There Can Be No Going Back On WFH

The Hindu Business Line|April 29, 2020

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There Can Be No Going Back On WFH
Covid-19 has fast-forwarded the shift to ‘work from home’. However, some face-to-face connect will always be needed
Paran Balakrishnan

THE WIDER ANGLE

You’d expect Awfis CEO Amit Ramani to be a worried man. His coworking company hires out office space at 70 locations in 10 cities nationwide and they’ve been empty since the lockdown began. Instead of being anxious, though, Ramani’s ebullient. He readily concedes the workplace has undergone a seismic shift and he’s drawing up a blueprint for the very different post-coronavirus world that looms. “We’re writing the playbook on office at home,” says Ramani, who’s drawing on experience gained in the post-9/11 era when he was working in the US and advising firms on working from home, a concept then in its infancy.

Ramani’s Awfis ‘Version 2’ will offer a range of services for companies looking to shift to a work from home or a partial WFH model, starting with assessing needs and offering packages that will include everything from ergonomic desks and chairs to tying up with telecom service providers and managing Internet connections at employee homes.

Many now working from home initially assumed the abbreviation WFH was a slight variation on WTF and shouldn’t be expanded in polite company. But in a few short months, Covid-19 has fast-forwarded the world into WFH mode. We all, except for essential services, WFH now — so much so for many of us weekday, weekends have blurred.

Newer apps like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams have emerged as the latest pieces in the puzzle that finally making WFH easier than ever. Coach and leadership development consultant Abhijit Bhaduri says it would have been an entirely different story if Covid had struck 15 years ago. “The country would have come to a standstill. Internet speeds were poor and so was video quality. Teleconferencing was not a great experience,” he notes. “Now we expect it to all work normally,” he says.

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April 29, 2020