UNLIKE IN THE WEST, work from home, or WFH as is common parlance now, was nearly unheard of in India a year back. Human resources consultants attributed it to a culture where employees were expected to mark attendance and then monitored through the workday, much like school. This supervision was necessary since it was widely considered that people worked because they have to, not because they want to. That mindset underwent a radical change in March last year when the Covid-19 pandemic-enforced lockdown forced companies to adopt the alternative overnight: get employees to work from their homes to ensure business continuity. “The strangest of work can now be done virtually,” says Priya ChettyRajagopal, managing partner, Multiversal Advisory, an executive search firm based in Bengaluru.
In the western world, about 8% of the workforce operated from home even before the pandemic, according to Manoj Menda, corporate chairman, RMZ Corp, one of India’s largest office space developers. That number is expected to hit double digits as the effectiveness of WFH as a concept gains validation. But in India, that number is probably between 5% and 7% even post-Covid-19 “because we have other social issues to deal with”, says Menda.
Several surveys have listed the physical and cultural challenges of WFH in India, not least because a large proportion of its office-going population stays in joint families, while the younger migrant workforce stay as paying guests or in hostels. Either way, the Indian “home” isn’t ideal for a WFH setup. “The space is not enough; the communication infrastructure is not good enough,” says Anshuman Magazine, chairman and CEO-India, South East Asia, Middle East & Africa, CBRE, a real estate consultancy firm. On top of that people have to juggle between household chores and work commitments, while parents have to also manage children. As the work-life line blurred, mental health issues surfaced. “WFH is taking a toll on people’s lives,” says Juggy Marwaha, CEO, Prestige Office Ventures, part of the Bengaluru-based developer Prestige Estates Projects.
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COMMUNITY, CONTENT, AND COMMERCE
FACEBOOK EARNED ITS CHOPS BY CONNECTING PEOPLE, SOMETHING THAT ONCE AGAIN CAME TO THE FORE DURING THE PANDEMIC. ITS NEXT BIG BETS ARE ON CONTENT CREATORS AND SMALL BUSINESSES. AIDING IT IN THIS MISSION ARE INSTAGRAM AND WHATSAPP.
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Exiting the Terminal
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The Conversation - AKSHAY NAHETA
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Two years after its entry into the Indian market, streaming giant Spotify is already among the top three players in the growing audio OTT industry. Key to its success has been its localisation and diversified offer strategy.
BHARAT BIOTECH HAS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF MAKING VACCINES FOR SWINE FLU, POLIO, AND OTHER VIRAL DISEASES FOR A QUARTER OF A CENTURY. YET IT TOOK A GLOBAL PANDEMIC FOR THE SPOTLIGHT TO SHINE ON THE COMPANY CO-FOUNDED BY KRISHNA M. ELLA AND HIS WIFE SUCHITRA M. ELLA.
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Reincarnation And Realpolitik
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An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan
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THE DANGAL IN THE JUNGLE, PART 1
YOU KNOW YOU’RE SOMEBODY WHEN YOU’VE APPEARED ON AN INDIAN DANGAL POSTER — IN OTHER WORDS, IN A WRESTLING ADVERTISEMENT.
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E8 Caste and the Indian Tech Ivies
IIT grads are highly sought after in Silicon Valley. Are they bringing deep-rooted prejudices with them?
I was happily married, happily employed, just plain happy. Until the accident
IN SEASON Chickpeas (GARBANZO BEANS)
Chickpeas appear in early recordings in Turkey well over 5000 years ago. India produces the most chickpeas worldwide but they are grown in more than 50 countries. An excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and some minerals, they are a nutritious staple of many diets. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word cancer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. It is also known by its popular Spanish-derived name, the garbanzo bean. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and peanuts are other familiar foods found in this legume family.
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Government-ordered internet shutdowns are becoming more frequent