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The New Norm of Working from Home During 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic in Pakistan: Is It Wonderful or Overrated?

The New Norm of Working from Home During the Coronavirus Crisis 2020 in Pakistan: Is It wonderful or overrated?

With the worsening 2020 Corona-Virus pandemic in Pakistan, companies advised employees to work from home. This ensured employees’ safety as well as the continuation of business as usual. However, the new norm of working from home is not a viable option for everyone! Why?

With the trend of working from home, most of the people still miss clocking in and out from 9 to 5 at their offices. Dressing up, getting ready, commuting to work, face-to-face human interactions, no matter how much they hated it. It was a part of their daily routine. Now when that routine is broken, it is causing them inconvenience. With pyjamas on, hand sanitizer nearby, they are trying to get plenty of work done, but lack of stimulation, household hurdles, a face-to-face interaction with a work related human is making them lazy, less productive and less creative. If it all sounds like you, then you are a work-from-office evangelist, just like me!

I may sound crazy to the other types of quarantined workers who are highlighting the benefits of avoiding the office. No commuting to work, no loud colleagues, no idle chatter around, working in pyjamas, home cooked food, taking care of families and what’s not to love? Sounds like a work-from-home evangelist, eh? Could be you, easily charmed into being ‘homebound’!

In this article, I am going to highlight the best and the worst of ‘why working from home is wonderful or overrated’!


Working from home is wonderful

1. You Work, Love and Play

Work-life balance is one of the biggest advantages of working from home. For example, you can leave for doing quick household chores, rejuvenating naps or playing with kids and can get back the lost time by working a little longer into the evening from your home. This way, you improve work-life balance, which makes it wonderful to work from home.


2. You Are Insanely Productive

Most of the people believe that working at the office increases productivity, but how to stay focused with noisy and disruptive colleagues, who are catastrophic for productivity? This is one of the main reasons why working from home is wonderful as you have no such distractions that are confined to the office environment only.


3. You Feel More Independent

Working from home benefits you much more than getting to work with messy hair and pyjamas on. It teaches you self-motivation and enforces self discipline in your life.


4. You Get Rid of Hellishly Long Commutes

When you work from home, you don’t have to deal with long commutes in cities such as Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi or wherever you are, commuting can add 5-9 hours or even more onto the work week.


5. You Can Work at Your Own Pace

If your company allows you to choose two Ws of where and when to work on your own, you can be sure when your creativity and productivity is at its peak. Another reason why working from home is wonderful.


6. You Have The Best Remote Work Tools

In the time of the coronavirus crisis, powerful remote work tools like Slack, Asana, Trello, Google hangouts, Microsoft Teams and many others are enabling you to work remotely with the same efficiency and productivity as you show at the office. No matter if you are work for a digital marketing agency like Urban Arts or a fashion retail brand in Pakistan, everybody is taking the maximum advantage of these remote tools.


7. You Save Money

One of the biggest cost savings is commuting cost. You are not traveling to the office, which means more free time. You are also paring down spending on coffee, tea, biscuits, lunches and a professional wardrobe (What to wear tomorrow?). So is working from home not wonderful?


8. Your Wellness

Companies are protecting their employees from getting infected from coronavirus. One infected person in the workplace can infect the whole workforce. Thus, businesses are advising employees to work from home. This practice is not only helping the business to operate as usual during the pandemic, but also helping them to protect their employees.


All these reasons like setting your own time, free from commuting, taking care of your family, flexibility and convenience make it wonderful to work from home, but it is not the best option for many people who enjoy face to face interactions and bouncing ideas off their colleagues. So let’s dive deep to see what makes working from home sucks!

Working from home is overrated

1. Favors, Favors, Favors- Because You Are at Home

Your family knows that you are working from home, but they might ask you to do house chores or favours because you are at home. For ladies, from making food, doing dishes, making chai (about every other 30 minutes), cleaning the house, eating into your work time (when you have a sweet mother who brings you food every other hour), taking care of kids to pet distractions (why so cute?) and the list goes on. It goes the same for men from eating into work time, to taking care of kids, doing the shopping, pick and drop services, bringing water from filtration plants and what not. Obviously, you won’t mind doing all of these jobs when you are free, but you mind, when you are working. Tell ‘em people working from home does not mean that I am watching shows on Netflix or playing games!


2. Your internet Is Down/ No Internet Package Left

I am sure this one drives you up the wall because when your internet is down or you have consumed all of your internet data, you’re in a hopeless situation. If you face such a situation at the office, you are less worried because you and your team are all in the same boat. When you are working from home and the internet goes down, it means you can’t work. Literally!


