Choki Wangmo

Most Bhutanese have decided to work from home. Offices are making such arrangements in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Tshering Penjor works in the United Nations system in the country. He had already prepared to work remotely. He turned his altar into an office.

But many are finding it difficult to adjust to new necessity.  Working parents are having to deal with tele- and e-learning.

But so much depends on getting used to. Tshering Penjor now feels more comfortable working from home.

“Whether I work from home or office, I am accountable for my work as per the terms of reference,” said Tshering Penjor.

But there are problems that can be addressed easily. The Covid-19 scare, however, will change the way people work.

Low Internet connectivity and high data charges are the biggest problems facing the people who have decided to work from home. But the change has come.

A head of an organisation said that the employees were bearing the cost of internet and phone calls amounting to Nu 3,000 in a month.

If communication gap is a major problem today, that can be solved. That will come with work discipline.

WhatsApp, Facebook, Wechat, Google Docs, Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Team, among others, have become popular all of a sudden.

Tshering Penjor said that remote working would have come anyway. But the need of the hour is infrastructure and services.  “With a proper system in place, meetings can happen virtually. We might not even need fancy offices. There is a great cost benefit in the end.”

Fast Company, a monthly American business magazine, predicts that remote work software, like mobile work tools and virtual reality conferencing will become the preferred form of communication – even over face-to-face meetings.

Artificial Intelligence will also likely play a major role in managing remote staff.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, 37 percent of remote employees would take a pay cut to continue working from home.