Remote Work and Contradictions in Times of Pandemic

Confinement has had a profound impact on the way we live. While we recalculate, in the midst of uncertainty, and constantly, we are, at the same time, improvising how to optimally manage these circumstances. Thus, from the beginning, the vast majority of HR departments took quick actions, such as facilitating work items towards the home (be it comfortable chairs or computers), offering emotional support services and well-being actions (yoga or meditation online), and in the same sense, virtual relaxation events were organized, as well as training spaces for teleworking were opened.

But in this massive expansion of work towards the home, there were – and must – be overcome several obstacles, which go beyond connectivity, technology or physical comfort: beyond the technical tools, it is essential to pay attention to the emotional aspect according to the different particularities of each worker, since the emotional load with which they are carried out Work tasks will be strongly influenced by the domestic environment (caring for people in charge, having or not having a workspace, etc.).

For Nicolás Jodal, CEO of GeneXus, the challenge of teleworking is human, not technological: “We are gregarious animals, being separated is not ideal,” according to the technological leap and teleworking that accelerated with the pandemic.

Some numerical data of this digital acceleration

As can be read in Meet the Next-normal consumer (McKinsey & Company, August 2020), teleworking during the pandemic meant a superlative increase in the use of digital collaboration tools. Zoom’s daily user base grew from 10 million to 200 million in three months, and Slack’s paying customers doubled. At the same time, there was a huge increase in unemployment. Other numbers that emerge from the study by the strategic consultancy McKinsey & Company:

Electronic commerce: in 8 months it reached the growth projection that it had planned for 10 years.
Work: daily use of video conferencing platforms for work was multiplied by 20.
Teaching: In 2 weeks 250 million students participated in virtual classrooms.

What will happen when the pandemic gives us a truce and we can share face-to-face work spaces again? We do not know for sure, hopefully we can stay with the best of circumstances, what makes us, as workers and people, more productive, but also healthier and happier, physically and emotionally.

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