We’d all jump at the chance of a work-from-home option. Well, wouldn’t we? An assumption often made is that they are a lot more relaxed; giving you time to focus on your other hobbies and interests. But is that really how it is?
A recent study published by New Baylor University contradicts previous studies which state that autonomy is a universal need that every human being possess. The study says, people with low emotional stability may not feel this need, it only adds on to the stress levels by working from home. We talk to city folks to find out their opinion on work from home jobs – the negatives and positives.
Emphasising on the importance of discipline and structure in such jobs, Debjani Mukherji Sarkar, an employee with Microsoft says, “As useful as it may be, work from home jobs are always a personal choice. I do work from home when I have the facility to and I am fully aware of the distractions that can come my way, but I balance it out. They demand a structure and discipline which most people tend to ignore. If it is not done in a disciplined manner it will not only affect the company but the individual too.”
Can you imagine handling a team of 15 from the comfort of your home? Well Mohammed Rafeeq certainly can’t. Working in a company that allows him to work from home on days when he is sick or has other obligations to pay heed to, he would rather take a day off when opposed to working from home.
He says, “Work from home jobs do offer a certain level of comfort, but at a price. I handle a team of 15, directing and monitoring them from my home requires double the man power. If they aren’t available on call or mail, I have to call another person who can put me in touch with him/her. It is a lot of time and energy that is wasted. While most people might take their job seriously even when I’m not around, a majority will choose to take it as a day to sit back and relax. Moreover, how can you come up with new ideas if you are going to restrict yourself to your own personal space and knowledge?”
Most people choose a work from home job because they don’t want to commute or because there is a difference in time zones or even if they have personal obligations that demand their time and presence. Maria Ezekiel, HR head for a private firm, is one such person who is completing her third year in a work from home job. She says, “One thing that most people don’t understand is the fact that a work from home job is mostly a full time and very demanding one. I get work calls at 11 in the night and six in the morning because there are no set working hours. It gets difficult for me to balance my work and personal life. I would much rather take up a 9-5 job where I can finish work and come back home to my own personal space.”
Commenting on the changing patterns in relationships and ways of work, Dr Sowrabha C, an assistant professor of sociology in Jain College, says “Youngsters today connect through a virtual world and lack the soft skills to have better inter-personal relationships. Their effort to build the team is missing. It affects the quality, involvement and commitment to the work, and it might not even be intentional. The fact is, what they visualise does not materialise. They might intend to do it but they don’t find time or the focus to pursue what they want to do.”