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17 Jun 2017

Work from home: Working practices adopted by a digital generation

Is work from home becoming a mainstream practice?

Automattic, the firm behind WordPress.com, is selling its beautiful 15,000 square-feet San Francisco office as its employees have simply stopped coming to work.

It's not the run-of-the-mill case of high attrition rate or workers holding an indefinite strike. They're all still virtually around for work while their physical body is wearing pajamas and sipping coffee at their homes.

Confused? Read to find out.

In context

Is work from home becoming a mainstream practice?
The office space is now redundant


The office space is now redundant

CEO Matt Mullenweg is closing down the office, realizing that employees are opting for a more innovative work-life than the typical nine-to-five routine.

In fact, if one divides the entire office space among the only 5 Automattic employees who still work from the office, every employee will get 3,000 square feet each. That's enough space to have a comfortable 4BHK with a spacious balcony.


Pajamas, coffee and comfort

Except five, all Automattic employees prefer to work from home or use the $250-a-month stipend option given to them, to opt to work at a commercial co-working office near their vicinity instead of battling traffic to come to the office.

Employees, under this organization, even have the option to work from a Starbucks office, where their coffee bills are footed by Automattic.

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The new way of getting things done


The new way of getting things done

Is the firm taking a risk? Not exactly; it's just giving into the change that's taking place in several skill-based sectors worldwide, sectors that rely on output and where physical presence is not exactly needed.

An American consulting firm recently said that almost a quarter of US employees work remotely on a full-time basis or switch to and fro from this option.


More work productivity

Workers tend to be more productive if their energy is not sapped by long transit from home to office and back again; they are able to do things in a more relaxed manner switching from business suits and ironed shirts to crumpled t-shirts and pajamas.

Even evidence shows that those stay-at-home workers put in more hours than their office going colleagues.

It's not all smooth sailing


It's not all smooth sailing

Chances of mis-communication are high in these cases; it's quite impossible to gauge the tone of a statement written in the official mail that is trying to be polite but wants the work done without dillydallying from the recipient.

The superior of an organization often finds it hard to track a subordinate who tends to go AWOL in the middle of a work day.


Making the right choice

Everything has pros and cons. One industry can thrive from having all its workers logging into work from their homes, while some other might come to a standstill if its workers don't report to the office during a work day.

It, therefore, is the responsibility of the industry and its players to take a call that suits them the best and devise policies accordingly.

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