No office parties, no potluck lunches, no water cooler gossip sessions, and no (frequent) chai- sutta breaks – 2020 has completely changed the way we work. Work from Home (WFH) became the norm and we all became tiny little tiles on each other’s screens. But with the vaccination program in full swing and things slowly moving back to normal, offices are calling employees back.
However, is everyone ready for it? What do employees really want?
Sonalika, who works with a leading digital education company, tells us, “WFH has definitely made me more productive and saved me from a wasteful long-ass commute. But I do miss the mental switch-off and creativity that comes from being around people. I think going to the office on alternate days is the best way to go about it.”
Karan, on the other hand, wants WFH to continue forever. “Once the lockdown lifted, I started going on workcations and I have never felt more at peace in my life. I can live in a new place for a longer period of time, absorb the culture, and all I need to get my work done is a 4G dongle and laptop. Who wants to stop?”, says this 26-year old corporate graphic designer. (Well, it does sound convincing). Then again, there are people who are tired of WFH and want to return to office full-time.
Aarti, 33, works as a financial analyst and the office was the only space she could have social interactions at. With that gone and the additional burden of household chores, her mental health is in shambles and she is more than eager to go back to office. “I am done, just done. End this nightmare already”. We hear you, Aarti.
A rare breed of employees is happy to, literally, work from home forever. No workcations or anything, they have got the support and the space to work in peace. Manoj Jain is an investment banker who’s managed to triple his income, all due to WFH. “It might sound insensitive, but 2020 has been an excellent year for me. I have made more money last year than I did in the past 5 years combined. I keep a healthy routine and have no distractions, no commute, no decision-making about what to wear, it’s simply so chill.” Whoever said money can’t buy happiness has apparently not met Mr. Manoj.
So, back to the office or WFH? Every employee has their own experience and perspective. Looking at the responses, we think a hybrid model is the best way to go about it. Give everyone a choice and they will probably make the right one for themselves.