Offices of the pre-pandemic era may soon be relics, if employees have their way. A recent survey, Randstad Employer Brand Research 2021, which included 190,000 participants across the world, found that 52% of employees prefer working remotely to going to the office again. More than 84% of those who work from home said they felt “more loyal” because of the way the company managed the covid-19 crisis.
Early last year, as the pandemic spread, working from home seemed like a temporary fix but it may now be here to stay. According to Microsoft’s first annual Work Trend Index, released last month, 74% of employees in India want more flexible remote work options. However, 73% also said they craved in-person meetings with colleagues.
One thing is certain: the world of work has changed in ways we could never have imagined. While we miss the camaraderie of the office, we have come to enjoy the flexibility of working from home. Mint asked a section of workers whether they prefer the office or home, and it seems like what started as a short-term solution has turned into the preferred way to work.
Also read: Has work become our ‘safety bubble’?
VIBHANSHU JAIN, 28, ANALYTICS MANAGER, GURUGRAM
I work the same number of hours and am more productive at home. It’s also given me more flexibility. I’d wanted to shave my head but had never had the courage to experiment with my looks. While working from home, I could try it. I am growing my beard too. I can attend to my morning work calls while exercising. If the weather is nice, I can go for a run in the middle of my work day. All of this is possible because am not in office.
PARICHER TAVARIA, 39, CREATIVE DIRECTOR (ADVERTISING), MUMBAI
Work-from-home has put me in a happier place. What could be more relaxing than having my dog sleep on my feet while I finish a presentation? Or my parrot sitting on my shoulder while I type. I work so that I can provide a better home for my children, dog and parrot. They are my priority. I had moved closer to my workplace to cut my commute and would go home at lunch to feed them. Work-from-home makes it even easier to attend to them.
TEJINDER PAL SINGH, 39, FINANCIAL ADVISOR, DELHI
The work-from-home option has given me the luxury of being around my two-year-old son all the time, and not miss his milestones. I get to spend quality time with him throughout the day. I have become more productive when I am at home. There’s a time limit attached to a Zoom call and so meetings have become crisp and to-the-point. No unwanted chit-chat and casual banter.
NIKITA BEDI, 30, DATA ANALYST, DELHI
My marriage has benefited from the work-from-home option. It has given me more time with my husband and family. I got married seven months back, and the time at home has allowed me to be more mindful of my work and home. I know how things are managed at home, which wouldn’t have been possible if I was rushing to work every morning and returning tired only to have dinner and sleep.
ANAR SHUKLA, 40, PRODUCT DESIGNER, AHMEDABAD
I love the silence that comes with working from home. At my studio, which is also my office, there used to be too many distractions. At home, I am totally in control of my space. I have complete autonomy over my day. I can play with my three cats when I get bored. I can have a chat with my family when I want to take a break. I am able to conceptualise better. I am so much happier and stress-free while working from home.
MAYUR PURI, 45, SCREENWRITER & FILMMAKER, MUMBAI
Being a writer, I have always enjoyed working from home. Now when the entire world has adopted this option, people are paying extra attention to the home office. The warmth of a personal space is missing in a conference room, which is more clinical. Through video calls, I get to know what books others like, whether they have pets, how their workspace is arranged. It allows me to know the person better.
SUKHDEEP SANDHU, 28, BUSINESS ANALYST, PUNE
I can wake up at 11.30am for my 11am shift and still be on time. I can take a shower in the middle of the day. Also, I don’t have to dress up for work. It’s a big blessing, as I hate shopping, especially buying formal clothes. Also, I am more vocal during team meetings as the video is turned off and I don’t have to worry about what others are thinking. I am in my own cocoon when am working from home.
ANANYA BANAIK, 24, INFLUENCER MARKETING MANAGER, MUMBAI
Working from home has allowed me to start my own side gig. I make upcycled bucket hats and accessories and sell them through social media. Being at home, I am able to put more time into my venture. In office, this wasn’t possible. The time spent in taking small breaks from work is now utilised into creating something new. I could even complete a few online courses and upskill myself which wouldn’t have been possible if I were to go to office. So work from home is a complete win-win for me.