Working from home is the new normal
Covid-19 has resulted in transformational changes to the workplace worldwide. Employees are encouraged to work from home, huge offices are largely empty operating with a minimum necessary workforce and many industries have let portions of their workforce go. While real estate and facility management businesses are struggling to stay relevant, organisations are struggling with health and safety issues as well as internet issues in home offices.
It is also clear now that this situation is going to last a lot longer than earlier assumed. Employers have realised that the expected drop in productivity has not materialised. Employees are enjoying the time saved on the commute and being more diligent. There is a loss in terms of collaborative ability but organisations are evolving quickly to adopt different technologies on this front.
In light of this, do labour laws in India need to change to incorporate and facilitate this unforeseen and rapid change? To answer this, we will look at the major areas where employment conditions are covered by the law and see whether anything needs to change.
In summary, the law at this moment falls short on dealing with many work from home situations. With the government already busy with the new labour codes, I do not expect any of this to become a priority soon. At the moment, the balance of arguments rests against the employee.