19th March 2020 was the last day I went to work @ office. From 20th March onwards we were to work from home. Confident that the Chinese Virus will not last long based on the SARS experience, I assumed we will be back in the office in no time. How naive we were!
It is now almost an year to that date & there is no chance we are moving back to office anytime soon. I guess it will be possible only once everyone is vaccinated.
Would I like to continue working from home or I am getting office sick & wish to go back to office?
Few years back, I was suffering from some health issues. Travel was a challenge for me & I used to miss work 2-3 days in a row every month, which gradually reduced to 1 day. Ever since I have been hankering for work from home option, at least for the days I am not able to travel. The working time restrictions for women in Mumbai added to the woes as it is next to impossible to travel in Mumbai local trains during peak hours – specially when you are getting older & used to travelling in UK shift timings. Even though I don’t look my age & am decently fit enough – The body is not that agile anymore 😉
Work From Home gives me freedom from this travelling hassle, not to forget the traffic and pollution. Dressing up and travelling is the major challenge when sick. When at home you can be flexible, rest for a bit and work when feeling better. In fact, due to increasing local train fatalities, this turns out to be an advantage to all as there is less rush in the trains, less traffic on the road when there are more people working from home.
Due to my work timings, I hardly got to spend time with my family, specially my niece. Because of working from home, I get to talk & play with her – virtually, of course – almost daily. Most times it feels that I come home only to eat and sleep (sometimes only sleep) Weekend is spent in either outings or replenishing the energy lost during the week. I go to work on weekends too sometimes. My parents are definitely happier to see more of me (maybe that’s what I believe)
i definitely have got a chance to work more, read more, watch more movies & shows – making optimum use of my Amazon Firestick 😀
Money Money Money – Can’t tell you how much money I have saved by not travelling to work – Train pass, Auto fare, the occasional Ola Cab and eating out almost daily. I am going to use this for my Europe Travel couple of years down the line!
Definitely it’s not all rosy. We do have some cons.
Indian houses, specially in Mumbai, are ill equipped to have a office inside the house – The size is tiny as it is. Also, the infrastructure is not up to the mark. Unstable internet, frequent power cuts, specially during rainy season can cause embarrassment and frustration.
I also miss the camaraderie with friends at work, the gossip session, the vending machine coffee (tee-hee) the live events (Virtual events are fun but live events have their own charm), R&R ceremonies.
Even though there are too many hassles to travel – there is also a joy in dressing up & moving out of the house. You get bored cooped up at home with the same two people – Familiarity breeds contempt you know? :p
My own tips for a great work from home experience:
- Have a small corner of your own where no one can disturb
- Invest in good infrastructure – Good internet connection & UPS
- Dress up once in a while – Don’t get too comfy in your PJs
- Move your ass out of home even if for some minutes