"Work from Home", a facility which we all must have availed at some point in time as per our convenience and I am no exception to it. I have seldom enjoyed it whenever I was not able to or did not have the willingness to go through the hassle of driving all the way to office in the middle of heavy traffic and preferred working remotely and conveniently from home instead. Especially when my work was more of solitary activity where no teamwork was needed like finishing documentation.
Never in my wildest dream did I imagine that I’ll be forced to work from home and not just me or my office, my city or nation but the whole world, to an extent that moving out from home even for basic essential supplies will be minimized or completely restricted. But being one amongst people of this era, I am not just a witness to this unparalleled or unprecedented occurrence but also a victim. All because of COVID-19 pandemic which started slow from a single location in some corner of the world and in no time took the whole world by storm.
Work from home had always been a happy option for me for a day or 2 and I had ample time to plan it so that my work goes on smoothly from home, but this time not only was it forced but was so sudden that it did not give any time for any planning. Thanks to the foresightedness and pre-planning of our management that we got the time to at least facilitate the employees by distributing laptops and internet connections so that they could work from wherever they are otherwise the situation could have been worse at this time of crises.
I was quite apprehensive initially when, in anticipation of danger of infection, I voluntarily opted to work from home, which later on proved to be a sane decision when it became mandatory for all and got extended too. My apprehension was that I was not sure how I'll manage work from home and do all the team coordination, client communications, review meetings, doubt solving sessions, etc. So the thought of projects in hand, clients, deadlines everything started giving me jitters but then I convinced myself thinking that all this will end soon. Little did I know that it was just the beginning until the lockdown was made mandatory and announced nationwide…it was not an option anymore but a necessity.
My early few WFH days were miserable because of increase of my daily activities as lockdown meant social distancing which included “no domestic help” in addition to many other things. Absence of my maid increased activities in my daily task list like dusting, cleaning, etc. My clock was also confused with so many daily activities within same span of the day and many of these had to be finished before my office started at 9:30 am. But the things were not as grave as they may sound because there were many other blessings in disguise like there was no more a rush to get ready for office, to pack tiffin for myself, spouse and kids, and the best out of all. no more driving to office in middle of heavy traffic which, for me, had never been less than fighting a battle every morning and evening.
So, my biggest hurdle first was to manage multiple activities in less time which I took as a challenge and disciplined myself where, of course my “Time Management” skills came to my rescue. Then other challenge was to manage office activities from home. It was not just work from home now but was office at home which started well in the beginning but slowly problems like frequent load shedding, slow internet speed and other distractions and disturbances at home kept adding to my woes. Distractions and disturbances, got managed over the time and all it took was creating discipline amongst my family members as well who got used to having office atmosphere at home. For other obstacles which I had no control on, I learnt to live with their scarcity by making maximum use of those randomly interrupted amenities while they were available. Technology, the greatest blessing of today’s world proved to be the best pal during this trying time. Some amazing tools like MS Teams with its chat, calling and other collaboration features proved to be quite a help to coordinate with team and colleagues as if they were sitting next to me in the same office.
I have discovered the importance of Company Intranet and other important collaboration features while working from home. Thanks to Titan Workspace Intranet that allows to me to access all my documents, projects and tasks within MS Teams. Go-Global is another application that allows me to access my datacenter applications more securely without even visiting my office.
With all these resources and tools, my work from home continues to get smoother and seamless and I am actually enjoying it now. In fact, the new problem which I foresee now will be to get back into the habit of working from office leaving all these conveniences.