The economic world has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While it has exposed our unreadiness to effectively mitigate the impact of a pandemic on day-to-day activities, it has also exhibited the strength of humanity’s resilience, solidarity and adaptability. The lockdown measures necessitated businesses adopting innovative means of working from home.
As a consequence of the lockdown and the economic blow to many countries, many institutions reduced staff working hours, cut off some bonuses, and in some cases laid off workers. Working from home means that an employee can do his or her job from home, instead of coming to the office.
Working from home became necessary practice for many firms as the safety of employees prompted some management to allow some staffs to work safely from home while others were on rotation. The pandemic drove a mass social experiment in which almost half of all paid hours were provided from home between April and August 2020.
Benefits of Working from Home
Some businesses may doubt its effectiveness, but working from home is considered by many as the most effective way to maintain business productivity at the moment.
There would be a work-life balance satisfaction; there has been growing interest in the problems involved in combining work and family, or more broadly integrating working life and private life. Recently, work-family enrichment and work-life facilitation concepts have stressed positive interdependencies, noting that work can also benefit private life and vice versa, and there’s no better way to improve the work-life balance of your employees than to let them work from home.
Research has shown that employees who have trouble balancing work and personal life perform less effectively. Conflicts and tensions between the demands at work and tasks at home have a disheartening effect on employees and increase their risk of health problems. (Allen et al., 2000)
Employees will be more productive; remember commuting? If you work from home, you’re at your office right when you wake up. The time that your employees would spend commuting can now be used for real work. Studies on working from home were relatively short prior to the pandemic. Choudhury et al. (2020) examine a natural experiment in the US Patent Office, finding additional 4% productivity benefits from shifting to work from anywhere (a geographically flexible version of work from home).
Employers can hire the best, no matter where they are; no office means the ability to work with anyone in the world. Employers can capitalize on this and connect top employees with the very best skills from all around the world.
Employees waste less time going back and forth; reductions in commute can be a huge morale booster as well as a huge time saver. Additionally, transportation expenses by employees will also be reduced. Teleworking has been the issue of public discussion with regards to social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak. Technology has made working from home easier with the wide-spread adoption of applications like Zoom enabling teamwork with co-workers and clients.
Employees won’t constantly feel the need for a vacation; working from home can feel like a break from the office, even though your employees are still working. Employees will get to recharge and spend more time with their families, so they might not be as inclined to go on a vacation. Offering a work-from-home option might keep your employees from getting too burned out.
To sum up, everyone would expect the COVID impact on employment to be deep and unprecedented but workers in Ghana believed that their employers have been supportive with regards to firm’s response during the outbreak. Many workers reported being more productive at home than on business premises, so post-pandemic work from home plans should be looked at by stakeholders and management of organizations in Ghana specifically by allowing employees to choose what working arrangements work best for them. Institutions must also focus on investments and innovation aimed at improving the ability to work from home.
Edmund Obeng Amaning is a researcher/consultant. Contact: [email protected], Cell: +233 54 347 5499
Justice Ohemeng-Boakye has a strong knowledge in Clients and E-banking services. Contact: [email protected], Cell: +233 24 519 2745.
Edmund Obeng Amaning