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‘Work from home has increased women’s burden; it isn’t safer than office either’

Written by Disha Roy Choudhury
| New Delhi |

Published: July 15, 2020 6:20:34 pm





Even whereas working from dwelling, girls must handle family duties. (Source: Getty Images)
Remote work or work at home has develop into the brand new ‘normal’ amid the coronavirus pandemic. While some professionals have began heading again to their workplaces, there are lots of who’re nonetheless working from dwelling. And this new work setup is posing recent challenges.

A survey performed throughout states and cities by Upceed Consulting Services (UCS), a Bengaluru-based firm, has discovered that just about 70 per cent of the workers are nonetheless working from dwelling. And whereas doing so, the work typically prolonged past common workplace timings, to not point out the long work calls. About 95 per cent of individuals stated they labored on weekends as properly. The survey discovered such a pattern to be a burden for a lot of workers, particularly girls, as they proceed to bear caregiving duties moreover their skilled commitments.


One of the first causes behind that is the undemarcated office-home area within the remote-work state of affairs. “Earlier women were in a situation where they took care of household responsibilities before leaving for work, and do the same after coming home. Now, they have the whole family at home, including elders and kids, to take care of,” Anupamaa V, managing accomplice, AVRC authorized and chief coach, Upceed Consulting Services, informed indianexpress.com. One of the most important hassles is the unavailability of househelps, which has additional elevated strain on girls, the survey discovered.
Anupamaa V, managing accomplice, AVRC authorized and chief coach, Upceed Consulting Services.
The pandemic has resulted in lots of job cuts prior to now few months. With diminished workforce, employers have shifted the workload to obtainable workers, however it has solely added to their burden. Those who’re residing alone have been discovered to have the ability to make investments extra hours into work, with no journey time and lesser duties at dwelling, as in comparison with these residing with households, in accordance with the survey.

Anupamaa elaborated, “There are too many online calls happening now. Earlier, there was a designated time for work, and meetings would usually take place within that time, after which you came home. But now you have too many calls throughout the day, apart from your regular work. Add to that family obligation. And that is making things really tough. There are people who are starting at 5 am in the morning and winding up at 11 pm-12 am at night.”

Read| Work from home taking a toll on you? Here’s how people and firms are tackling it

At the identical time, individuals who stay alone have been grappling with loneliness and isolation as they proceed to work at home. “Earlier, these people had the opportunity of going to their workplace, meeting colleagues or friends outside. The feeling of being alone, depression and other consequences are things that companies will have to look out for at least in the next few months,” stated Anupamaa.

This goes past official help on psychological well being points. “That is just one small part. Even though employees are remotely working, the companies should come up with a novel methodology to make work more interactive and interesting. All calls need not be for work. May be there could be video calls once in a while, where colleagues can engage in fun discussions and activities such that they feel good about themselves,” she suggested.


The survey analysed outcomes from 350 contributors 60 companies, with 39 per cent of women and men every working from dwelling respectively. While girls continued to juggle private {and professional} commitments, many males most popular to limit themselves to their work desk, the survey discovered. Most males proceed to have separate rooms for themselves whereas working. That stated, males of their mid-20s as much as early 40s have been discovered to be extra “accommodating” when it got here to family chores. Men older than that have been discovered to pitch in solely when informed to take action however would preferrably like to sit down at their work station.

Read| Men finally know household chores, but will they continue to do it as they return to work?

Sexual harassment in digital office

Contrary to at least one’s expectations, many contributors — 29 per cent–didn’t actually take into account work at home to be a safer possibility as in comparison with being in workplace. The dangers that workers are uncovered to at workplace, proceed even whereas working from dwelling. Incidents of digital sexual harassment have cropped up within the digital office — sending lewd textual content and voice messages, sharing inappropriate private photos, carrying inappropriate garments (or not) throughout video calls are a few of the situations that would quantity to harassment.

The situation in query right here is that of efficient sensitisation of each female and male workers on harassment within the digital workspace, which is after all new and unexplored for lots of people.

As per the survey, individuals within the metro cities have been extra conscious of sexual harassment as in comparison with tier-II cities. “On many occasions, you are sharing your personal contact and other details, giving your customers, suppliers, vendors and even colleagues direct access to you. Again, sometimes people do things unknowingly without any bad intention. Many people are not aware that telling gender-biased statements to a person can also amount to sexual harassment. That is why it is crucial that awareness sessions are conducted on regular intervals to be up-to-date with all developments in the POSH act (Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace–Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal),” Anupamaa stated.

Only 30 per cent of the contributors had sexual harassment-awareness classes within the final three or six months, the survey additional revealed. “Companies need to conduct sessions to make employees understand what scenarios could now become an issue of harassment. Video calls are necessary and are perhaps the closest to the feeling of working together. But employees should be asked to follow a certain protocol during their office hours, as though they were in the office itself,” Anupamaa stated.

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