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Work from home: The new normal

The world is changing, and the ‘new normal’ is taking over. In this new world, wearing face masks is mandatory, washing hands is a necessity, public places are no longer open to the public, and the lines that separated work and home have blurred. These are not temporary shifts, waiting for the culmination of the pandemic so we can go back to our old lives. It’s a permanent transition, and sooner or later, everyone has to learn to accept and deal with this new normal and make the best out of it.

Among the many layers of change that the pandemic has left behind—so far—work from home is the most prevalent. First, it started as social distancing, arising from the need to save people from the infection. Then, it became a makeshift solution to avoid the impact of the oncoming recession. And now, work from home is at the doorstep of the future, where millions will work remotely from their homes and ‘work-life’ as we know it will change forever.

Perhaps, it is too soon to predict the future. But the wheel of change has already set in motion. Whether it’s the east or the west, organisations have begun to roll out their policies for work-from-home employees. Many are doing away with their office spaces and supplies to save money in this uncertain time.

For their people, Facebook and Google have implemented work from home through the end of 2020. Twitter and Square, on the other hand, have done the same, but for an indefinite period. Other firms—tech giants and start-ups alike—are also jumping on the work-from-home bandwagon, asking a better part of their workforce to do couch labouring.

The impetus behind such unprecedented measures ranges from less operational costs to higher retention. But the real benefits of work from home lie on the side of the employees who were stuck in the web of nine-to-five for years. Now, they have an unusual opportunity to escape to the uncharted territory of working from home that may have rough edges, but also a detour to rewarding work-life.

work from home

The satisfaction quotient and the desire to stick around with the company are also more when people work from home.

Better productivity, and a sense of satisfaction

Work-from-home is not a new concept. For years, researchers and experts have debated the upsides and downsides of this model. A recent survey by the Harvard Business Review has probably put this debate to rest. It found that people are willing to do overtime while working remotely. The satisfaction quotient and the desire to stick around with the company are also more when people work from home.

You know your home and the comfort it brings. For a tired mind working for long hours, home is like your personal sauna—there is no one to distract you or calling your name from a distance. In an instant, your tiredness can evaporate and the mind can rejuvenate. This is how individuals can work more, with efficiency, sharp focus, and better productivity.

It saves the trip and the expenses

When you work from home, you don’t have to travel anywhere. This is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when we think of working from home. No long hours of commute, no bus or train pass, no need for parking tickets, no need to refuel your car in the morning, and no more traffic. In the long run, these savings can compound to a bigger amount. Not just money, you save ample time too.

Peace for your mind and body

“The first wealth is health,” said American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. When we work from the office, health is the first thing that gets side-lined. Due to gruelling work hours, long meetings, and endless interactions, we often skip lunch and survive on coffee. The stress begins to eat us from the inside and keeps on devouring until the day ends. The next morning, the cycle repeats.

Work from home removes all the rust left behind by stress. You have the therapeutic comfort of your home to work from. There are no distractions or commotion. It’s a haven for your mind. And when it comes to eating healthy, well your kitchen and refrigerator are only at an arm’s distance. You can create a fitness regime by storing healthy snacks, adding breaks to your schedule, and even making time for a workout.

When it comes to mind and body, working from home is the best bet that can take care of both, at the same time.

work from home

With no commuting and flexible working hours, you can finally do more of what you enjoy.

More time to do what you like

Work is not life. It’s a necessity that pays your bills and allows you to grow. Owing to its importance, however, work consumes a lot of your time. From leaving your home for work to coming back, most of the day is gone, leaving less time for your hobbies.

Hobbies are what pave the way for unwinding and at times your true calling. It’s what your heart truly desires. Earlier, spending time doing what you like was difficult if not impossible. Now, with no commuting and flexible working hours, you can finally do more of what you enjoy. Write a script, learn to cook, read books, work on your fitness—with working from home, the world is your oyster.

It patches the environment

More than humans, work from home is a gift for the environment. The effects of social distancing and the lockdown on the climate were awe-inspiring. No one had imagined, the environment will begin to heal this quickly. Now, with work from home on the verge of becoming indefinite, there are only good days waiting for the environment.

Since we won’t be commuting five days a week, carbon emission will reduce significantly. Along with air pollution, noise pollution too will decrease as fewer vehicles will leave their home premises. The offices will be less crowded, which means a significant cut down of power consumption. And since we all will be working from home, a huge amount of food and plastic waste will get eliminated from the system as well.

Even if 10 percent of what we can predict comes true, the fight against climate change can soon culminate in victory.

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