Lakshmipriya was born and raised in Perak, Malaysia and currently lives in London. Previously a Human Capital Consultant, she has worked in Malaysia and Dubai. She recently completed her PhD in Cognitive and Organizational Psychology in the UK. She has co-authored a book on talent management and is currently working on a paper that investigates the influence of sex differences when perceiving people. When not absorbed in academic research, Lakshmipriya enjoys Netflixing and cooking.
A year into the pandemic
It has been more than a year now since the deadly Coronavirus shook the world in unimaginable ways that it felt like an apocalyptic fiction movie in motion.
While Working From Home (WFH) became the norm, to keep the virus in check, it was not exactly a new phenomenon as many were already operating from their homes by choice in this era of internet and mobile technologies. I remembered my PHD thesis days, working as a research assistant and working mostly from home. It was a choice then. The Lockdown however left no choice. Almost everyone was at home, working.
Some were happy with the flexibility. For some, it was a total nightmare. A 2017 worldwide survey by Regus revealed that almost half of the respondents reported that attending to children and family demanding attention was the number one issue of WFH. What’s interesting here is that this survey was conducted pre COVID-19. Difficulty concentrating on work issues, lack of office equipment, and a tiny space in their kitchen or bedroom for an office, especially in fast-paced metropolitan cities not designed for WFH, were among the complaints.
Self-discipline was the only way out for me during my pre-COVID-19 WFH days. I remember finding an excuse to clean my kitchen at every opportunity just to be away from the desk and work.
The Lockdown period was different. There was so much excitement initially mixed with uncertainties and a good amount of fear.
New rules, a whole lot of hullabaloo on the news and conversations with long lost friends and family kept me occupied. As days became week, then months, boredom and frustration started to take over and the end seemed nowhere near. Every day started to feel like the day before, merging into one long unending timeline.
I had to recall all the actions that I took during my early WFH days to keep it going, namely self-discipline, sticking to routines, respecting the working space and taking the well-earned breaks.
With vaccines in the picture now, there seems to be a glimpse of hope on the horizon. In London, we are now allowed to meet in a group of six outside in the open and I just realised how the little things that we take for granted like dressing up (I used my lenses for the first time in 6 months) and meeting friends can actually be so vital and necessary, especially for our mental health.
Here’s hoping for better times and some normalcy.
Onwards and upwards!