By: Eli Frishman and Eitan Lavian  | 

An Editorial Discussion: Analyzing the in-Home Work Model

Editor's Note: As COVID-19 has shuttered corporate America, professionals are forced to work from home. In this edition of an Editorial Discussion, the Business editors examine the in-home model and how various professions are adapting.

Eli Frishman: How's school from home been for you?

Eitan Lavian: Surprisingly, schoolwork has been the least of my worries. The bigger challenge was adjusting to my current environment. Even today, I am continuously tested and trying to find new ways of being more productive. However, although this is the case, the fact that others are facing the same challenge helps me cope with the situation.

EF: Yes. I can definitely relate. Adjusting to a new work environment is tough and not having a library to pound out some work makes finishing projects and school work much harder. I’ve been setting one-hour timers where I’m not allowed to be distracted. This way, I can ensure that I devote my focus, at least for a short amount of time, solely to being productive. But like you said, the struggles are universal and everyone is forced to deal with this new work reality. 

EL: Exactly. After talking to a few people in Finance, I realized that students have it way better. At the end of the day, we are not at risk of losing our jobs. We wake up, put on a shirt and join a Zoom with all of our friends. 

EF: Luckily, the camera only focuses on our torsos...

EL:  True. Additionally, people who are working also have to maintain the same professional standards at home, while, in many cases, they are expected to accomplish a larger workload. 

EF: I’ve been speaking to a number of accountants and they’ve been saying that the work is the same but busy season has been especially brutal with everything else going on. And naturally, since people are never actually leaving work to go home, they end up working more than they were used to. 

EL: Interesting. In a way, you are working 24/7, because your home has become your office. On that note, how have audits been conducted?

EF: Normally, for accountants who work in audit, if they need additional information to verify financials, they go to their clients. Now, they’re emailing and calling, and when collaborating, they use video chats. Interestingly, tax accountants who primarily work in their set offices and don’t usually go to clients, aren’t experiencing that much of a change. What about finance?

EL: Things have been a little different for investment banks. For example, there has been a decrease in M&A activity. Of course, this also depends on specific sectors; however, recently many deals have either fallen through or are currently on hold. Companies are not looking to perform any transactions. The markets are incredibly volatile and this creates uncertainty towards a company’s true valuation. However, because banks do a great deal of pitching, that has continued.

EF: It seems like every profession is adapting similarly. Recently, the Supreme Court was forced to hear oral arguments over the phone, and outside of litigation, lawyers are also sticking to a similar work model; drafting and reviewing documents is the same regardless of location. Even doctors are conducting routine checkups through video chats. I recently experienced this form of medicine first hand and it actually worked pretty well.

EL: Although many industries have been using technology to adjust to the current situation, I still believe the restricted face-to-face contact for deals has made it harder to secure new transactions.

EF: Yes, in every profession the human element is critical. 

EL: But do you think the world will take the good from what technology has offered and implement it into our future day-to-day working lives?

EF: I think people will realize that technology makes it possible to do a large chunk of their work remotely, and if not for the pandemic, this model actually seems somewhat sustainable. People are saving time commuting, and as a result there’s also less air pollution. That being said, I can't wait for life to become normal again and to get out of the house!

Photo Caption: Professionals are adapting to the in-home work model.
Photo Credit: Pixabay