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Work from home

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According to Wikipedia, work from home can be defined as a work arrangement in which employees do not commute or travel to the central place of work. Not so common term for work from home is Telecommuting. Work from home is trending for the past 4 months, courtesy Coronavirus. IT industry already had the experience of it but other sectors like education, healthcare(Telemedicine) and more are getting equipped with it slowly. 

Talking about the legality of the term, there is no legal provision for Work from home in our country i.e there are no set of rules and regulations that industries could follow as a template. 

The following could be set out as the advantages/prospects of WFH during COVID times:

  1. Bridging the Technological Gap: Most of the government spending has been diverted to setting up Technological infrastructure in rural areas that lacked access to good internet(Bharatnet) and electronics.
  2. Reduced Travel time & Accidents: According to World Road Statistics(2018), India recorded the highest number of road accidental deaths. Thanks to WFH that its ratio has declined/paused and the time of travel is also saved.
  3. Less Carbon Emission and saving of Petroleum(whose prices are still rising): This would help India fulfill her Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) for climate change. Also, India imports more than 80% of its petroleum hence our Foreign Exchange could be saved.
  4. Sectors other than IT getting equipped with WFH: In case of any future pandemics, sectors would be ready to tackle economic consequences. 
  5. New COVID allowances coming up: Caring about individual problems like lack of internet, light issues, etc, companies are provisioning employees to have a network without disruptions, inverters, and equipments(chairs, tables) that comfort the way of working.
  6. WFH, the only key to Education: Right to Education could have been at stake completely if WFH did not exist. Most schools and colleges have started online sessions either via video conferencing or Youtube.
  7. Few savings by Corporate companies: WFH has saved the light bill and other infrastructure maintenance bills for companies.
  8. Economic Benefits: Indian economy is floating on WFH. If it didn’t exist, we would have had major economical setbacks.

And the following are the possible negatives/cons of WFH during COVID times:

  1. Cybersecurity: Corporate companies need to have strong cybersecurity since most of the confidential data would be at stake if not taken care of.
  2. Home is not always a happy place for everyone: Unfortunately, many women in the country are facing a shadow pandemic. Some women actually prefer going to offices to avoid such situations. Hence WFH may not be sweet to them.
  3. Difficult for Few Employees back in rural areas: WFH requires few technological investments and for some employees that belong to rural areas, they might not be able to fulfill all these requirements(irrespective of money constraints) as it’s not that easy to acquire a wifi connection in villages.
  4. Educational Drawbacks: For some teachers teaching from home, especially those of Science which require experimental approach may face problems in explaining the concepts. Secondly, for so many years, teachers have been adapted to blackboard teaching. This sudden shift might be a cause of concern, especially for school teachers.
  5. Increased working hours: WFH which was meant to establish a proper work-life balance is not the same. Employees whose average working hours were supposed to be 8 is no less than 10 and in some cases, the count goes on increasing(which unfortunately has become new normal). A study found that working too much may lead to lower productivity of the employee. 
  6. Mental Health: With more workload and an increased number of hours, its not easy for a person to give fair time to his/her personal life. Working too much can take a toll on your mental health. A study found that workers who logged 11 hours per day were more likely to battle depression than those who logged 7 to 8 hours. 

The problems and prospects do exist in every situation. What’s important is what more can be done to convert the problems into opportunities and prospects into success:

  1. Meditation & Exercise: Fitness and mental calm is the most important thing that can help an individual maintain a proper balance in every aspect of life. Also, one thing that we should not forget in COVID times that it helps us build a good immune system. Junaid Ahmad(AIR 3 UPSC) once said “if you have a very good personal life, trust me you will have a very good professional life as well but vice versa may not always be true. “
  2. Legislative Backing for WFH: It’s important that the government should come up with a fixed set of rules and regulations like the number of working hours, remuneration for extra work, etc.
  3. Don’t Forget Children: For parents, it’ important that they do look after the studies of their children. It’s also important to engage in some activities(indoor games)/discussions with children.
  4. Sleep: Indeed it’s very important to take a good amount of sleep for better efficiency the other day and for a happy mood as well.

Women have been working from home for ages, no matter its corona or a national emergency. One should learn how they manage everything so well may it be work, household chores, or children. All we need to do is appreciate and contribute(help) a little. Also, all those working from home deserve applause since it’s they who are also contributing in continuing the cycle of our economy. So, Work for the nation, meditate for your mind, and exercise for your health because pandemics will come and go but WFH is always going to stay from now on. We the people of this country have to make sure we use Work From Home for greater inclusion and as a perfect opportunity to bridge BHARAT(Rural) & INDIA(Urban).

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