In these uncertain times of COVID-19, most global corporations have decided to telework. This has been found as one of the best practices in line with the “new norm,” which has been suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO) among other significant bodies. Organizations with large employee populations have conformed to teleworking practices while supervisors oversee work progress. In an article written by Belzunegui-Eraso and Erro-Garcés (2020) on teleworking during the COVID-19 crisis, the authors observe that it facilitates flexible and strong work-family balance while simultaneously curbing mobility impacts on the environment. Even though it has been associated with multiple benefits, most European nations seem to be adopting it slower than expected.
Economic tantrums have been associated with delay over the last several decades. Teleworking was initially attributed to the oil crisis that occurred in the early 1970s. Apparently, telework has been used as a measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In early March 2020, several state governments passed bills recommending that companies engage in teleworking as a method of avoiding gatherings at the workplace (Belzunegui-Eraso and Erro-Garcés, 2020). Taking an example of Spain, the health minister relayed information to organizations on telework as a measure to curb the COVID-19 spread in the country. Following this, protocols were made available with information on the employment of telework. Since no one knows when COVID-19 is expected to end, widespread teleworks might remain to be a permanent feature in the near future work environment, fueled by the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, before the pandemic, telework was used globally but varied across firms, occupations, and sectors, suggesting a wide array of policies to usher in the practice.
Even though teleworking has spread, there are some factors that need to be considered for optimum maximization, such as housing, gender equality, worker-wellbeing, and emissions among others. These factors have the potential to either increase or limit productivity depending on how they are employed. For instance, workers eliciting services from home may need such services as supervision. Intuitively, the impact of telework is big and subject to risk, more so in worker satisfaction and innovation. As a result, teleworking should be a choice rather than “overdone” (Tavares et al., 2020). To obtain the full benefits of teleworking, policymakers should promote managerial skills and investment in home offices.
Employers have been advised by WHO among other significant bodies to maximize the benefits of teleworking while simultaneously limiting the negative impacts associated with teleworking. Teleworking comes with disadvantages of feeling isolated and challenges that arise when working from home (Bouziri et al., 2020). For instance, women are tied to family obligations such as household chores, and in some cases, children may also be a nuisance by disturbing behavior. Teleworking cannot, therefore, be compared with working from the office as it may lead to reduced productivity. To fully engage in telework, it will be important for organizations to do key messages tailored specifically to anxiety-provoking and anticipated contexts where the internal client seems to struggle to work from home and to get used to telework (Bouziri et al., 2020). Teleconsultants should also be given a chance and come up with systems of listening to their employee complaints as a way of providing an apt working environment during the pandemic uncertainties.
In conclusion, organizations have been recognized as key players in any given outbreak management. This has been justified by the role they play in minimizing the health effects brought about by outbreaks such as COVID-19. Control measures, therefore, start with companies as they have the majority of people who transact services. With this, teleworking comes not just as an option but also as a policy that needs to be observed. Protocols provided by governments have to be complied with as such they are key policies and act as a guide across all activities in a country.
Belzunegui-Eraso, A., & Erro-Garcés, A. (2020). Teleworking in the Context of the Covid-19 Crisis. Sustainability, 12(9), 3660-3662. Web.
Bouziri, H., Smith, D. R., Descatha, A., Dab, W., & Jean, K. (2020). Working from home in the time of Covid-19: How to best preserve occupational health? Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 77(7), 509-510. Web.
Tavares, F., Santos, E., Diogo, A., & Ratten, V. (2020). Teleworking in Portuguese communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print). Web.