I come from old school thought and firmly believed that all work must be finished in the office, no matter how long it takes.
In my 21 years of professional experience, I’ve always preferred to work from the office. Even in case of additional load, I make it a point to handle it from the office. So, it was not unusual for me to spend 15-16 hours, sometimes returning home only post-midnight after addressing additional loads as per priority. I would leave my laptop at the office because I firmly believe that I need to switch off today to be fresh for the next day. When I’m at home, I’m completely at home, preferring to devote all my time to family.
...And Then, the Lockdown Happened
The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has changed my perception, and contrary to my initial mindset, I am thoroughly cherishing every day of my work from home (WFH) experience.
Once the lockdown was announced, I did something I had never done before. I packed my laptop, charger, and my other things, and carried them home. The first day of my WFH journey, March 24, was full of Skype calls and phone communication for system movement, as I am a part of the core BCP team.
The first two weeks of working from home were extremely hectic. I worked for more than 12-15 hours, and being at home took its toll on me. I had noticed a particular pattern, wherein I was working, eating, working, breaking for lunch, working, finishing my day with dinner, and then sleeping. I decided that enough was enough and made it a point to maintain a balance in my work, while also focusing on my physical and mental well-being.
The New ‘Coworkers’
Throughout this WFH process, my children have been my constant companions. My son attends online classes for his intermediate course, whereas my daughter attends her sixth-grade school video lessons. So all of us engage in our work. Since I’m a nature lover, I take my laptop to the balcony that overlooks the park during the day. Hence, it’s more of “working from the balcony” for me!
While at work—in the office—I preferred to walk up to my colleagues to get information rather than getting on a call with them. Typically, I used to run up and down the stairs to the third floor, at least 10 times a day, thereby burning extra calories. At home, I miss doing that.
At the same time, life during the whole WFH mode has been amazing. I have added 15 minutes to my walk (a total of 45 minutes), and my wife, my children, and I play badminton in the morning. The whole family has all three meals together, and we spend time watching old, popular Indian TV shows, like Ramayana and Mahabharata, which are being broadcasted again. It gives me a chance to share my experiences when I initially watched the show, as a child, in the fifth standard.
Work for me right now is an amalgamation of cell phones, Skype, MS Teams, and Webex. Now, I’m entirely at ease with the concept of WFH and am thoroughly enjoying it.
Even as I look forward to being back at my desk, I am using this time to focus on my well-being and my family. In short, I genuinely love every minute of it!