Coronavirus Outbreak Means This Is Also China's First Time Trying Work-From-Home On This Scale
Right now as I type, I am cozy inside my blanket inside the world's most magical place: my bedroom. I also have a face-mask on.
If you ask my editor, she would rather have me work from home every single day because it upsurges my productivity. I write a lot better and a lot faster. But those who work in a regular office know that the option of working from home is far from being a norm; it's certainly a privilege.
But given the Coronavirus outbreak, working from home has now become a necessity as a lot of businesses are trying to figure out how to stay operational in our virtual world.
China was supposed to get back to work on Monday but the deadly coronavirus outbreak has forced factories, shops, restaurants, hotels, co-working spaces, and all offices to remain shut. But businesses that can't afford to shut down have issued working from home for most white-collar job workers in China and outside. Worldwide, companies have asked their employees if they have visited China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore to work from home and quarantine themselves for the next two weeks.
The number of people now working from home due to coronavirus outbreak is humongous. It has ushered in the world's biggest work-from-home experiment.
In an interview with The Time, Alvin Foo, managing director of Reprise Digital, a Shanghai ad agency with 400 people that are part of the Interpublic Group, said, "It’s a good opportunity for us to test working from home at scale. Obviously, not easy for a creative ad agency that brainstorms a lot in person.” It’s going to mean a lot of video chats and phone calls, he said.
This is worrying as it is bound to impact the world's second-largest economy and in turn the world economy.
According to a report by CNN Business, Huawei, the country's top smartphone maker, reopened its Shenzhen headquarters 40,000 people are currently employed. But employees found themselves returning to a drastically altered environment.
When they clock in each morning, workers must now provide details about their body temperature and whereabouts for the last two weeks. There will also be temperature checks at office buildings and parking lots, while face masks and hand sanitizers are being dispensed all over campus as precautionary measures.
A lot of reports also highlight how workers are unhappy with working at home. From cancellations to transactions on hold, work has started to suffer.
The inability of workers to get to work because of the coronavirus outbreak has developed a new challenge for organisations.
Most organisations are built around plans on losses and gains such as facilities, technology or people, but polices don't even take into consideration a deadly crisis like the coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, they'll be learning on-the-go how to manage this and that is bound to lead to some confusion.
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