An unruly bed, packets of chips scattered on the floor, an overflowing laundry bag, a stacked-up medicine cabinet, coronavirus news running 24/7, and an employee glued to his laptop. The scenario for everyone working from home, after the coronavirus alert, looks more or less the same. And like with any new change, this, too, has received varied reactions.
Sanjay Batra, CEO of a tile company in Haryana, feels the work-from-home proposition will help the employees to not only curb the spread of Covid-19, but will also benefit them financially. “Working from home can cut down commute expenses. Food can be cooked at leisure and they can do away with their formals,” says Batra.
But while leisure is the first thing that comes to mind when work-from-home is talked about, for some, home turns into just an action film set with an extra dose of inflammables: read ‘kids’. “Earlier, we had caretakers for our kids. Now, with the coronavirus alert, everyone has cocooned themselves at home. With schools shut, the stress is at an another level,” says Hema, a software engineer.
For working parents, work-from-home is a stress they never asked for. “Kids don’t understand the concept of work-from-home. When they see that their parents are home and that, too, for a considerable time, sitting still is impossible for them. But, I guess, we might end up having a lot of family time,” says Anirudh, who works in an IT firm.
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While work-from-home might seem a laid-back affair, what also comes attached is the strict monitoring. Aman, who works in the IT department of a media company, shares how every employee’s personal laptop was installed with an app which keeps tabs on the number of hours they work. It even detects if a particular employee is away from his/her system for more than five minutes. For many, it’s a small price to pay. “I was scared of getting infected by the virus that going to office everyday was complete hell. Now, I can sit at home and be completely tension-free about what’s happening outside,” says Rashika Kathpalia, who works in an academic writing firm.
And for people like Biju, for whom office is a habit, it’s a torture of another kind. “My company asked all of us to work from home and it’s a complete torture for me. I’ve taken a 15-day leave. Better to enjoy the holiday than face the torture of office [at home],” shares Biju, just a year away from retirement.
But, many plan to “chill”, come what may. “I work and watch movies simultaneously. No one has to know,” says Raunak, who looks forward to a binge session.
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