Working From Home: It's Not Everyone's Cup Of Tea Not every job can be done remotely, and specially if you're a fixed part of a team, then your role and lack of physical presence might adversely affect efficiencies of others, and ultimately, the business.

By Oweis Zahran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Shutterstock

At the start of 2020, I couldn't have imagined that working from home would prove to be productive, and that it would positively impact efficiencies in employees in certain industries. But here we are.

Personally though, I am still sitting on the fence on this topic.

Several reasons have contributed to my opinion on this matter, which I will delve into this piece. Firstly, there's no one-size-fits-all solution here. Whether we look at it from a personal front or a professional perspective, it took some to adjust to working from home, even for those who took it as fish to water.

The fact remains that working remotely is here to stay a little while longer, whether we like it or not. Back in March, there was no choice but to settle into this new routine. After all, the outside world was a strange and unsafe place. With no external stimulation available, there was no other choice but to give your best to work.

As a business owner in the automotive industry, which involves hands-on work with machinery, operations, and logistics and managing large teams, it was a conflicting decision. Indeed, it probably took me and the senior management team at my enterprise a little longer than other corporate set-ups to grapple with the new norm.

Where do I stand on this matter today? Initially, I spent all of two weeks debating pros and cons of working from home, leaning more towards the disadvantages at first. Today, while I am an advocate of remote work culture for employees and employers, I do believe that not everyone is cut out for it. Not every job can be done remotely, and specially if you're a fixed part of a team, then your role and lack of physical presence might adversely affect efficiencies of others, and ultimately, the business.

Related: Six Tactics To Improve Collaboration For Remote Teams

While we have witnessed shifts in our daily life routines, and working from home getting positive press with major tech companies announcing long-term remote working plans, we have also seen a rise in mental health issues. Social isolation, lack of motivation due to absence of team spirit, employment uncertainty, depression are some of the common traits surfacing as we come close to the end of 2020. In short, working from home is not what it's cracked up to be.

And we mustn't forget interns and fresh graduates joining their first jobs. How can working remotely positively benefit their career growth? Establishing a rapport over Zoom meetings, or jumping in with a brilliant idea during brainstorming sessions, or even showing off your leadership skills are not feasible in a virtual environment. Just like online graduation ceremonies are not quite the same as the physical ones. Need I say more?

CEOs have been acting like "chief crisis managers" for the most part this year. On one hand, they were dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on business, while answering shareholders, partners, and customers, and on the other hand, they also had to ensure that the teams were functioning at their full capacity, yet remotely. In addition, CEOs had to think about short-term tactics and long-term strategy, while keeping the balance between cost-cutting measures and team morale.

At the same time, working from home has led business owners to tackle a different set of challenges as well- these include:

  • Providing employees with equipment such as laptops, setting up remote access system to the company server
  • Constant monitoring of employees logging daily to report to work
  • Risk of security breaches that could be detrimental to the business
  • Difficulties in developing skills of newly joined employees
  • Constant communication issues due to distractions at home. Not everyone's living environment is conducive to remote work, and specially if they have young kids
  • Communication gaps ,and ultimately, deadline delays. This is primarily due to the fact that technical and operational staff are not naturally adept at communication
  • Keeping the focus on the purpose, vision, and values of the enterprise, and hoping the key messages are sinking in with the teams. Keeping the frontline motivated and engaged, while keeping the growth of the business in mind

I am sure the corporate sector may disagree with my notions, and by no means, I am writing off remote work culture. My point remains that it's not one or the other. It's dependent on the industry you are associated with, your personality, and your strength in the team structure. There are lots of variables to mull over, and there are many aspects to consider before we cast a unanimous vote on this topic.

I am sure that in months to come, we'll read more about the highs and lows on working from home. While tech giants are leading the way in promoting remote work environments, and other employers are afraid to be seen as politically incorrect by not supporting it, I would still encourage advocates to think about both sides of the argument before passing a verdict. The jury's still out!

Related: Being Productive While Living The Work-From-Home Life: The How-To

Oweis Zahran

CEO, OWS Auto

As a dynamic entrepreneur in both the automotive industry and in the VC space, Oweis Zahran is a hands-on CEO with expertise in business development, operations, innovation and diversification. Through his strategic foresight, drive and determination, he has built multiple businesses and a strong foundation including his successful multi-million-dollar company OWS Automotive and the ever growing OWS Capital.

As an American, Oweis has been spending his time in the Middle East region since he was a teenager and dabbled early on in the business world. Once he graduated from the University Of Maryland, he moved to the UAE to launch his automotive venture. He has been the force behind launching multiple innovative solutions in the automotive world and as a born leader and visionary, Oweis’s hands-on experience prepared him to seamlessly embrace a leadership role, which helped in the evolution, expansion and success of scaling his business from the MENA region to globally.

From setting up the largest end to end transportation management companies, OWS Automotive, in the UAE and expanding it to seven countries to developing exclusive auto solutions to launching a joint venture with the governments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman, Oweis Zahran achieved a lot before he even celebrated his 30 th birthday. Oweis’s ability to build high-performance teams, including his strategically selected executive management staff, has served as a growth catalyst and infused productive energy to his businesses with massive expansion plans being rolled out for OWS Automotive into Saudi Arabia as well as South East Asia including Brunei, Philippines and Malaysia. In 2020, OWS Capital was launched with a series of partnerships and verticals that came into being under its umbrella.

One of them is MELT ME, a joint partnership with Hollywood icon Steve Harvey, who are already working alongside government bodies such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai tourism to bring unique IPs to the country. In 2021, one such event under MELT ME was the first annual Steve Harvey Golf Tournament which was a resounding success. Primarily focused on bridging the gap between the Middle East and Western cultures, with a mandate to create synergy between the two regions whilst breaking down barriers and showcasing what each region represents, MELT ME will be redefining the celebrity events landscape in the Middle East region. Under OWS Capital, cutting-edge health and wellness gym brand Platform Health Club was launched in 2022 across the UAE with an aim to deliver unique and personalized quality service. From celebrity trainers to high-tech and top-of-range equipment, the gyms will cater to health-conscious audiences in the country. The vision for 2022 and beyond for OWS Capital is to bring unique experiences and cutting-edge businesses in the fitness and entertainment verticals to the region with ambitious expansion plans already in the works.

Related Topics

Business News

Want to Start a Billion-Dollar Business? Look to These Two Industries, Which Have the Most Unicorn Growth

During a tough fundraising year overall last year, the value of cybersecurity and AI unicorns saw double-digit growth.

Business News

Flight Attendant Dies on Plane in Front of Passengers on New Year's Eve

The British Airways flight was set to take off from London to Hong Kong.

Business News

Airbnb Renter Discovers Hidden Door, Says Police Confirm There's a Secret Unit Upstairs With 'Surveillance': 'A Terrifying Experience'

One bride-to-be was in for a not-so-welcome surprise when she discovered a secret door in her Airbnb rental.

Growing a Business

'You Need to be a Non-Expert': Why Billionaire Naveen Jain Believes Outsiders Make the Best Entrepreneurs

Naveen Jain founded microbiome testing and supplements company Viome by believing he didn't need expertise to disrupt an industry.

Personal Finance

Why Ashton Kutcher Says That "Money Is A Drug"

Most people don't learn financial literacy. In his hit show Going From Broke, Ashton Kutcher and Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig teach it in dramatic fashion.