Covid-19 pandemic not only has redefined our way of life but it has forced businesses across the globe to adapt to new work culture. The concept of physical presence in the office is fast evaporating and this trend has the potential to change the dynamics of traditional work place. In order to understand how young professionals are adapting to the â€œnew normalâ€, Rising Kashmirâ€™s Correspondent Bisma Mir spoke to a few professionals who shared their experiences.
Wamik Fida is a staff writer, content management systems (CMS) manager, and editor at a digital publishing company based, Valsef headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
Wamikâ€™s shift begins at 3:00 in the afternoon and sometimes ends in the middle of the night. But thatâ€™s not to say heâ€™s overburdened with work, itâ€™s just the difference of time zones that force him to stay awake at night in order to correspond with his peers, and bosses in real-time.
Though Wamik doesnâ€™t have any domestic duties, his piano playing is a religious duty, no less. â€œMozart and Bach melt my tension right away. Nothing works like classical symphonies when it comes to beating stress and taking your mind off of things.â€
Wamik believes working from home is quite flexible and offers a great degree of freedom. â€œAs someone who prefers multi-tasking, I've found that it has done wonders for my productivity and helped me thrive further.â€
Speaking further about the work from home setup, he notes, â€œAlthough spontaneous collaboration that office work offers is important, it's nothing that technology can't help bypass.â€
Mahim Khan is a data scientist in the making, currently working as Project Associate with the Sustainable Cities and Transport program at WRI India. She is based out of Bengaluru and is engaged with projects on Station Access and Mobility Program (STAMP). Her work revolves around understanding Public transport usage through Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Passenger Travel Patterns.
Mahim says sheâ€™s lucky to have had a gender-neutral upbringing. â€œMy parents never gave me second-class treatment owing to my gender. My needs and demands were as important as my elder brotherâ€™s and sometimes more important, just to equalize the inequalities in the socio-economic spectrum.â€
According to Mahim, work from home saves transport and rental money. â€œItâ€™s all about comfort and convenience and the word I would easily associate with it is â€˜Flexible.â€
Mahim, born and brought up in the heart of the City, is intimately connected to her roots and looks for Kashmir wherever she goes. She loves the fashion, the street food, and the scenic spots in Kashmir. Every once in a while sheâ€™ll drive off either to Gulmarg or to Pahalgam to blow off the steam. Although she loves her homeland, she also misses her colleagues and the general work atmosphere that comes with an office setting.
â€œWork from home has a negative impact on peopleâ€™s mental health,â€ says Mahim. â€œSince we sit in front of our laptops, all day long without an end in sight, I can't help but feel hopeless. It also comes with a major disadvantage. I now have fewer opportunities to socialize and network,â€ she further adds.
Kousain Qadri loves the occasional Tujj, or a hot plate of Momos while working. Since Kashmir now has food delivery in place, it makes work from home somewhat bearable for her.
Although Kousain is intimately connected with her roots, she wouldnâ€™t mind the absence of pesky relatives from her life. â€œThey want to know every little personal detail that they feel they are entitled to,â€ she remarks. Kousain, a resident of Shehr-e-Khas, says her room is a gathering place for all relatives. â€œWe have people over all the time, and itâ€™s one of the positives about staying home. Sometimes itâ€™s best to avoid meeting people, but since things have normalized I like seeing my cousins around.â€ She just hopes people start minding their own business.
â€œSure, work from home has its perks but I desperately want to go back to pre-covid times. My health took a toll in this lockdown. My lifestyle is a wreck, which has also damaged my mental health, which in turn has completely killed my motivation and any drive to be productive,â€ she says.
Â Kousain has been working on a travel book and part of her job is to research history and the artifacts and monuments that got lost in time. Although sheâ€™s less than pleased to work from home, she wouldnâ€™t want to move out of the Valley. For her, Kashmir means everything and sheâ€™s deeply connected to her roots, as well.
Simer Kaur Sethi is a professional makeup artist, a content creator, and someone who loves being her own boss. Simerâ€™s content is top-notch, up there with all the famous international beauty bloggers. Her collection of skincare is impressive and she wonâ€™t hesitate to give you skincare advice, especially because the pandemic has taken a toll on peopleâ€™s self-image.
Simer loves skincare and makeup artistry. She can be found on Instagram providing excellent skincare advice to people and because of her, so many have upped their skincare game. Simer loves to watch Michelle Wongâ€™s Lab Muffin Beauty Science - a YouTube channel that explains the science behind beauty and cosmetic products, explained in an easy-to-understand way by a scientist and science educator.
â€œIn my opinion, I feel work from home is the future and even after the pandemic, the work culture would remain the same. It has given all of us so much time to reflect and strike a balance between work and personal life,â€ she notes.
Simer also loves the flexibility that comes with work from home. â€œThe work timings are flexible and it has made it so much easier to explore more and even to follow our passions side by side. I believe if the employee is delivering what's required whether they are in office or not shouldn't really matter,â€ she further adds.