GD Topic - Can remote working replace office?

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: January 12, 2022

5 people are having a discussion on the topic (Peter, Mary, Ben, Ed, Emma). The GD topic is Can remote working replace office?

 

Category: Business, Technology, Social

 

Group Discussion Starts

Emma: Hi everyone. The topic for todays group discussion us can remote working replace office? I believe that with growing technology, increasing internet connectivity and better solutions, work from home can complete replace office in a few years.

 

Peter: Hi all. Yes even I would agree to that. With people have access to laptops and smartphones along with good internet speed, people can use tools like Zoom, Team Viewer, Skype etc. and can conduct their work from home itself. Earlier, even for small meetings or work which could be done on a laptop, people had to travel to their workplace. But with better technology, people are empowered to do the tasks from home.

 

Mary: Hey all. Yes, while work from home is a solution with growing technology, it cannot replace office. There are several reasons. Only job related to industries like Information Technology, Internet, Online Services etc. can be carried out from a work from home scenario. On the other hand, in industries like real estate, automobile, tourism, banking, government etc., work from home will never be able to replace office work.


Ben: I would agree with Mary. It would never be possible to replace office work with people working from home. People working at home have to arrange for all the infrastructure like internet, software, tools etc. Also, jobs which require people to go on field and meet & network with others cannot be done sitting at home. Sales jobs, retail businesses, mom & pop stores can never completely go online. Yes, some aspects can definitely be streamlined but a core office location will always remain.

 

Ed: That's a valid point. However, some job roles can definitely go online. Various business domains like marketing, branding, finance, legal, HR etc. can permanently work from home as their inputs do not require their physical presence. People working in engineering, sales, front desk jobs however will have to go to office.

 

Emma: I agree that certain industries cannot go entirely online. But there are several jobs which can operate from home, which is beneficial for an employee for a work life balance, and for a company as it reduces their cost at workplace.

 

Peter: There is a valid point, but then people is real estate, banking etc. can always use video conferencing tools to do some work which other wise could have been done only in person. The number of personal meetings can definitely reduce with the use in technology.

 

Mary: But only to a certain extent. Working from office always gives the human touch to business, which cannot be achieved from home. Employees meet in office, have casual business discussions, have quick brain storming sessions etc. These are good for business as well as personal growth.

 

Ben: Yes. And also in office the turn around time to complete tasks is much quicker as compared to people at home. People at home can become lethargic, unresponsive and also delay activities which otherwise could be done quickly.

 

Ed: Well it seems there are pros and cons for both work from home and work from office. The best for any business, manager and employee would be to find the best balance between job role type, key objectives, return on investment, type of tasks associated with the job etc.

 

Emma: I agree. There needs to be a right balance. Some job roles can definitely be work from home but teams can catch up physically and interact once a month to build and strengthen their team bond. On the other hand, instead of having huge offices, companies can call in employees on a roster schedule.

 

Peter: In fact, a lot of companies are also taking co-working spaces instead of huge office campuses. This helps companies cut down huge costs on real estate, employee management, physical security.

 

Mary: Yes in that sense, work from home empowers people to save money and energy on travel. Also, they can plan their day better and also balance their personal life better along with work.

 

Conclusion:

Work from home has several benefits for both companies and employees. Employees save on travel time & manage their personal lives, and companies can save costs of office space, security etc. The drawbacks of work from home are employees can become lethargic and lose skills which can hamper the business. Also, not all jobs can be suitable for work from home. Industries like IT, internet, online businesses can continue from home but real estate, tourism, retail etc. do need to have physical customer touchpoints. Hence, the way forward for businesses is to have the right balance between work from home and from office.

 

Facts related to the group discussion

1. A pandemic like Covid forced companies to enable employees to work from home remotely

2. While industries like IT, internet, online services prospered, real estate, automobile, tourism etc. were impacted.

3. 80% company leaders intend to permit remote working some of the time as employees return to the workplace.

4. Areas like tele-medicine, online education grew significantly during the lockdown

5. Video conferencing market is expected to surpass $50 billion by 2026.

6. Employee productivity increased for 75% startups who enabled work from home

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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