During the COVID-19 pandemic a great many employees, if they were kept on, worked from home. Now that a substantial part of the population in the US have been vaccinated for COVID, many people insist that their office let them work primarily from home.
In fact, a recent USA Today survey revealed that up to 29 percent of professionals plan on quitting their jobs (or are at least threatening to do so) if their company will not let them work from home.
And surveys show that in the future, many companies will shift into a sort of hybrid organization, dividing tasks into both home and office work. But how do these plans affect the workers themselves, and how do they affect the company?
Judge Napolitano, the former New Jersey Supreme Court Judge and frequent television news analyst has some definite opinions on the matter.
In terms of productivity, Napolitano questions whether much work being done at home is as good as it might be if they went to work at their office, and also whether superior workers will reap their just rewards.
No doubt many employees do see a financial benefit by not having to commute to the office. Gasoline is indeed expensive. And the work from home scheme does offer a sense of flexibility that many workers love. But at what costs to their careers?
There are many problems with employees working from home from the point of view of company managers. First, if managers don’t have their eyeballs on employees, how can they judge whether they are working diligently or taking their job seriously?
And even in terms of work preparation, there is a fundamental difference between those who shave, put on a coat and time or a business pantsuit combination, and show up in the morning looking like the professionals they aim to be and those that show up at their computer at home wearing their pajamas.
In fact, Judge Napolitano wonders how many would abandon work at home if they were required to wear suits, shirts, and ties while at their computer at home. If you want to project the image of a professional, go to work looking like a professional.
Another thing the judge worries about is with Zoom work, superior employees, those who truly deserve promotions, may be bypassed by lesser quality workers because most managers rely on valuable feedback from their employees.
Several times per day managers reach out to their primary employees to help guide them in meeting company objectives, and most of these conversations, particularly when it involves confidential information, need to be conducted face to face.
In the future, there may be two tiers of workers at many companies, those who work in the office, and those who work primarily from home, with those who work from home realizing from the start that they will give up certain promotion opportunities.
Meanwhile, he believes that in the future, many companies will drop the work at home scheme like a hot potato. There are just too many downsides for both the company and the employees.