Online Education, Work from Home: Have We Arrived in Virtual World?
Online education, work from home- Are they a new concept?
No, Ask the IT sector out there.
But, it’s definitely new to public sectors and other practices.
With the onset of novel corona virus in the world, Lockdown has become the only way to break the chain of the corona virus which in turn has led to the closure of educational institutes, workplaces and other establishments and suddenly online education and work from home has become the new normal.
The Pandemic has of course given us the glimpses of how the virtual world operates.
As every coin has two sides, online education and work from home also come with their pros and cons. Let’s discuss them and see if we jump to a conclusion.
Advantages of the Virtual World
All thanks to the technological advancements that online education and work from home has increased the efficiency of teachers, students, employer and employees through the usage of various tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft teams etc. Working and interaction with the fellow colleagues/classmates using videos, ppts and other such methods have made lives easy during this pandemic. Also, the online Learning apps like Byjus, Udemy etc. have picked up the pace and are proving helpful for students in this virtual world.
Accessibility of Time and Place
Time and place are no more a constraint in this virtual world. Now anyone can work anytime from anywhere. This Pandemic has given us the liberty to work and learn from the comfort of our homes resulting in better time management for both personal and professional lives. Also, students can record their online lectures/classes and watch them according to their preference. People are now able to take out more time for themselves and their family hence they are motivated which increases their productivity at work.
Oh yes, the virtual world set up, the new normal has tremendously helped in cost cutting hence, affordable. Be it travelling transportation costs, office’s, school’s huge electricity bills or rent bills…all have become nearly negligible. Pre-Covid, the people who lived away from their homes to earn their livelihood or students to make their career are saving lot of rent bills staying at their homes and yet fulfilling their dreams.
Online education and work from home have proved to be boon for our environment. When whole of the world stays at home, we see clear skies- free of smoke, birds chirping, stars at the night, fresh air to breathe…. I hope you all must have experienced that and felt good about it. On the bigger part the hole in the ozone layer got finally closed due to the pandemic lockdown. So, actually Virtual World is playing an important part in keeping our environment healthy.
Disadvantages of the Virtual World
Absence of Environment
Human beings can build Robots but cannot become one. People have feelings thus, our surroundings and work environment matters. Not all students or employees get the desired work environment at their homes. Stepping out of the home, meeting several people, friends or colleagues at work, schools or colleges helps them to grow as an individual. People tend to learn more and better when surrounded by people in competition. Online education and work from home has made our lives monotonous and repetitive.
In order to work in a virtual world, a mobile device or a PC is required. Though we might have opened flood gates of technological wonders but all comes with a price. Screen time of children have tremendously increased since last one and a half year which resulted in various eye diseases at a very young age. Also, Physical work of the people have reduced to an extent which is also causing various health issues in human beings. Sometimes people also develop bad posture and other physical problems due to staying hunched in front of a screen.
Lack of infrastructure
Not all people are privileged enough to afford adequate infrastructure for online education and work from home. Lack of IT infrastructure like laptops, Wi-Fi, etc. has made survival of poor people difficult. Those who can afford the infrastructure for the virtual world face issues with the internet connectivity. Also, there are many for whom absence of dedicated workspace pose a big problem. People living in small houses surrounded by family cannot afford a dedicated place to work or study and hence that results in less productivity at work. Technological glitches, irregular power supply and inequalities in income pose a serious hurdle in accessing the virtual world.
Indeed, the virtual mode has made performance management and monitoring difficult. Especially children have short attention span and often get distracted at their homes so, it becomes difficult for teachers to keep the track of their progress. Also, it sometimes becomes exacting for teachers to keep mischievous pupils at bay during live streaming of classes. For Virtual employees, one on one or group online meetings are set up to clarify expectations, so that there is no room for mistakes but they are not as effective as physical meetings.
We have arrived in a virtual world- Partially
There are many Industries (Essential Services) which cannot work in the Virtual world, they had to follow the traditional methods due to privacy practices or due to the nature of their business. For E.g. – Banking Industry, Transportation Industry, etc.
Now, to overcome the disadvantages of the virtual world, students and employees are allowed to work/study alternately from offices/schools/colleges and homes. Since, students are in their early stage of learning it becomes important for them to stay active in their studies. This process helps students to interact more with their teachers & friends to get proper practical knowledge. This alternate working method is called the Hybrid Model.
Yes! HYBRID MODEL
Hybrid model is the way forward in this case due to the perils of data piracy, unfavourable work environment in many houses, deficiency of adequate infrastructure and expertise and mental stress due to lack of socializing. In this blended model, people work alternately, so that all the cons are taken care of.