The concept of work from home has gained prominence in recent times to the extent that it is now an important aspect of every HR policy and management decision. Technology is undoubtedly the contributing factor for the popularity of this concept, with internet and improved telecommunication being the prime factors. As firms increasingly approve of the work from home culture for various reasons, it is up to the employees to make optimum use of this concept.

At the outset, it appears that women employees can reap greater benefits of the work from home concept. Expectant mothers, medical reasons, preparation for examinations, balancing work-life are some of the instances where this concept can be effectively used. In the instance of expectant mothers due to their role in the organisation, it may be difficult to abstain from work for longer durations. In some situations, hospitalised employees are known to work from hospital beds. Workaholic might be the word to attribute to these employees, but work exigencies are the more appropriate one. Male employees too avail work from home for work life balance, higher education and in some instances of medical reason.

While the above are all benefits from an employee perspective, the management too highlights several advantages of approving work from home. Some tasks are deadline specific, while others are sensitive that cannot be assigned to other members in a team. Approving a work from home ensures the timely completion of deadline-critical work. Employees are also expected to take up mentoring on some occasions. This too is a task that can be achieved from remote locations where the mentor need not physically be present in the office. Senior employees can train, advice and coach peers through video conferencing without the need to come to office. While the training and coaching conclude on time, employees can attend to urgent business on the personal front.

However, restraint must be exercised to avoid misuse of the work from home benefit. For instance, it might be tempting to avail work from home to settle scores with peers, to delay projects or to simply avoid accessibility. As with all perks, ethical usage of work from home is strongly recommended. Optimum and effective usage of the work from home concept therefore, will result in mutual benefit to the employees and the management.

Jai Kumar