‘Stay at home’ has been the main slogan vocalized in all the world countries amid the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. Covid-19 locked the ‘freely roaming around’ liberty that people enjoyed before the pandemic and imprisoned them in their houses. ‘Remote working’ seems to have replaced the traditional way of going to work daily. The remedy suggested by the World Health Organisation to curb the continuous spread of covid-19 is for everyone to stay indoors and ban unnecessary gatherings. Only funeral gatherings have been given leeway, but if the cause of death is covid-19, then mourners are not allowed to gather for long, and personal family members and friends are allowed to attend the funeral.
Coronavirus affected countries’ economies because various lockdowns were implemented to reduce the number of infections. Factories, industries, shops, cinemas, sporting events, hotels, restaurants, and schools felt the intense sting of the pandemic as they lost huge amounts of money, especially during the 2020 festive season that was marred by mass deaths due to coronavirus. Employers have left running businesses on reserves and were forced to retrench their employees to adjust to the financial upset they were experiencing. Some small and upcoming companies closed, leading to the emergence of poverty in various homesteads. Governments tried to step up to the situation by donating food hampers and releasing funds to the citizens. Still, the coffers only managed to fund a handful of families and communities before they ran dry.
Certain advanced companies started embracing technological innovations, which enabled employees to work online [Source]. Remote working became the trending novel way of doing things, and those who were quick to accept it did not suffer much during the lockdowns. However, it took a lot of time for people to fully appreciate this form of working since it is based on technology. So many institutions were not prepared to enter into the technological era of a virtual world and work online. People always find it difficult to move away from certain lifestyles and incorporate new trends. Some conservationists shun away from using online communication platforms and are stuck in sending letters through postman services. Also, working remotely requires the purchasing of technology devices and gadgets while demanding Wi-Fi or data bundles that are financially draining to the users. Resistance against working online has been coming from people who believe in human resources at work and those who enjoy working daily. Such people drown deep in their work to the extent of ignoring social life.
However, the pandemic was not merciful to all these ‘excuses,’ so everyone was ushered into the ‘present day’ where working remotely is now a popular concept in many organizations. The first companies to fully utilize this aspect of technology are situated in developed countries that had already made notable progress in terms of technology. Developing countries are still lagging in implementing this strategy but slowly progressing as the fight against the pandemic continues.
Laptops, cell phones, computers, IPads, and tablets have replaced buildings as the new form of ‘offices’ where a person can work and make submissions to the relevant job officials. Purchasing those gadgets were once deemed to be a luxurious requirement, but they are now part of the basic needs in humans’ work life. Some organizations understood enough to buy tech devices for their workers after the price hikes by manufacturers and sellers due to the high demand across the globe.
All professions from teachers, politicians, pastors, vendors, musicians and fitness trainers abandoned buildings and engaged online platforms to sell or market their products while serving customers and consumers. Office-centric work has been converted into a format applicable to be undertaken remotely [Source]. Other workers are happy working from home as this gives them enough time with families, reduces transport costs and shields them from bad weather conditions. However, sectors such as mining and manufacturing still need personnel to complete their tasks, but they have reduced the number of workers required to be present at the workplace.
Virtual meetings, social media live videos, video calling, and YouTube streaming services are among the most utilized technological innovations that people have to use nowadays. Applications such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram, Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, E-mails services have been gaining many users, which translates to more profits during the ‘stay at home’ movements. Religious leaders have been holding online sermons to their congregants; teachers are doing online lessons with the learners, politicians have rallies online, musicians are collaborating in virtual concerts, online news publications are increasing, fast food outlets are taking orders online and delivering them to one’s doorstep, shops are selling appliances or clothes online and offering free providing services. Thus every worker is carrying on with their business remotely.
Indeed, every functioning organization is using this working strategy. Some might continue to do so after the pandemic, because remote working decongests the working place, reduce transport costs, saves time in terms of traveling, and attracts a lot of customers who like to have their things delivered to them without any hustles of traveling to the shopping centers or hotel [Source]. Start-up companies are being inspired by this trend and can now continue working without stressing over the need to build headquarters or administration offices.
People were blind not to see the vast opportunities that technology brought to them, and now they can see the benefits they had been missing out on. Treating a home like an office is a phenomenon that formally employed workers did not even consider. Entrepreneurs alone were the ones who used their homes as offices, and they did this while waiting to migrate to a larger space where they would set up offices and administration blocks. Traditionally, the presence of office and administration blocks makes a business look legit, but online platforms have proven otherwise. A business person needs to create a social media page with a catalog of the services or products being offered, attract followers, and include contact information.
Some individuals still argue that working from home will create a generation of ‘lazy bones’ who rely too much on machines and avoid hard work. But as long as one uses the ‘brain’ to work remotely, that person can be regarded as a hard worker. Even though coronavirus has threatened the working conditions, it is safe to say that employers and employees have devised an effective way of carrying on with their operations through remote working.