‘Work From Home Is Tougher Than Office Routine’
Anamika Taneja, 31, a Public Relations professional, says work becomes strenuous when there is erratic Internet, no team-talk, and furniture not designed for long hours of sitting
The grass is always greener on the other side. When our generation was working in offices after a long commute, we craved for the comforts of home. And now when we have been working from our homes, we miss the many things in office that used to make our work easy but we took them for granted; the biggest being uninterrupted internet and power supply. The pandemic is perhaps teaching us to value what we have – water the grass and turn it green wherever we are.
Frankly, when the lockdown started most of us had thought Work From Home would be a breeze. I work with a trade industry association. We thought we would have so much time because no long commutes, and we would be all fresh before starting work because we weren’t packed like sardines in the metro or there was no frustration that comes with traffic jams.
But the time we earlier spent in commuting is now being spent in cleaning, sweeping & mopping, cooking before work. Earlier, I had a maid and a cook, but the lockdown meant no one could come in. Mercifully, my husband has been of tremendous help. He helps with household chores but because of Coronavirus the workload at home has also increased for him also a lot.
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In office, if we had a small query we could just walk up to other teams and get the answers, but now for everything we have to pick the phone. Sometimes there is no network, sometimes there isn’t enough charge in the phone and laptop because of long power cuts, sometimes the other person has network issues or is busy with another call. So the same work which earlier took say five minutes now takes 15. The internet connection is not as good at homes as it is in offices. That also makes work take longer to complete.
Time whizzes past so quickly that I am left wondering where my day went. On most days I have been sleeping around 3 am. Thankfully, my boss has been supportive. There is a new term for when you don’t know what day of the week it is because all days feel the same while you Work From Home: it’s called blursday or whensday.
Another thing that I realised is that, in office all the furniture were ergonomically designed for work purpose. But working at home, at leisurely seating, the back pain has become a major issue. We had to go buy new furniture and clear out a portion of our house to be used as workspace. We also take out time for doing mild workouts during breaks.
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The times are unprecedented and uncertain and even the industry leaders are learning new things and adjusting every day. There’s a lot to learn these days. Many websites are offering free industry certification courses during the lockdown, which are otherwise super expensive and thus I finished four such courses in the past three months.
Since we all have been working alone from our homes, we miss the friendly banter and the motivation that colleagues provide to one another. We no longer take a break, which I realise is an important part of re-energizing. The only break at home from work is spent in chores like cleaning or cooking.
I hope the pandemic ends soon and we get to have a little hold over time again. In the pre-pandemic world even the stress was structured, now everything has become fluid and the industry and both national and global economy are coming to terms with it.