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Work From Home: A Feature Of The Pandemic Or Here To Stay?

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This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

The sudden changes due to Covid have caused a paradigm shift and pushed decision-makers to reorganize working arrangements. However, it took a few hours to reinvent themselves and start operating out of the employee’s home. It promotes an immense transformation for the individuals to experiment in Work From Home(WFH).

  • More than 50% of the executive prefer WFH, which will probably continue throughout the post-COVID period.
  • One out of three respondents would be happy to receive a wage reduction if allowed to WFH permanently.
  • In the future, with various repercussions on many sectors, hybrid working models such as rotational workdays are being viewed.
Representational Image.

In this pandemic, the advantages are apparent, and WFH will become a permanent practice. A new study shows that 20% of full-time work will be carried out at home in the future – compared to only 5% before the outbreak.

More than 50% of city workers in India prefer WFH, 34% are willing to cut wages, and 83% want WFH for at least two days if they lift the restrictions.

According to the NBER survey of more than 30,000 people in the US, it demonstrates that respondents reported higher than expected performance in WFH and higher productivity.

Relative to their expectations of WFH before COVID-19, 20.6% of voters said their product was much better than anticipated, 21.9% said it was substantially better, and 17% said it was only better. Another 26.7% said it was almost the same, whereas just 13.9% said it was worse than that.

Every individual has been experiencing the pandemic differently – remote working, reduced hours, balancing childcare responsibilities with work commitments, etc. 

Here are a few other perspectives of covid that is leading towards the future:

  • Parenting: Due to covid and sudden closure of offices, working women are getting quality time to spend with their children. Children’s psychology is dependent on the raising process of their parents. Parenting helps the child to develop good habits in the community. Healthy parental involvement and intervention in the children’s daily life lay the foundation for better social, educational skills and motivational growth. However, For some, it made possible the choice of greater flexibility and control.
  • Continuance of work from home: Since the pandemic forced the organizations to declare WFH, it will always be an option. There is an expectation that the proportion of full-time domestic workers will double by 2021, according to a survey conducted by Enterprise Technology Research (ETR). “Manufacturing metrics prove that faraway control works,” stated Erik Bradley, ETR’s lead technology officer. Twitter, primarily based in San Francisco, advised workers that they have been operating entirely at home. The square, led through Jack Dorsey of Twitter, has adopted a comparable policy simultaneously and will enable employees to make a whole living at home, even after the workplace reopens.
  • Management of performances: The current crisis has affected the goals and performance plans. However, one of the tactical areas that play a crucial role for all organizations to succeed in any working model is effective Performance Management. Organizations are reluctant to abandon conventional performance management, but remote work has changed it. Organizations have realized that the only way to measure employees is to purely depend on their results and impact on the business. The current scenario pushed them to design processes that focus on metrics that drive business impact.
  •  Cybersecurity in remote work: The digital response to the COVID-19 crisis has also opened up new security vulnerabilities. According to CISCO’s Future of Secure Remote Work Report, 44% of the respondents consider it extremely important, 56% believe it is important, and only 1% do not. The genuine concern is how to access and safeguard data. It will be imperative to have cybersecurity policies in place to ensure business success, as people will continue to WFH in “the future of work.” Companies should focus on updating policies to safeguard their remote employees who pose a threat to their organizations.
  • Leverage Artificial Intelligence in the workplace: Organizations have been using AI to help employees get better and grow in their careers. It, in turn, assists organizations to understand their businesses and employees, such as making useful predictions to maintain productivity, restoring stability—primarily in times like these—and building long-term resiliency. Nevertheless, the Covid-19 pandemic has nudged the organizations to accelerate progress towards the future of work in a way that has tested their capacity to integrate people and technology into the most vigorous activities. In a survey conducted by Mercer, HR, and companies who offer work-related benefits, 94% of employers say a product is identical to or better than before the outbreak, even though their employees work remotely. Many companies have to undergo extensive renewal processes and policies. The choice between the better version of yesterday or building one that is sustainable is a question of tomorrow.
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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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