3. You Miss Out on Real-Life Human Interactions

When you are working from home, it means working alone. It reminds me of a famous drama dialogue, ’main hoon, aur mere sath bhi main hoon’.
You could be the one bouncing ideas off colleagues, talking to prospects and existing clients, pitching and closing deals, but all you do is to talk to your laptop and get tired and bored of staring at the same walls, you are missing out on face-to-face interactions.


4. No Collaboration

It’s cliché, but true that many people working together in the same room are better, creative with more innovative thinking than the remote collaborators. When you work in an office, you can brainstorm many ideas and tend to solve problems quicker with your team. Even Steve Jobs, inventor of the iPhone, was not a fan of remote working. “Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions,” Jobs said. “You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow’ and soon you are cooking up all sorts of ideas.”
Clearly, it can’t be done while you work from home because you end up talking to yourself only! Crazy!


5. Cost, Cost and Cost

Indeed, you save commuting costs, pare down spending on coffee, tea, biscuits, lunches and a professional wardrobe when you work from home. How about the trade-offs you face when you work from home such as maximizing and paying more for bandwidth to hold video calls and getting your tasks done. Usually, companies bear such expenses, but you have to bear them while working from home.


6. Your Home/Apartment Is Lesser Ideal Workspace

If you do not have a desk with a proper office, you will have constant back pain. When you are home, your family wants to talk to you, it becomes really hard for you to create boundaries and to hold meetings with boss, clients and partners!

Furthermore, you miss out on face-to-face meetings. There are some amazing tools like Microsoft teams, Skype, Google Hangouts which can be used for online meetings with clients, but it is not going to spell the same magic as face-to-face interactions have on your potential client or partner. You will be needing a proper formal setting to build trust and a good impression on your clients and partners.


Conclusion:

On one hand, we have work-from-home evangelists who are happier to work from home during 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic in Pakistan. They know many ways to get into social contact even when they are working from home. On the other hand, we have a work-from-office evangelist, who hates working alone. I am one of them and I can’t wait to go back to Urban Arts, my home-like office.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the new norm of working from home! Is it overrated or wonderful for you? I would love to hear from you! Please leave your comment below!

62 comments

  1. Safdar

    Excellent writing Anam. Keep it up and best of luck.

  2. Naz Afzal

    What a great article! If you’d asked me a few months ago, I would have said that, given the chance, I would probably prefer to work from home. But, now having tried it, I think I’m a work from office evangelist for sure. Too many distractions at home! Who’d have thought!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing your thoughts on ‘working from home’, Miss Naz! Being a work from office evangelist, I can totally relate to your situation right now. I hope everything gets settle down soon so we can go back to our offices, aah! Stay safe, dear!

  3. Anwar Hussain

    AOA Anum!

    Great efforts, your efforts are appreciated however for females it might be possible but i will say as per my observation they will be also effected due to routine household work disturbance and all over the world offices have own time, specially in Pakistan people work from morning 9 to 6 (government and private sector) however if you faced any problem or required information from client or principal , after office off time you might not be able to sort out your problem or collect information and sometime but usually we have deadlines which must be meet. Beside this there there are a lot of other causes and reasons which effect work. one must be social as well if you are at home, you must attend wedding parties, funeral, birthdays, social events because human is a social animal which effects office work. For the time being in emergency cases it is OK. i am agree however for long time office work need environment and each other helps. Once again thanks for your efforts and writing such useful blog in such busy routine life.

    • Woa! Thank you so much for your kind words and pouring out your thoughts about ‘working from home’, Mr. Anwar! I appreciate your observation and views on the good and the bad side of ‘working from home’ in the short as well as long term. Let’s try to stay productive when we are working from home and hope to get back to the office to be more productive, innovative and collaborative! Stay Safe!

    • Sadia naeem

      I probably support work in the office because In home for the crowdy areas people there is no quiet and sound proof privacy and work from home tasker are more stressed due to long working hours un define able

      • Hey, Sadia! Thank you so much for taking out time to share your thoughts. I can understand it becomes very hard to work when you have many distractions at home. Let’s hope everything gets back to normal soon! Stay safe!

  4. Noreen Kiani

    Very well written article. Well done Anam. Definitely working at the office. Only good thing working from home is avoiding commute. Otherwise too many distractions at home.

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate the compliment, Miss Noreen! I can totally relate to your opinion. There was a time in my life when commuting to work was adding around 10 hours onto the work week. I hated it back then, but now I am not dealing with long commutes. However, this reason is not enough to outweigh the negatives and distractions we face when we work from home! Let’s hope everything gets better soon! Stay safe!

