Two sides of a coin: The perks and snags of working from home

This pandemic has drastically changed our lives. It has not only cost lives but also progress that we, as a world, would have achieved in two years. Everything came to a standstill and all we could do was stay home for our safety as well as for others. As much as we felt grateful for having a roof above our head to save us from the virus, we also feared about our future. What if schools and educational institutions never opened? What if the IT, corporates and the stock market fell altogether? What if the earth died of poverty? The air was filled with an overwhelming density of uncertainty and nobody had a clue about what to do.

That’s when technology decided to lend a hand and the entire world released a huge sigh. Dramatic, I know. But it really was such a dramatic shift from normalcy to the so-called “new normal”. Some of us are really annoyed by these new terms but it is important to understand how much of a help they had been during a time of absolute chaos. 

“Work from home”. Sounds familiar? Of course, if you are an inmate of this world with an ability to understand what is happening around you, this term is almost a part of your life. Laptops, desktops and smartphones moved from the status of being gadgets for communication to “necessary” ones on which our future depends.

School children wake up to their teachers teaching them algebra and the economy of America from the other side of the screen and people who go to office jobs schedule zoom meetings every day, waking up to the background of their colleagues’ homes instead of the huge table in a conference room. It all happened so quickly and smoothly that not many had a problem getting used to this routine. Some even prefer work from home over physically being present in a job. But is this all any good? 

If we look at the most obvious advantages for working from home, it would be as follows: 

Time saving – You don’t have to wake up at 6 AM, gulp down a mug of steaming coffee, cook for you or your family, pack breakfast and lunch, send them to wherever they are destined to go and then drive in the 9 AM traffic or catch that bus that is always late and overflowing with people like you.

Money saving – How could you ignore this? When you don’t have to drive or take a bus or a train, you save quite a reasonable amount of money. 

Privacy – Introverts are the happiest ones of all when it comes to the work from home set up It is extremely self explanatory why. 

Productivity– When you don’t have to do all that extra work and when you save time, you have more time to concentrate on how you perform at your job. This not only profits the organization you work for but also enhances your skills. 

Time for self and family– Instead of running behind deadlines and clients, you have the space and time to actually see where you stand when it comes to relationships. When you spend a lot of time together with people you love, there are chances that you would feel like your life is moving towards happiness. You also have a lot of time to discover and understand yourself better. This also improves your overall physical as well as mental health. 

While these are the advantages of working from home, it might come off as a surprise when I tell you that some of the above listed advantages are also disadvantages in some way. If you look into why time saving is a disadvantage, it is because you might not be able to easily get back on track when things become normal again. If you are someone who loves and is already used to working from home, the demand to get back to the office when lockdowns are released might become a huge challenge. 

Privacy can become a disadvantage when you are a very social person. This unwanted privacy might have a toll on your mental health and may make you feel very lonely. Productivity will be affected when you are suffocated by a lot of deadlines when you go back to the office. All the extra time you had at home will be occupied and your progress towards a promotion or a better salary will be lost. 

Work from home has both positive and negative effects like any other aspect in our lives. No one would want to disagree with the fact that this time has been really tough for some while better for others. While we are grateful for things that saved us from the destructive wrath of the pandemic, we should appreciate and accept whatever is thrown our way. Because, life is a mystery, isn’t it? 

Focusing on Literature and Lifestyle of the Urban Youth of the Country, LitGleam is a monthly magazine, an intrinsic part of BlueRose Publishers.

Within its pages, our readers find provocative essays on literature and lifestyle, guidance for getting published and pursuing writing careers, in-depth profiles of poets, fiction writers, and writers of creative nonfiction, and conversations among fellow professionals.