By Ravi Singh Negi
Covid -19 has brought many changes in human behaviour and culture as a whole. Working culture has also changed with a big boost to ‘Work From Home’ culture. Every change has its own pros and cons – the same is true with WFH. Besides having a few disadvantages it has more advantages, especially when it comes to the working of women who are engaged in child rearing and looking after home management with household chores. Most of the qualified women have an intense desire to pursue a career to utilise their earned qualifications and become self-reliant to support their family, but it seems difficult after marriage, where they have to share lots of responsibilities according to the expectations of family members. After the birth of child(ren), they find it almost impossible to work in an office outside the home. Ultimately she has to compromise on with her job or home, if both cannot go together successfully. WFH is not necessarily a 9 to 5 job, manytimes one can utilise one’s spare time also in completing the office job. Supporting one’s family financially while staying at home with children is an advantageous situation that cannot be compensated with any amount of money. One is also safe from office nonsense and various types of violence and crimes against women at the workplace. WFH reduces absenteeism as, at home, one can work even during minor illness. It also satisfies one’s desire to do a job and also gives the confidence of self-reliance. It also helps you in maintaining one’s status in society.
WFH saves money, commute time, on clothing expenses and protects one’s health from outside food. In addition, it allows one to supervise children personally even if they are in the hands of a caretaker at your home. During breaks, you can engage with the child and provide emotional support and a sense of security. Also, you are always there to meet some emergency. It also keeps one away about the tension of home and child which is inevitable when one is away from home for long hours on the job.
While working from home you have fewer distractions and reduced home tension, which helps in better concentration on the job. Saved commute time brings very valuable benefits like additional sleep, spending more time with family, exercising or preparing meals of one’s choice.
However, while enjoying these benefits one has to face the very challenging task of coordinating with the job and family environment. One needs to have a proper distraction free place at home to work from. Additionally, these types of roles require very high degree of self-discipline and motivation, enough to manage time responsibly and complete tasks in time. Family members have to be very supportive and should not consider WFH to be easy – it is as difficult as being in office. In fact, it is more challenging as the person is doing two jobs together, more than a member who is working outside. A woman also needs space for herself and emotional support and appreciation from other family members. Her household chores, tension and stress should be shared. She should never be made to feel that she is working at the cost of others. Instead, her working on two fronts should be taken as her sacrifice for the family. On the other hand, a woman working from home should also realise she is able to work on two fronts due to the support of her family members and it is not a one sided favour.