“CORONA”, the word itself haunts and leaves us with cold feet. It was and is a crisis challenging both our mental and physical health, our economy, and everything as we knew it before the pandemic hit us.
Several businesses had closed down, and employees were left unemployed. Countries all over the globe had to face severe economic and financial crises. The world was in a state of chaos, with no respite in near sight.
How Did it All Start
21st March 2020 was just a usual day when I went to the office and came to know that there has been the first case of COVID in the city. The instant discussion in the office was about allotting Work from Home (WFH) to everyone.
By evening it was officially announced that we will be working from home till 1st April. Gradually it kept on extending and we are still working from home.
"Work From Home" is the new workplace for everyone. Virtualization and digitalization are now necessary for survival. Different work modes like remote working, hybrid working, and three-model workings have been adopted by many businesses and offices.
Since people have been working from home for over a year now, they have adapted well to this new working culture. Being part of the HR team at Mastek, as per my observation, in the earlier days of WFH, most employees were finding it difficult to come to terms with the new style of working.
Employees noticed that they became less productive in a virtual setup than working from the office. But as time passed, everyone became used to it. In fact, now we are comfortable in our space at home.
How Things Progressed with the Newly Imposed Restrictions in Both Personal and Work Lives
Some good things did come our way during this time.
Flexible Work Setup: Employees could select the place where they were comfortable working. They could work from anywhere, whether in the living room, garden, or balcony.
Self-Development: Employees could learn new expertise simultaneously. For instance, it’s been a while since I have wanted to learn cooking and a different language, however, I couldn't get time out of my busy schedule. But now due to flexible timings and work routines, I was able to.
More Family Time: Most of the employees who were living far from their hometown, in rented flats or PGs, were able to move back to be with their families. They could eat breakfast with them, take lunch breaks, and even plan their weekends together.
Extra Savings: Living away from home in another city is expensive. As savings is always a challenge in such a situation. But staying at home has helped me to start saving, and even think about investment opportunities.
Lesser Operational Cost to the Company: Organizations also are working on lesser overheads, as they do not have to bear canteen, electricity, transport, and maintenance expenses.
But true to its nature, all these advantages come with their own set of disadvantages. Working from home does have its cons such as:
- - Company data and information confidentiality are at higher risk.
- - Lack of face-to-face interaction with the team can be a barrier to developing interpersonal relationships.
- - Work stress can negatively affect the personal relationships of the employees.
- - Blurred lines between the personal and professional lives of the employees.
- - Distractions at home: managing household chores along with work, tending to children, elderly people, and managing social commitment (virtual functions in the case of the pandemic), etc.
- - Not all jobs are work-from-home friendly like the ones working in IT security or who work in the retail store or a restaurant.
Women who manage both the roles of being a mother and a professional/entrepreneur are indeed superheroes. They have to work with their family and home along with completing the tasks within the given deadline keeping in mind the TAT (turn-around time). However, even they need a little breathing space every now and then.
Here are a few things every working mother should take care of:
Self-Care: The Best Care
- - Avoid extra or unnecessary burdens
- - Perform a self-care activity that will help you function best in your roles
Become More Organized
- - Create a structured but flexible schedule.
- - Establish dedicated spaces for certain activities (i.e., workspace, play space).
- - List your tasks per priority
- - Divide tasks with your partner
Involve Kids in your Plans
- - Prepare schedules feasible for both work and children
- - Play games with them
- Make them understand that your work is important
- Give them some productive tasks to do that would keep them busy
- Help them with their school projects
Drawing the Curtains
The future will be better tomorrow!
Even before the pandemic crisis concepts like the gig economy, and remote working was picking up. However, with the pandemic restrictions, they all got a boost. And, more importantly, as a community, we have started accepting and adopting them. All of these have helped adhere to the new protocols related to health and public safety.
In the coming months, we will be seeing more offices opening up, and public spaces being opened like before the pandemic, of course with reduced capacity, keeping in mind the new rules and regulations.
Nevertheless, we should constantly try to maintain the good habits (e.g., time for family, sharing of household chores, etc.) cultivated during the pandemic and recall them whenever necessary.
Let’s not openly flout the protocols, rules, and principles that helped us survive the tough conditions. The pandemic has taught us a lot of things that need to be respected and never be forgotten.