These days of work tensions drive many to entertain an idea of Working From Home (WFH). I was one such convert way back. Difficulty in commuting in the city drove me into this career shift. My commuting involved equal effort, time and money (if not more) vis-à-vis my job. This was when my office was found on Google maps nearer to the second station on my trip to my native place for a holiday.
Those toying with the idea of WFH would Google for some sites that promise ingenious ways and means of working from home that also reward handsome dividends. They would see beautiful models smiling with new success flowing on to the webpage. A day will not be far off to realize what mirages are made of; after they were fleeced of bait money paid through their noses online with hardly any promised dividend.
Before this major step in the career switch, I reflected over a profile of typical housewife: Well, she was a dignified worker, also WFH lady by nature. She took pride in her role as it should mean a lot to her self-respect. Solely she ran an establishment called household despite many sleeping (not working, I mean) partners. When a full-time homemaker chooses her position seriously, due to her sweet wish, love for family, or any traditional obligation, why did not I toe her line, even it was sitting in front of home computer all day (including nights).
Many critics of WFH sneered at my new innocent avatar in front of my home computer. Some spoke their bizarre conjectures:
1. You must be running a currency printing machine!
2. Well, you must be trading stock online!
3. Aren’t you tempting gullible jobseekers for nonexistent overseas jobs online?
4. Don’t spam ‘winner’ emails with spurious messages offering unbelievable sums in bogus lotteries in the name of big concerns.
These jealous lots did not know a WFH guy is holed up all day as a prisoner of his own destiny in house arrest, sweating out to make a measly living.
Goldsmiths, doctors, lawyers, astrologers, realtors, teachers at al. happened to be WFH professionals by tradition. Critics say that they were sticking to home only for the lack of sufficient institutions to accommodate them in the olden days.
Thanks to the explosion of Information and communication technology (ICT), professionals from the other fields also joined WFH bandwagon. This I found when I ran into a young man who moved to the neighboring apartment. I was surprised to learn he was a WFH guy on the payroll of an MNC. I thought his company let him be a WFH person, and saved on his cab fare, Air-conditioning and power, workstation, and lastly free coffee/tea on hourly basis.
The linked in Society may never know WFH professionals with all their distractions. A few find a mention here: 1.The working spouse keeps calling home ceaselessly and intermittently (using telephone/ mobile or both in addition to online chats) to check whether the maid servant had arrived, the dish on the burner turned off, the kids were approaching danger while playing, the old and infirm residents were falling in bathrooms or getting sick and needed ambulances. Other unpleasant things include attending to plumbing and carpentry repairs including killing of rare cockroaches. 2. The door-to-door salespersons knocking the door in quick succession duly knocking down the work in process.
Happily for WFH Professionals (WFHP), they can take their breaks and fix coffee, tea, or whatever liquid or postpone the deliverables for a live match of cricket on TV.
Regarding the downside of WFH, there is an understandable fear that maids/ neighboring tenants may think these guys are jobless or at worse, unemployable. A solution can counter this communication gap — place a board on the door that reads, ‘Beware of WFHP’, and it puts to rest those wild speculations.
The silver lining to WFH: none can guess rightly the earnings of WFHP (their better halves knew how meager it is). Secondly, WFHP can stay logged in round the clock to scan whatever stuff holds his fancy, depending on the respective age group of course.
Sadly, the family relations may turn sour since familiarity breeds contempt what with the same unshaven face popping up with drooping eyelids all day, thanks to the US/ UK timings.
All said the poor WFHP can never go home happily at the end of the day, any day in his seven-day week.