Some years ago, a video of Robert Kelly, an associate professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea, went viral. Kelly was live on BBC from his home office when his children barged into the room, demanding playtime. Working professionals across the world would find a lot relatable in that video. Especially in these lockdown work-from-home days!
To avoid kids, pets and other family members barging in during official video conferencing calls, work-from-homers are trying to find the most unorthodox places in their homes to work from, peacefully and undisturbed.
Tom Hanks, who has just recovered from a coronavirus infection, hosted this weekend's edition of Saturday Night Live from his kitchen. “It is good to be here, though it’s also very weird to be here hosting Saturday Night Live at home,” Hanks said in the monologue from his kitchen.
WFH no longer fun
Working from home (WFH) sounded like fun initially. Now, two weeks into the lockdown that has been extended for another two, some people have decided to take their work to the bathrooms while many others prefer to lock themselves in the closet for hours to finish work. Then there are still others who prefer the balcony or even the storeroom.
Thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, most professionals with the WFH option have woken up to the fact that the office is perhaps where one can indeed work peacefully, fully focused. WFH has transformed into a challenge, especially so for parents who have to balance the demands of work and home life.
Actress-turned-producer Tara Sharma shared a video on her social media page, explaining how being stuck at home with her family has driven her to use her bathroom as office space. In the video, she can be seen in the bathroom with her cell phone and laptop, getting her work done, even as the screams of her kids can be heard from outside.
“This isn’t every day but once in a while,” she explains in the video. “Of course, I love our kids and family more than anything and generally our #workfromhome new set up is going smooth, but sometimes if hectic I do find myself finding a new quiet workspace like this sic).”
Finding office space at home
Seeing how the bathroom is the last haven of privacy for Tara, people on social media began opening up about the different places they like to work out of.
Actress Lakshmi Manchu says, “Surprisingly, I’ve been sitting in my closet in my bedroom. It is cool enough and the lighting is right for me to do videos and all of that which I cannot do anywhere else in the house. This feels like my own office space as it is a tiny room and I can just shut it. Though it has been very different for me, I have been enjoying it, and I’ve been wondering that I may have found a new spot for even after quarantine!”
When entrepreneur Tejaswini, daughter of Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary, needs to work, her bedroom doubles up as her quiet room. “It is hard for mothers, the world over to look after families and to still put in hours at a job. But times are difficult right now. The only way out is to go through it. At least we have homes and bathrooms. Unlike so many others. We have to look at life with a sense of humour. Too much seriousness will get you down. If you can find some inner peace it shows up in your daily world. My household has settled into quite a nice routine. I meditate a lot, do yoga, cook and find that we humans can adjust to almost any situation. I’ve learnt that it’s more important to be in control of our inner world than the outer,” Tejaswini tells us.
Quite like Tejaswini observed, many have found and have stuck their routines even through these disruptive times. For instance, Mounika Manikonda, the regional head of sales at ICICI Bank., finds it business as usual even during the lockdown period. “I wake up like any other working day. Then I finish my cooking and feeding my kid breakfast, bathe and freshen up by 9.00 am by when I have long calls to attend. Then there are more webinars to attend. My husband and I take turns with the kid when the other is on important calls. But sometimes, when the situation still goes out of control, I have to head to the balcony of the house to take my calls.”