Forum: Working from home must not become a norm that can be exploited

Working from home must not become a norm that could be exploited by workers (Boss wants to speak - where's everybody?, Nov 1). I am glad the Government has said employees can return to work in January if they are fully vaccinated while unvaccinated workers must show they are Covid-19-negative.

It may be a myth that people are more productive working from home. Workers learn tasks slower when not in the office, and it is more time-consuming to mentor them. They are also more prone to errors.

While employees have plenty of reasons to work from home, whether the management team feels the same is another story. With Covid-19, organisations had to implement the work-from-home model all of a sudden. This presented a new challenge for managers who had never managed a remote workforce before.

Workers' contributions to team dynamics are also minimal at home. They work on their own time and lack the opportunity to bond with their co-workers and bosses.

Productivity also comes from forming relationships and working with people you build trust with. That is what makes workers productive in a team and this cannot be achieved from working alone behind a screen and an Internet connection.

Employees are more productive in the office because they have to be focused and are more likely to be supervised.

It is also easier to draw the line between work and leisure in an office environment.

As a retiree, I used to visit the gym during off-peak hours when others were working. But nowadays, off-peak hours have become peak hours as many gym-goers are taking advantage of the work-from-home policy for their fitness needs.

It is also not unusual to meet my friends, unshaven and in home attire, at malls during work hours, shopping for groceries or running personal errands.

Tee Kok Hai

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