This is my life’s first lockdown. I am sure yours too and I wish it’s the last one. We hopefully we don’t have to face any such situation again in our life. This situation has changed a lot of things we otherwise do. Some things that we enjoy and rest because it’s a norm. Like going to work every day at a certain time.
It’s not very long off that our entire team was behind our super boss to grant us at least one weeks Work From home every month. And here we are, waiting to get back to the routine of working from office, isn’t it true for you? Am I the only one exited going back to work from office?
The regular work from home is very different from this Covid Times work from home. What you don’t believe me?
Nicholas Bloom a well-known researcher who has worked upon showing benefits of WFH also believe me, I mean he also believes WFH in covid-19 Pandemic is not same as the regular WFH.
With kids at home
No matter how much disciplined and sensitive they are that you are working the disturbance and noise will always be there.
If the child is an infant or toddler who otherwise is taken care by a nanny or goes to day-care. Is at home now. And while attending their needs every now and then leaves you lesser time to concentrate on your work.
If you are living with your roommates, they might have their calls, office work or nothing at all to do and might keep bothering you.
With no cook, house help, day care, school, nanny, dog walker, dry cleaner each and every big or small all chores are on you to do.
Fear and uncertain atmosphere
And not to forget, with Covid-19 the constant fear of uncertainty is taking a toll on your mental health, no matter how much you want to avoid the news about it, but the social media doesn’t rest up. It keeps reminding you how close are you to death. With lockdown in picture you have to access how much monthly stock you are left with? Pet food is not in the list of essentials so no one will deliver it even if you place an order, so how are you going to manage?
All this and many and much more, in such mental state how are you going to concentrate and be productive.
Office and home working environment differs
Rather than understanding this part, that the employee is working from home due to a certain situation the employers and senior staff is loading them with work.
When we go to office, we work for 9-10 hours, with stipulated multiple big or small breaks. Lunch break, sutta break, tea break etc.
At home there is no schedule, the ‘Walking hour’ is the ‘working hour’.
It starts from may be 8:30 am and goes till 12 at night.
The existence of weekend and its importance is lost. Officially there was a leave/ holiday for Ramnavami. If it would have been regular office and no WFH then we would have enjoyed a holiday for Ramnavami but instead it was business as regular, the work happened just like any other day. NO one even bothered to mention that we are working on a holiday.
Managers and bosses are thinking anyways the employee is at home only, so how does it matter if it’s a weekday or weekend? But the family is suffering the employee is getting frustrated.
I do not see my husband for the whole day unless I barge into his room to give him lunch and tea or may be a bowl of snack or fruit. We talk more when he goes to office than we are talking now a days, since this mandatory WFH thing has started.
My father-in-law finally asked me a question. He said,”when the world is headed towards recession and India depends on outsourced business mostly. Most of that is stand still or slow. And the world is busy in fighting Covid-19 then what are you guys so busy with?”
We don’t value things, when we do not need them
Another aspect of current WFH is very different, we have been forced to WFH. Although we wanted to do it as we always crib about not getting to spend enough time with family, traffic jams and all the known reasons but humans want the power of decision making. If it’s by choice I will be happy, if it’s forced, I will crib. Or maybe the psychology can also be that we value things when they are unachievable once we have it, then it loses its sheen. Just like ‘ghar Ki murgi dal barabar’. Although it might not be true for everyone and we cannot generalize.
When I spoke to many of my friends, I realized that it’s not just me or my husband who is facing this trauma of waking hours as working hours, its everyone around. Everyone is going mad. So, my dear friends and readers, it’s the Fear that is driving you crazy. Not fear of getting infected by the virus, but what will happen when this storm settles down. How badly the economy will be hit? The recession will be there, how much will it affect us directly? will it be bad than 2009? Layoffs, when and how many from all size of companies? Will my company also do a layoff? What if the decision is in my direct managers hands? Am I doing enough? Will he kick me out? All this but not limited to, there is a black cloud known as unsure future is making us slog, more than ever.
Why do you think we are doing this?
We are going overboard so that we have a valid point to prove. If such time comes, we can show the trackers, deal conversion rations, appreciation emails from partners and clients and everything under the sky to save our job. Because believe me or not, and like it or not this is the job that’s paying our bills month after month. Do not mind but mark my words, we the middle class live every month from salary to salary. So, no matter what we will slog and save our jobs.
This WFH is unlike the regular WFH, these are testing time with Virus and without it too.
I am sure you have more stories to share. I am waiting to hear, how is this work from home treating you and your family.