The remote work culture is relatively new in Bangladesh. It hasn’t been too long since many companies and start-ups have introduced the idea of working from home.
Given the current situation, many of us now have to work from home and this was a perfect opportunity for many people to finally understand how convenient and sufficient working from home is!
However, there is some resistance that is being noticed among many organizations that still don’t really understand how impactful remote work can be.
So before we answer if Bangladesh can embrace remote work culture in the future, let’s dig a little deep into why we resist it?
Why Bangladeshi companies resist remote work?
The work from home culture isn’t something that many organizations embrace easily. They find it quite difficult to trust in the employees to maintain a proper work schedule while they are working from the comfort of their homes.
Well they can’t be blamed totally for not trusting the employees because there are a good number of employees who actually take advantage of the situation and do the bare minimum to get things done.
This is a major reason why employers hesitate to let people work from home. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Not every employee is so irresponsible to take advantage of a situation like this. But sadly many people do actually take advantage of it and as a result the rest of us have to suffer from its consequences.
The importance of technology in remote work
To begin with, it would be impossible to talk about remote working without acknowledging the role of technology as a key enabler of mobility. Business people are able to work outside one of their main office locations, or indeed outside of an office at all, thanks Wi-Fi and mobile devices such as smartphones, tablet computers and even trusty old laptops.
Without these devices business people would have to constantly return to their office to send an email, talk to their colleagues, check a document or print off files.
One of the main enablers of flexible working is of course technology. A number of apps allow workers to remain connected and productive at all times from laptops, tablet computers and smartphones. Similarly, business people are making more and more use of solutions that let them access files and desktops remotely through Cloud applications.
Technology already provides these workers with all they need to stay connected with their teams and access their files and documents wherever they are. Specifically, VoIP calls and instant messaging apps are increasingly used by workers on-the-go to keep in touch with colleagues and staff cost-effectively all that is required is a fast internet connection to make them feel as though they are in the office.
And management agrees, reporting that rather than relying solely on expensive and invasive IT to track productivity, workers should simply be having regular meetings and catching up on phone calls.
The speed at which technology has evolved means that not only are business people able to take their work around the city as they hop from meeting to meeting, or home in the evening, but they are also able to carry out these tasks and remain cost-effectively connected with their team or their management thanks to solutions that have made even telephoning seem cumbersome and old-fashioned.
Examples of these solutions are:- instant messaging, that replaces, for the employee working remotely the act of leaning across their desk to ask a colleague a quick question; or VoIP, that allows users to call or video call very cost-effectively from their devices.
Yet all these solutions are predicated on one key ingredient, a strong and fast internet connection. Without this, mobile working is severely limited.
The Millennial effect
Another key driver of remote working is the changing workforce. As generations grow-up expecting to be able to communicate cheaply and rapidly from anywhere in the world, it follows they expect this to also be the case in the professional arena. A whole host of literature is available analyzing and outlining the different attitudes towards work-life balance that younger generations (starting from Millennials) are introducing and making the norm in the world of work.
Specifically, a generation that is completely aware of how impossible it is to switch off technology and make oneself unavailable for even a few hours.
The changing face of the workforce
It’s not just younger generations, however, that are demanding and enjoying a more flexible work environment. Older workers, forced to (or choosing to) delay retirement are also better able to combine their personal life with continued workforce participation if they are not required to face a tiring daily commute.
This latest survey also shows that today’s workforce is increasingly composed of freelance workers and consultants as well as part-time workers who actively seek out the opportunity to work more flexibly.
One of the main goals of technology includes making things cheaper and more affordable for people. Therefore, people see cost efficiency these days due to technology. The machinery of great benefit is available for so little price that we cannot imagine. More often competition takes place between two or more industries which results in even lesser prices.
Another advantage of new technology is that it allows companies to automate functions that previously required employees. Tasks like data entry and analytics, bookkeeping, and contact management can be partially or completely automated, which allows businesses to work more efficiently without the risk of human error.
Those cost savings can be invested in human capital that show the biggest ROI – higher-level employees that innovate and drive the company forward.
Flexible working and its benefits
From spending more time on leisure and loved ones, to cutting down commute times and finding more time to relax, workers prefer flexible working for a host of reasons and for many it has now become a key differentiator when faced with a choice between similar jobs.
This is an important aspect to consider for businesses seeking to acquire top talent, as today’s workers are reporting that it’s not just salary which makes a difference. Add to this the fact that our research shows improved concentration levels and productivity are benefits of flexible working, and the business case is made.
How does the future of remote work look like in Bangladesh?
Bangladesh has high prospects of remote work in the future as with time many people are embracing this new method of working.
In recent times many many organizations have started to work from home not because it is the need of the hour, but because it was the most convenient for them. For a country like Bangladesh where traffic is one of the major issues that people face, working from home can surely be a blessing for people.
In the future, it is predicted that by 2025 there will be a growth of entrepreneurs by 40%. This is a huge number and when many of the new organizations can’t effort to manage a big office, working from home would be a great deal of success for them.
A shift towards home working doesn’t mean employees have to work only at home. Often splitting time between home and the workplace is the most productive solution and you may want the homeworker to attend meetings to keep them fully involved and informed.
So to conclude, it can be stated that, Bangladesh is slowly but surely embracing the work from home culture. This current situation has made it essential for many of us to start working from home, however, this was a great circumstance for people in Bangladesh to embrace the remote work culture.