2 years ago, who would have thought that even architects could have the ‘privilege’ of a work from home lifestyle. It practically seemed impossible, for obvious reasons. I used to hear my friends boast about their fancy telecommuting life. But work from home as an Architect looked like a farfetched dream, too good to be true!
After the Covid-19 pandemic hit, things changed. My firm told me to work remotely. I was super thrilled. I almost thought that the universe was in my favor. Little did I know that my imagination was going to be dashed by reality.
With that being said, here is how my work from home lifestyle had an impact on me.
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Let’s face it. All of us who travel at those peak hours of the day have been anxious with the idea of that daily traffic. So, avoiding this battle was a win for me, with the bonus of not having to spend any money on travel. (I mean, who doesn’t enjoy saving those extra bucks?)
Despite it all, to work and spend leisure time indoors is a challenging task. Change in the scenery kept the mind in focus with our jobs.
As an architect, more often than not, my work requires me to be creative. With an open schedule and no distractions that come with a work from home life, I channelized the creative side of my brain to its maximum potential.
Although meeting deadlines was mandatory, I worked when I was most productive and wore what I was the most comfortable wearing.
To attend the google meets in pajamas had become my thing. Let me set the record straight. Whoever has resumed working from their office misses their pajamas.
A curse of work from home life is that you are always available. It was funny how losing track of time in the workflow made me feel like I was always working. I have literally lost count of the extra hours I’ve put in working on a project.
An Architect’s job requires a significant amount of creative brainstorming and sitting in front of a computer throughout the day, can take a toll on anyone’s work performance. Work from home as an Architect gave me time to focus on improving my architecture and non-architectural skills. This helped me stay motivated in those tough times.
Conversely, finding the perfect balance between your professional and personal life becomes a tedious task, as you are staying where you work. *In a scenario like this, where separating them becomes unattainable. *
With no commute time and those flexible work timings, I was certainly spending more quality time with my family. This work situation has helped many families to reconnect, although we could not go anywhere out.
With all things considered, while working, this acted as a distraction for most of us, for we had to put in extra efforts to concentrate on our work.
We have not experienced a healthy social life in almost 2 years now because of this work from home life and the lockdown.
Those coffee breaks, in-person team discussions, and broadly the whole office-based camaraderie lightened the atmosphere while working. Checking up on a colleague just to take a break use to help in morale-boosting.
With no work environment around, it was challenging to keep the office morale intact. It was hard to establish connections with newer colleagues when there was no face-to-face interaction.
While some industries received incentives and grants for working from home, we, the Architects in India, were facing pay cuts. (This is a very underrated topic according to me, but a discussion for another day.)
As an architect, designing is an integral part of our lives. And designing in itself is a very collaborative process. With that said, any communication gap, any technical glitch, meant redoing the tasks assigned.
The lockdown came as a surprise for most of us, and as Architectural firms had no experience with how to function virtually, we lost the first few months just figuring the telecommuting world out.
Although it got easier as time passed, the collaborative experience had its own perks.
In Covid-19 times, amidst the talks of depression and anxiety, most of us have been practicing meditation and mindfulness, increasing our efficiency.
If we check the statistics, there are many advantages of telecommuting. But this has happened at the cost of losing our work-life balance.
Weighing the banes and boons of remote working, however, hunky-dory the idea of work from home lifestyle might seem, as an Architect, I would choose to be in my office, in my cubicle, with my colleagues anytime.
And, maybe, at times, from the comfort of my home chair (now that I have a newfound bond with it.)
What would you prefer? Work from home or work in the office. Let us know in the comments below.