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Will Women Working From Home Finally Get Their Due Now That ‘Home’ Is Just A Location To Work From?

Posted: April 1, 2020

I hope people realize that “home” is just a location to work from. “Work” is non-negotiable and constant while “home” or “office” are the variables.

Finally, work from home has become legit. The world needed a pandemic to recognize “working from home” as an official way of working. In India at least, work from home remains a newer concept and a “perceived” privilege of the IT sector employees or freelance professionals. The women in this workforce have endured the jibes of friends, family and the community at large for a couple of years now. Here, I have tried to list a couple of them I have heard, overheard or experienced.

  1. “She is just hiding behind her laptop to avoid housework”.
  2. “Oh, you work from home right, I am sure you have a lot of free time”.
  3. “Can you work from home tomorrow and drop the kids to school, tidy up the house, prepare a feast for the visiting relatives and take Mom for her annual health check-up, please”.
  4. “Since you are anyways working from home, can you please babysit my kids till I finish my chores”.
  5. “Today since she is working from home, she will take care of her toddler, supervise the cook and the house-help, step out to replenish groceries and hopefully prepare some interesting snacks with evening tea. Ah, I can put my feet up and relax”.
  6. “Oh, their daughter works from home. I don’t think she gets paid well”.
  7. ” Why do you need a house-help or even a cook. Don’t you work from home?”
  8. “You know every time we visit their house; their daughter is shut in a room and we can hear loud laughs and sometimes even heated arguments. Why does she need to talk to her colleagues constantly when she is working from home?”
  9. “The days she goes to work she comes in late at night citing deadlines; how is it that the days she is working from home, she can log-off on time?”
  10. “She is very well-educated, she can easily get a good, well-paying job. I don’t know why she wants to work from home?”
  11. “Let’s not consider our work from home colleagues in the Friday Fun activities. Anyways, they are having fun every day by getting to login from home”.
  12. Husband: I think we should plan for a child.  Wife: But I don’t think I can manage work and home with a kid.  Husband: Oh, I am sure you can, with your flexible work timings”. Just opt to work from home.
  13. “How is it that she gets to work from home, she doesn’t even have kids”.
  14. “Why does she work from home, she lives so near the office, she can easily travel every day”.
  15. “Hey, it’s a Thursday, your work from home day, let us binge-watch this web-series together, what say?”
  16. “Work from home for singles is such a privilege, they have their mothers to pamper them while they continue to climb the corporate ladder.

Now that the concept of working from home has been suggested by the topmost political powers of various states and countries, I hope the people realize that “home” is just a location to work from. “Work” is non-negotiable and constant while “home” or “office” are the variables.

Work from home –

  • Is a choice or nature of the job and not an excuse
  • Could be well paying
  • Could be position or designation agnostic
  • Could be gender-neutral
  • Could entail longer working hours as compared to working from the office
  • Could put additional strain on women because of the expectation to multi-task and fulfill household chores
  • Could lead to emotional issues if not balanced with proper breaks or managed well

Maybe, the fact that in this situation of an official lockdown, as men are also working from home, ‘work from home’ will get the societal and patriarchal legitimacy and the women will no longer be subjected to these friendly jibes.

Image source: shutterstock

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