  5. shah bilal

    good work

  6. Awais Khyzer

    Well said. if i talk about myself its such a useless sort of activity. As i am working as a faculty member in a reputable organization I am not feeling well while working from. i feel like i need physical interaction of students because during online lectures i cannot observe them properly. honestly speaking we are way behind from this technological advancement specially our educational system. Its a pure loss of everything.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on ’working from home’, Mr. Awais! I can totally understand where you are coming from and I agree with you. In order to teach online, you’ll need a perfect broadband speed, a webcam and headset and a list of equipment (which sounds problematic for a third world country like Pakistan). Also, technology can never replace the quality face-to-face interactions provide. Let’s hope for everything to get settled soon! Stay safe!

  7. Haider

    Good read. Let’s hope the situation normalizes and this doesn’t become the norm for long term.

  8. Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan

    Mashallah Api, you’ve got great potential of writing, don’t stop..!!

  9. Amna Javed

    Excellent work!
    Worth reading the article (very informative)
    100 % agreed with it and appreciate your work a lot
    Keep shining Anum !

    • Thank you so much for your time and generous comment, Miss Amna! I am glad that you found this article worth reading and informative. I hope we all get though this Coronavirus storm soon! Stay safe!

  10. Erum Sarwar

    Well Done!

  11. Gulrukh Atta

    Wow! It was such a good read and I could relate to it at so many levels. Great piece of writing Anam, welldone 👍

  12. Zainab Javed

    Very well written and much informative article . Must be relatable for so many readers. Keep up your good work and keep shining ♥️

  13. Rameesha Habib

    Excellent..very well written..!!👌🏻

    • Hey Mr. Usman! Thank you so much for taking out time to read this post, your ’thumbs up’ mean a lot! Stay Safe!

      • Laraib Khan

        Sallam sister
        Its a great article and very relateable piece of writing👍👍. I am sure many people can relate to this article during these pandemic times as its very relateable. Its an awesome piece of writing again great job.

        • Woa! Mr. Laraib, thanks a bunch for taking out time to give it a read and appreciating my hard work! They say time teaches everything, but who knew that quarantine time would teach us a lot more than what was already taught. I hope we all get through this Corona virus crisis soon! Thanks once again! Stay safe!

  14. Farhan

    Very well written🤙🏽

  15. Usama Kayani

    Very well written Anam. Entire article is top notch. It’s got mixture of all the emotion and you have all the traits of a good write. I always expected good work from you because of the person you are always paying attention to the details, disciplined and crystal clear about what you want. I hope to see you write many more. Best part ’main hoon, aur mere sath bhi main hoon’ stay safe and stay at home and stay with yourself.

    • Mr. Usama, thank you so much for taking out time, giving it a read and dropping me your generous comment! I loved the fact how you paid attention to every little part of this blog post and enjoyed ‘main hon, aur meray sath b hon’ part, aha! Thanks once again for kind words! Stay Safe!

  16. Omer atiq

    I was curious about how people in Pakistan were staying productive while in quarantine, I found this article very insightful. The part talking about being independent is by far my favorite, in these hards time it is hard to get motivated but getting work done on your own term is very satisfying and could lead to new skills for many people they will benefit from long term.

    • Hey Mr. Omer, thank you so much for taking out time, giving it a read and appreciating the hard work. I can totally understand where are you coming from and I agree with you. When you are independent, you have to enforce self discipline to get things done on your own. Once you get done, you feel satisfied and more motivated, indeed! Thank you so much for paying attention to every part of the post, stay safe!

  17. Farrukh

    Very well written!

  18. Arsh

    I think your views are quite accurate when it comes to working from home! Very well written, good luck and stay safe!

    • Hey Mr. Arsh, thank you so much for taking out time and acknowledging my work! I believe everything has its own pros and cons. Some part of us loves ‘working from home’ and some part of us loves ‘working from office! Let’s hope everything gets back to normal soon! Stay safe!

  19. Sadia khan

    Informative and impressive
    Keep it up 👍

  20. Naila Kayani

    wonderfully written article Anum. Keep writting and sharing your wonderful thoughts.

  21. Munib Rahman

    Very well written article!

    I would like to add that one other thing we also forget is spending more time with our family because we overwork ourselves, its our elderly and loved ones who are the most at risk and we need to ensure that they are taken care of in times like these.

    Its good to create a healthy balance between spending time working and ensuring that you are also enjoying the company of your family. Just as long as lines between both of these aren’t blurred, a healthy balance can be maintained!

    Looking forward to your next blog! Keep it up!

    • Hey Munib, thank you so much for the appreciation and highlighting the most important yet forgotten aspect of our life that there is a very delicate line between work and life, which should not be blurred! That’s how we can maintain a healthy work-life balance. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me, I loved them!

      And yes, I will publish my next blog for you soon, stay safe!

  22. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future
    as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal website now ;
    )

    • Hello, thank you so much for taking out time, giving it a read and making my day with your kind words. I am really glad that you liked it. I highly encourage you and support your idea of getting your own website. I am really excited to see you excel with your creativity! All the best and stay safe!

  23. Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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