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Millennials in pursuit of happiness during the pandemic

Whether it is spending time with family or taking to holistic fitness activities—a recent study highlights how professionals across age groups have responded to the covid-19 lockdowns

The study mentions that 59 per cent of the millennials took to a physical or mental fitness activity to keep themselves healthy and happy. Photo: Carl Barcelo on Unsplash
The study mentions that 59 per cent of the millennials took to a physical or mental fitness activity to keep themselves healthy and happy. Photo: Carl Barcelo on Unsplash

'Unprecedented' is a word we hear often with respect to the pandemic. It has disrupted the world as we knew it, ushering in newer ways of coping and living. One of the biggest changes for professionals has been adapting to a work-from-home (WFH) routine, and balancing their personal and professional lives. In the early days of the pandemic last year, especially during the first nationwide lockdown, people had to learn to manage their work deadlines and domestic chores. For some, it was daunting, while others preferred working from home and cutting down on the commuting time.

And with the pandemic still raging high, and people continuing their WFH routine, some interesting trends have emerged. According to a November 2020 report by McKinsey, titled the Future of Remote Work, "The virus has broken through cultural and technological barriers that prevented remote work in the past, setting in motion a structural shift in where work takes place, at least for some people." The authors analysed the potential for remote work in a range of countries such as China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, UK and the US, and found that it is highly concentrated among highly skilled, highly educated workers in a handful of industries, occupations, and geographies.

Also read: How firms are dealing with unvaccinated employees

In urban India, people in these select industries have continued to adapt to this routine in unique ways. Godrej Group's latest survey Little Things We Do highlights how professionals across the demographics have balanced WFH. This research has been undertaken by Innovative Research Services, and is based on interviews with residents of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Indore, Kochi and Lucknow. It shows that professionals, across age groups, have veered towards altruism during the pandemic. While most of the Gen Z and Gen X respondents have preferred to engage in socially responsible activities such as distribution of sanitisers, food packets and medicines during the lockdowns, the millennials have decided to focus on environmentally-conscious choices.

The respondents have tried to find happiness in small ways through the pandemic—whether it is through home-cooked meals, or enrolling for activities like yoga, Zumba, or meditation to keep themselves healthy and happy. Some even started cooking as a form of positive therapy. 36 percent of those interviewed have managed to spend more time with family while 29 per cent of the respondents have taken regular breaks through the day to destress.

Also read: A slow living, which is all heart

However, some participants have not taken to sanitisation protocols inspite of the awareness campaigns. “There is a scope improvement in the area of hand and product sanitisation as only 86 per cent of respondents said they are sanitising their hands or things as a measure to stay healthy and happy. This does requires a concerted effort from all of us to raise the bar of personal hygiene further," says Sujit Patil, vice president and group head (corporate brand and communications), Godrej, 

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