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Will Working From Home Be The New Normal?

Will Working From Home Be The New Normal?
By Simon Williams
May 24, 2020

It’s hard to believe that working from home was once a privilege, and now it is a way of life. Whether you have seen the value of working remotely before or this is your first time setting up and working from home - it’s hard to now imagine doing anything else. The questions on everyone’s lips is for how long will this go on, and will working from home be the new normal? The answer to these questions will, of course, vary depending on where you work and what you do, but let’s look at the facts and see if we can gain a little bit of clarity on the future of work.

On the one hand, it has been a global case study to prove it’s possible

It’s one thing to have a policy about working from home, and it is quite another to have the decision taken out of your hands entirely and putting these policies into action. Whether they were ready or not, employers have been able to test their employees under these conditions, and similarly, employees have been able to see what sort of support they can receive from their employers. You can view this pandemic as a global case study to prove whether or not working from home is practical and it’s safe to say that it absolutely has been. The funny part is that these tools and resources we now rely on have been available for a long time - workflow apps, mobile printing and the many functionalities that could have been leveraged under other circumstances.

Here at CartridgesDirect, it has been incredible to see our customers embrace the unknown and establish a sense of normal with our range of home office printers and technology, as well as our printer cartridges. We’ve also seen the thrown together home office transform over those months, into an environment that is actually set up for work and considering the employee needs. It begs the question - now that these home offices are established - will employers have faith in allowing their employees to continue working from home on a regular/occasional basis?

What are the negative side effects we will see from continuing on this WFH path?

As you can imagine, there have been some drawbacks and complications that have made this solution less than perfect, although considering that this was thrust upon the world with no warning - how could there not be a few kinks? The technical challenges have been enormous, with internet connections being globally overloaded with the next undertaking of connecting and facilitating work for the masses. Network challenges have likely been a driver as to why our printers, scanners and copiers have been so popular, with those looking to arm themselves with reliable tools. There have been some employers who have encouraged its employees to use a Wi-Fi hotspot, and this comes with a financial burden to the employee who shouldn’t be lumped with this cost but likely feels like they should in order to keep their position.

Beyond the technical hiccups, we must consider the mental toll that working from home has and will put on employees. When the novelty wears off from working in pyjamas and skipping out on a treacherous commute, people will find that they have trouble logging off from work and feel disconnected from their team and maybe even their work. Each of us has different skills and different inadequacies, and when a team isn’t connected so that they can tap someone on the shoulder and work through a problem, it can create some anxiety. Employers should not underestimate the effect that a robust home workspace will have on the mindset of its employees, and should invest in furnishing its team with the technology, furniture, stationery and printing technology they need to do their job.

What will be the ideal scenario, and how likely is it to occur?

Some are thriving in their working from home environment, and others are literally counting down the days they return to the normal they know. The ideal outcome is that employers are flexible to work from home, with the individual ultimately making the judgement call over what is appropriate and what does a good balance look like. With the restrictions beginning to ease, many large organisations are discussing a return to work plan, with the idea that a workforce will be split into three or more groups and each group will rotate into the office with the other groups at home until it’s their turn. This is an interesting idea, but the true test will be putting it in motion and deciding how to split these groups so that it’s a productive outcome.

Another consideration would be that employers should ideally include their staff in the plans and trajectory of their working from the home strategy. Will the large commercial office still be viable? Can new employees get a job from the other side of the country if working from home is accepted? What does the employer ultimately expect from me? We should all remember that there are some who are not loving all this change and should be guided through this new process to minimise the impact.

If you want to level up and equip your team with the technology they require to make this period a productive one - visit our website to find our full range of printers, scanners, printer cartridges and our cost-effective bundles at https://www.cartridgesdirect.com.au/