute. Now, working from home sees this time getting spent with families.

Adding more human-touch to businesses: Workforce can now attend office meetings as they take care of their family. Children and family members have started appearing on the background of office video conferencing calls, thus humanizing the dynamics of work.

This mass movement of the workforce into their home offices saw some hitches in the beginning, even when 56% of the global companies allow remote work, are “hybrid companies,” or are a fully remote company [7].

When homes doubled up as the office, the workforce found it difficult to strike a balance between the work-life schedules and figure out the sharing of workspaces as their whole families stayed at homes. Individuals felt isolated and struggled with adjusting and communicating their work hours and schedules to their peers and teams.

However, with a few weeks into it, the workforce has adapted to the new way of work while reaping the benefits of work-life balance that they were aspiring for a long time.

In spite of the initial rough patch, the workforce will look to shift to the New Normal of working from home because: (a) the time they get with their families and (b) the improved work-life balance.

Hence, businesses will have to step up by providing them the right tools and devices to work without disruption. Also, they must make employees feel connected and safe, thus ensuring employees’ emotional well-being. Teams can create virtual coffee breaks and lunches over video conferencing platforms to keep the workforce connected and motivated.

Individuals will also want to make their work from home experiences better by opting to move to new homes with dedicated office spaces, thus driving up the demand for new home design innovations.

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