The constant click of the keys on your keyboard, while your mother asks if you’ve eaten, multiple times a day and someone screaming for a lost TV remote in the hall. These sum up what ‘work from home’ entails for an urban professional who’s not been spared by the lockdown. It seemed impossible to envisage over 2 months of working from the confines of home. However, many corporate workers are now finding this new norm a pretty comfortable one. 70% of them said they’d in fact be willing to work from home even post the lockdown!
This as they seem to think that companies save on operational costs, the air certainly is visibly less polluted, and well, being fed and watered by maa ka khana after a series of corporate meets, is a perk many don’t want to forfeit. However, in spite of professionals having voiced their desires to work from home, the option may not be for all. Once the lockdown has been lifted, offices are bound to resume. One will thus have to get into the routine of having the daily 9-5, with only the impending list of meetings for company.
Work from Home: A boon or bane
Vani Savani, a 23-year-old professional’s day usually entails attending a successive series of meetings, which owing to the nature of her job, means sometimes, being in Mumbai for breakfast and Delhi for dinner. As someone whose corporate life has taken a 180 degree turn, Vani is still recuperating from having not traveled for a while. She is now coerced to being in a corner set-up of the house, instead of her way-too-interesting routine. “Work from home is not as productive as the office. A big snag is the procrastination that comes from being extremely comfy, while in the confines of home.”
To back her points, in a recent study it was seen that working from the comfort of home does boost productivity in some tasks, but hampers it in others. This is due to the free rider effect. This revolves around the fact that people, while working from home on a team task, assume that others in the team aren’t going to be as productive, and thus they don’t put in as much effort. Hence the assignment suffers, because that’s what everyone in the team ends up thinking.
Returning to office post lockdown
Every office go-er has, at some point during the lockdown phase, imagined the first day post this. Stepping into the office, the usual chaotic scenes, the deadlines screaming at you in the face and well, the coffee breaks with the favorite co-worker. It will be those ‘moments to savor’! “Going back to the office after such a long span of time is bound to be completely different. It will take a while to return to an active lifestyle from the passive state.” says Vani.
How will the office culture change
“Our work cultures will completely change after the pandemic. Offices will be totally digitalized and employers and employees likewise will be more open to the work from home policy, as and when needed.”
Every office goer has indeed learnt to adapt to the ‘work from home’ culture now, and along with it has emerged with a new routine, new styles and definitely some novel ways of working. For some, this is as simple taking adequate breaks to eat and drink on time, even in the midst of a hectic day. For others, it is de-stressing by looking out a window before they get back to the screen. But one thing is for sure, this has been a break from the pressure routines that we were accustomed to.
“I can see employees everywhere evolving into being more focused. After this very long break, we are ready to pick up pace and bit by bit get the economy back to where it needs to be.”