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Visakhapatnam: Work from home is not a convenient setting for all

A couple bonding over cooking in Visakhapatnam
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A couple bonding over cooking in Visakhapatnam

Highlights

  • Having to take care of both domestic needs and professional work, some women complain that they are overburdened during the pandemic
  • V Nishita, a working mom, says it has become an extremely energy-sapping exercise for her ever since she had opted for WFH
  • While many women are trying to get accustomed to the ‘new normal’, most of the time, those working from home are facing a tough situation as their work load has almost doubled both at personal and on professional fronts
  • However, some couples point out that the WFH has enabled them to bond over household chores and spend quality time with kids at home

Visakhapatnam: V Nishita has her hands full these days. Right from 6 am to 11 pm., her schedule appears to be tightly packed.

Washing utensils to attending to laundry work, chopping veggies to cooking, filling water in the bottles to cleaning the kitchen and, of course, the three chores go without saying – dusting, sweeping and mopping the floor. "All the tasks have to be handled while focusing on my office projects simultaneously. I feel it's not enough even if I had five pairs of hands. Ever since I opted for WFH (work from home), it has become an extremely energy-sapping exercise for me," rues Nishita, a working mom.

Nishita is not the sole woman reeling under the pressure of WFH. Like her, some of the women share their struggle with The Hans India. "My husband is working from home for a US-based company. Since his shift starts at 7 pm., it ends mostly in the wee hours of the day. After which, he needs to take rest. Obviously, I cannot ask him to share the daily chores in the morning as he may not be able to focus on work later. So, it's always me who takes the load both at home and in the office," explains R Amrutha, another working woman, now on WFH.

While many women are trying to get accustomed to the 'new normal', most of the time, those working from home are facing a tough situation as their work load has almost doubled both at personal and on professional fronts.

Though there are advantages that WFH offers such as cutting down on travel expenses, slipping into a comfortable informal dressing, balancing work-life, flexible timings, among others, the flip side of the new normal has its own demerits too. With many preferring to discontinue engaging a domestic worker, a majority of women at home end up shouldering additional responsibilities than ever before.

But, of course, there are a few exceptions. The one-and-a-half-year long pandemic made Sailaja Singh and Dinesh Singh, construction manager for an MNC, bond over household chores. The couple not only learnt the art of sharing every work at home but also enjoyed the process thoroughly. "There is so much bonding that takes place when we share work at home, dine together, focus on our profession, walk in the evening and watch television. When I am cooking, my husband sweeps and mops the floor. When I wash clothes, he cleans the utensils and yes, we do take turns. And when I am exhausted, my husband gets me a steaming cup of coffee," elaborates Sailaja Singh, a mother of two boys and a freelance interior designer.

Experts say that sharing equal responsibility has plenty of advantages. "Instead of pointing fingers and indulging in the blame game, couples should divide chores, finish them off and settle for work. Shunning their social media addiction, those on WFH can share responsibilities, spend quality time with children and bond over 'real' family time because this is the best opportunity they are bestowed with," recommends Pragna Mitra, lecturer of Clinical Psychology at Government Hospital for Mental Care.

All it takes is proper planning and time management, emphasises the Clinical Psychology lecturer.

While some couples indulge in nagging each other and cribbing all the time, a few know how to make better use of time, bonding over responsibilities.

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