The remote work regime for a while seemed temporary, as well as the health crisis. Nowadays, this transience cannot be said with such certainty. Much is said about a “new normal” of digitized services, whether their consumption or production, but without much certainty of what lies ahead. The permanence of the “home office” regime is not among these doubts. It will clearly be more present in some companies and businesses than in others. Some benefits and challenges can be observed in different contexts of remote work and, therefore, adaptations will be necessary for each case to maintain productivity and comfort for both parties. Below, we explore some of the strengths and weaknesses that are already imposed after more than a year of remote work.
The change in commuting to the workplace is possibly one of the most sensitive when talking about the confined routine. Cutting costs and saving time is an undeniable benefit. In the long run, this is the kind of economy that generates good marginal gains from a financial point of view. It can also contribute to a reduction in tiredness and save time for the person to engage in other activities. In short, all of this can lead to a healthier and more productive routine.
One of the biggest challenges when working from home is maintaining acceptable safety standards. There are obstacles on more than one front in this topic. Many people have a machine dedicated exclusively to work, but most remote workers use the same computer (and cell phone) for both leisure time and daily work. In the case of the computer used in various activities, the number of pages browsed tends to be much higher when compared to a company computer. Therefore, the probability of contagions and virtual attacks increases significantly and the use of tools such as antivirus and a good VPN apps are particularly useful. Using a private network (VPN) has become an increasingly common recommendation by IT departments of large companies of different profiles around the world. The connections provided by VPN allow anonymous and secure browsing, which isolates the access data of workers who access the work network for various activities. Another possible difficulty is sharing the computer with other family members. In this case, it may be relevant to use plugins and programs to restrict access to children and stipulate times for machine use. In general, adopting strong passwords and two-step verification can < u>enhance digital security in remote work. Best practices with passwords include avoiding repeating the same code across different digital service accounts and crafting complex alphanumeric sequences.
The concept of a paperless office, also called the “office of the future”, is associated with the 1940s. The development of computational capacity and communication technologies migrated the vast majority of work tasks in offices to screens. From this point of view, saving paper can represent an environmental gain, as trees are no longer cut down and chemicals are no longer used in their transformation. The remote work regime can be perceived with this look in other processes linked to the productive routine. The economy with transportation using fossil fuels is an example of this. Of course, measuring environmental impact is much more complex than that: keeping public transport in operation with a reduced public, for example, can be understood as an inefficient use of public resources and energy, which is rarely entirely clean. However, the forced change of dynamics can result in the observation of useful changes in habits, which would not be done voluntarily in the traditional work regime.
Changing home life is very radical and concentrates the biggest obstacles of remote work. The technical obstacles previously exposed can be overcome with the acquisition of some devices and programs, or with relatively simple changes in habits. But the challenges related to mental health, family dynamics and overall quality of life are complex. In this way, there are architecture offices that are already planning homes adapted to the possibility of working in a “home office”, to increase the possible well-being in the home environment. the big lim