Surprise! Work-from-home makes staff more productive

Harvard Business Review report notes how personal and professional lines blur, resulting in more work hours. Advertising industry leader says how it’s worked for his agency

Melvin Mangada all set for WFH: “Choose progress over process”

By whatever name it’s called—remote work, telecommuting, work-from-home (WFH)—doing your job while staying at home has become part of the “new normal” in this pandemic. If health experts are to be believed, it might stay that way in the foreseeable future.

This early, it appears that human resources managers’ worst fears about WFH—that, freed from eagle-eyed surveillance by supervisors, employees will slack off and waste valuable time binge-watching K-dramas or updating their social media—seem to be unfounded. In fact, the opposite could be happening.

Whether it’s because they’re channeling their anxiety about the future, energized by not having to spend hours commuting to work, or just happy to still have a job, employees working from home are, believe it or not, working too much.

An article in Harvard Business Review pointed out that the risk of “WFH burnout” is substantial.

“The lines between work and nonwork are blurring in new and unusual ways, and many employees who are working remotely for the first time are likely to struggle to preserve healthy boundaries between their professional and personal lives.”

A headline on the Bloomberg business website says it all: “Three Hours Longer, the Pandemic Workday Has Obliterated Work-Life Balance.”

The article noted that some companies have noticed productivity increases, even as employees report feeling more stressed than usual.

The Philippines took the first baby steps toward more flexible work arrangements when the Telecommuting Act took effect in early 2019. But the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis has forced employers to implement WFH even before they’ve formulated clear guidelines on how to actually do it.

Luckily, some companies had already begun exploring more flexible work conditions, including working from home at least part of the time, even before the current emergency. Their experiences could prove instructive.


Read the full article on Sunday Inquirer.