Back in the day, I remember trying to explain to my mum that I work from home for a US-based startup. The confused expression on her face was indicative of a deep disapproval. What kind of job requires you to be at home? Cut to 2020 and the effects of C-19, she calls me on lockdown day zero and checked if I will be working from home!
Concepts like ‘office location’, ‘daily commute' and ‘travel time’ have been so ingrained into Indian work culture and lingo that anyone with WFH permitted has been met with cheeky laughter or piteous glances.
Having WFH as part of your role was always perceived as comfortable, inefficient and vacation-like.
While the C-19 lockdown situation won’t last forever, it will change our understanding of WFH and professionalism forever!
We're currently living in a WFH bootcamp for working Indian professionals. We’re learning to condition ourselves to WFH, creating a designated work area where you would usually enjoy your tea. Most people are getting work and home chores having to juggle office work with sustenance. Video calls and collaboration tools are replacing in-person meetings and faceless calls. Most importantly, learning how to use online platforms and services for everything we needed physical and logistical infrastructure for - printers, food, cash!
Having been raised in the armed forces has instilled discipline unlike any civilian lifestyle can demand. Further, being an urban millennial, I’d learned to embrace online platforms as much as a matter of need as of curiosity. I’m also responsible for my own entertainment, so being “bored” is not a luxury I can have. Keeping fit is part of my lifestyle.
And finally, our work culture of global collaboration has prepared us to use video conferencing and collaboration tools as every means, much before they became a situational necessity.
This lockdown is testing us as people, as workers, as family and as human beings. As someone on Twitter recently said, if you don’t come out of this lockdown with a new skill, better health or more knowledge, you never lacked time. You lacked discipline. Seek help, research, test schedules, do whatever it takes to find discipline within ourselves. We will all come out victorious.
The author is country manager, MightyHive.