Work From Home (WFH)
The COVID 19 pandemic and the consequent Lockdown have led to changes in the life patterns of many people. Enquire about a person’s job and you may get a smiling reply, “I am now working from home (WFH).” Underlying the smile is the thought of the possible benefits of WFH, e.g. no hassles about catching the local bus or of being caught in a traffic jam and moreover, the advantage of being able to spend quality time with the family. However, within a short span of time of WFH, the reality strikes hard and the possible comment may well be, “Now I am spending more time at my job than I did in the office. Besides, the kit pit caused by WFH makes me want to get back to the office.” WFH may take up more time and what is even worse, it may lead to family tension and conflict. Remarks from family members saying, “You are at your job all the time. Otherwise we had you to ourselves after 6 p.m. but now even at 10 p.m. you are busy with your laptop.” Strange, isn’t it?
Working from Home requires planning, so that it does not encroach on your family time and space. It should contribute to as much, if not more, productivity as working from the office and certainly not lead to stress and tension. Some ‘Ground Rules’ need to be followed so that WFH becomes an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for all concerned. Let’s consider some of these rules.
Fix a definite time for your WRH and stick to it. Be specific about your time to start and end your work. Instead of saying, “I’ll work in the mornings”, be specific and say, I will work from 9 a.m. to 12:30 noon. Fix your timing to fit in well with the schedule of other family members. It may be easier to get on with your job while the children are away at school.
Begin your work with a morning routine — A brief prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide you with His wisdom, and perhaps a cup of hot tea. True, you are at home but please do dress up as though you are going to the office. Remaining in your nightie is a strict ‘NO NO.’ Being dressed helps you to get rid of lethargy and to get into the mood for serious work.
Get all your household tasks done outside your working hours. Let your family know that just because you are at home does not mean that you are freely available. Making this clear from the beginning will help to prevent later tension and conflict. Exceptions are always necessary in case of emergencies and unexpected situations.
Have regular breaks for meals, tea and stretching your limbs. You are entitled to these breaks.
Have a dedicated office space for your work. It may be a room, a corner of a room or just a separate table. Lounging on a sofa or in bed with your files and other office paraphernalia is a hindrance instead of a help.
Be positive. Keep your sense of humour and smile. Difficulties will certainly be there but consider how to overcome them, instead of complaining.
End your work with a routine. Close all your files and put them away. Thank God for guiding you and for all that you have been able to do.
May WFH become an asset instead of a liability to your personal and professional development and happiness. Enjoy Working From Home!!
– Sr. Philomena D’Souza DHM