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How work environment changes during COVID-19 pandemic

30 January 2022 14:59 (UTC+04:00)
How work environment changes during COVID-19 pandemic

By Ayya Lmahamad

COVID-19 has been spreading throughout the world since late 2019, with infection numbers in the tens of millions and deaths in the hundreds of thousands.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection, widespread lockdowns and policies were implemented, resulting in the elimination of the majority of face-to-face interactions.

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, businesses and their employees were forced to begin or increase their work from home efforts.

Working from home became the new way of life for millions of people around the world as a result of the pandemic.

Benefits, drawbacks

Many people reported having a better work-life balance since the start of the pandemic and the transition to the home office. Employees were able to prioritize important aspects of their lives by working remotely. Employees have more time each day to use how they want because they don't have to get ready in the morning, commute to work, stop for coffee and breakfast, and do many other activities.

At the same time, remote working allows people to spend less time on the road, which saves money because they don't have to pay for gas for their cars, etc.

Many remote workers also reported stable or increased productivity when compared to working in an office. Many of the factors that contribute to tardiness and stress are absent when working from home.

Although the majority of people report numerous benefits from working from home, others also report drawbacks.

Though a better work-life balance can be advantageous at times, many people find the opposite to be true. They notice that work is infiltrating their personal lives more and more, and it becomes increasingly difficult for them to distinguish between work and personal life.

Furthermore, there are numerous distractions at home that can divert an employee's attention away from their work. Remote work can also cause feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially if you live alone.

Despite this, various studies show that, given the option, more than half of people would prefer to continue working from home even after the pandemic.

Azerbaijan’s experience

Azerbaijan's experience with remote work was not unique. With the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country in March 2020, Azerbaijan imposed a nationwide lockdown. Almost all of the country's businesses and institutions have shifted to a remote work environment.

Later, on April 5, 2020, Azerbaijan implemented the system of issuing movement permits. Citizens were only allowed to leave their place of residence after obtaining SMS permissions under that lockdown rule.

In terms of work, state structures and private legal entities were required to enter data on employees and volunteers into a special portal in order to obtain a working permit [the right to work from the office].

Azerconnect, a company operating in the fields of information, communication, and high technologies, launched a "FLEXcellence" program last year for the first time in Azerbaijan, which provides effective remote work regime management for large teams.

The program's opportunities for managing workplace and working time give employees the option to work remotely without affecting the productivity of specific work activities. As a result, it enables the company to optimize its activities by implementing innovative solutions based on successful international experience, while also providing safer working conditions in the new normalcy brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Azerbaijan is currently considering legalizing distance working. This was discussed earlier this month at a meeting of the Labour and Social Security Ministry with members of the American Chamber of Commerce.

The new bill amending the Labour Code allows for remote work. The draft law incorporates proposals for the definition of additional working conditions in employment contracts through mutual agreement of the parties in connection with remote forms of work.

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Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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