Come on, it’s not that bad!
With the lockdown coming to an end, some companies have started working with 30% staff whereas some companies such as Twitter, Shopify and Facebook are leading the ‘Work-from-home” Revolution by announcing permanent work from home for their employees.
Vaccines for coronavirus could take another 6 months – 2 years to be developed along with several changes in the labour laws, it looks like other companies are to follow suit.
There were many tragic things that happened because of the lockdown but work from home came as a silver lining for many. We will explore six positive aspects of how working from home was actually a blessing in disguise.
1. More Quality time for Self and Family
Not only did we get a chance to spend quality time with our families, but we also got the opportunity to spend quality time with ourselves. Some of us adopted an array of roles such as chefs, tutors, artists, musicians etc and in the process nurtured our shadow artists selves. It is essential to be happy and satisfied on an individual level before we can begin thinking of contributing to our families, offices or society in general. Work from home has indeed helped in facilitating a better work-life balance.
2. Less time commuting, more time communicating
Whether you used public transport to reach your office or drove in the luxury of your car. I don’t think there is anyone who enjoys commuting to their office on an everyday basis. The lockdown gave us a chance to experience working from home without the hassle of commuting. We got at least two to four hours extra hours on our hand, minus the stress of travelling/driving through bumper to bumper traffic, especially during peak hours. It gave us the opportunity to enjoy our mornings with ourselves and our families as well as indulge in some form of physical activity in the evenings.
3. Your wallet has never been happier
If there was anyone who was the happiest during the lockdown, it was definitely our bank accounts. Now that we didn’t have the everyday costs of commuting, unnecessary binging of unhealthy snacks during office hours and the dreadful obligatory Dinner & Drink post-work hours, we did end up spending less and saving more!
We didn’t have casual Fridays anymore because every day of the week was a casual Friday and God (Amazon) only knows how much money we saved doing that, phew! We could be looking like a beggar and while working our way to becoming the first billionaires of the family!
4. Flexible Schedules
As long as your health and work are not compromised, the freedom to take a nap whenever, eat whenever, binge watch whenever, go for a jog whenever feels blissful indeed. It gives us the mental space to plan our days efficiently, follow a healthy routine and not to forget healthy home-cooked meals to keep us active throughout the day.
5. Increased productivity
Taking naps seems counterproductive to working but studies proved otherwise. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a nap of up to 30 minutes can help “restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents”.
By saving two to four hours by not commuting and flexibility of time, it is inevitable that our productivity levels will be higher than average. The reason being that we have more control over our situation, there are no quicks breaks, gossip sessions, meetings that could have been an email etc. It was easier to do quality work in less time than what we would do in our usual office time.
6. Comfortable working environment
You could be doing meetings from your bed, your table or couch while wearing the most comfortable clothing while listening to your favourite music without judgmental looks from your co-workers.
7. The revival of Nature and Wildlife
Air and noise pollution levels dropped tremendously. For the first time in centuries, jaw-dropping images of the Himalayas could be seen from 200kms away. There were several photos and videos of wildlife animals out on the roads whilst we were housebound. Nevertheless, seeing nature thrive and restore itself made all of us happier indeed.
Just how work from home has its perks it also has a downside which must be accounted for. A lot of employees survived isolation, mental health issues, toxic family lives and still didn’t let it affect their work. However, at the end of the day, the onus of taking care of the employees, especially in adverse times, falls upon the employer. With work from home leading to happier employees and hence higher productivity, one could perhaps, expect changes in the way we work in the future and we must be prepared for that!