'WFH sucks': Remote working to check spread of coronavirus spurs mixed reactions from Indian founders
The phenomenon of 'work from home', commonly referred to as 'wfh' or 'remote working' has been adopted by companies spanning several industries across the world in order to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.
That we live in an era where working from home is possible is telling of the perfect melding of advancements in technology and changes in workplace policies.
Not very long ago, Bill Gates shared that the most important perk companies can give the best employees is flexible work arrangements. Even a study by Harvard Business School backed him up by saying that companies that let their employees "work from anywhere" and work whenever they want, wind up with employees who are more loyal, more productive, and cost less.
However, Steve Jobs was not a fan of the work-from-home model; a story in the New York Times quotes him saying that "creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they're doing, you say 'Wow,' and soon you're cooking up all sorts of ideas."
The crop of Indian founders and entrepreneurs too has mixed reactions to working from home. While Cred's Kunal Shah finds it more productive and feels that, overall, social distancing gives you the golden opportunity to meet yourself, Flipkart's Sachin Bansal is not in complete agreement.
We turn to Twitter to see some of their reactions:
Founder Nithin Kamath realised that he has been overworking in this model:
Co-founder Sachin Bansal summed up his distaste for this mode of working with two simple words:
His sentiment is not totally unfounded, as there is nothing like working in groups and among peers tossing around ideas. Also, certain lines of work require feet on the street.
Serial entrepreneur and Co-founder of InnerChef Rajesh Sawhney has a solution for Sachin and others who are sulking about WFH: a ten-minute walk, followed by 40 minutes of work, chased by 10 surya namaskar, repeated every hour for eight hours of work.
COVID-19 or otherwise, many entrepreneurs agree on the value that remote working presents. upGrad' Co-founder Ronnie Screwvala believes that it can increase productivity and sharpen communication skills.
Vijay Anand, CEO and Founder of The Startup Centre in Chennai, also known as “The Startup Guy”, points out that talent can be global as location does not matter when it comes to remote work.
The number of deaths around the world linked to COVID-19 has topped 7,000, after Italy announced a new surge in fatalities, with over 1,75,000 infections recorded globally so far. In India, the number of infected cases stood at 125, as per union health ministry log.
Governments and public health experts have recommended social distancing, encouraging companies to mandate work from home for the time being. Many firms including Apple, Microsoft, and Google have urged their employees to work from home.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)