This has been trendsetting in the recent past years in India, the culture of “work from Home”. This was happening only in the IT related companies, now this way of doing the office work has caught up almost with all the other service providers. This option of carrying out official work from the cozy and comfort of home, is an exciting prospect by itself, which can come handy in cases of need, has turned out to be very productive too.  This work from home needs concurrence from the Boss and the customer for whom the projects are being done. In a study conducted by the US, it has been proved work from home, gets done faster and it cuts down on the travelling time, but the cliché is it would hamper one’s productivity. That is because when you are in a remote place working, isolation is a major factor which could cause stress if not dealt properly with care. This is because we are always dependent on the physical environment we work in, which impacts the way we deal stress and anxiety. If one knows how to balance this issue, it’s not worrisome at all.

In a most recent study in Europe, they have analysed and categorised people according to their personality types as to who are best suited for work from home option, while for others to whom it would not suit as the remote working conditions is a trigger for causing them stress, work-wise and personally as well. For the study, close to 400 people were interviewed, on the basis of their level of independence, work profile and emotional stability. The conclusion reached were, people with a higher emotionally stable IQ, who were able to control their emotions were able to handle stress that comes their way in the line of job than those who were sensitive and easily influenced. People who were more emotionally vulnerable faced a lot more stress.

A lot of it also depended on how the employees’ handled stressful situations when they are actually located in an office environment. The way a person reacts to a given situation makes a great deal of difference to his or her well-being. An emotionally balanced, stable person would not only handle it better, but he would react to the situation much faster than his peers. On the other hand, an emotional and sensitive person will be angrier, frustrated and unable to cope at office environment than in a home environment. Working from home could be a better boost for productivity and for one’s emotional well-being. At the same time working from flexible environment, it’s important to ensure that one’s personal health is not impacted by work performance. Making the home, work, comfort wise a stress free environment is therefore highly important. This is not confined to only western countries, but a universal phenomenon, with many Indian IT companies doing the back-office work and computer programming for other countries.

Work from home has been opted by women mostly because of their presence needed at home, with small babies, old sick people, to take care of, avoid long hours of commuting to office, at the same time fulfil their work target with ease and comfort. These people do go to office on a regular basis for meetings which happens with prior notice. When interviewed, a Psychologist and Counsellor, said, “Newly married women who are relocating to other city after marriage prefer to work from home, as they are new to the city and office environment there.  This gives them time to settle down in marital life and balance office work initially. Even people working in multi-national auditing firms, media houses, service provider companies are all opting for work from home when they feel that they need this stress-buster. The pay scale doesn’t vary much when one works from office or home”.

This is ideal for women who want to balance family, work and at the same time, not get too stressed out and complete the work target too. A request to the gender equality feminists and activists to fight for the cause of EQUAL PAY FOR MEN AND WOMEN, where the gender inequality payment of salary, still exists in our society.

-Vijayashree Ramesh

The writer is an advocate based at Chennai.