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Explained: Here’s why work from home works (or does it?)

In the UK, which until recently was considering herd immunity as their strategy to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, has now stepped up its response. On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised that people should work from home where possible.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 18, 2020 2:53:32 pm
Explained: Here’s why work from home works, or does it? Twitter has also urged its 5000 employees world over to not come to the office. In Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea working from home is mandatory for Twitter employees.

In order to slow down the spread of coronavirus, many companies across the world have told their employees to work from home. On March 3, Brian Armstrong, the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, posted on Twitter, “We’re asking some employees to start working home this week,”. Tech giant Google has also told its employers working in its European headquarters in Dublin to work from home after one employee showed flu-like symptoms.

Similarly, Twitter has also urged its 5000 employees world over to not come to the office. In Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea working from home is mandatory for Twitter employees. Other tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Spotify and Uber have also rolled out similar guidelines for their workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In the UK, which until recently was considering herd immunity as their strategy to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, has now stepped up its response. On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised that people should work from home where possible.

The pros and cons of working from home

In a blog post, Twitter’s People Team lead Jennifer Christie has mentioned a few factors that can be considered by those working from home. These include workspace, communication, self-care and logging hours. “Overall, working from home doesn’t change your day-to-day work, it just means you’ll be doing it from a different environment,” she says.

In its State of Work Report 2020, brand development agency Buffer found out that while 98 per cent of the respondents said yes to working from home, 20 per cent said that collaboration and communication and loneliness were some of the biggest struggles of working from home.

On the other hand, remote workers were happiest when they spent more than 76 per cent of their time working. Remote workers considered for the purposes of the report also said that not having to commute and having a flexible work schedule were some of the top benefits of working from home. About 57 per cent of the respondents said that they spent theit entire time working.

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In a New York Times article, Jen A. Miller, who has been freelancing for over 15 years says for those who are unfamiliar with the dynamics of working from home, it is important to keep the same schedule that people keep when they go into work. It is also important to schedule breaks, prepare for isolation and to put work away when it is time.

Significantly, work from home induced by the pandemic has posed in front of businesses a new kind of problem. In their bid to keep their operations running, companies around the world that rely on software and computers that are maintained physically in offices are now looking at server-filled data centres. Using these centres businesses can store data and software and stream it online, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum. But this also means that prices for some of these server parts have increased due to high demand.

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