Work from Home: Winning the Jitters


An Insight to Academicians Experiences during COVID-19


Article contributed by Dr. Deepika S. Joshi, Associate Professor, FCBM, Amrapali Group of Institutes, Haldwani

Propelled COVID-19 threat had presented many jitters in the beginning but had also made us realize the power we have which was going in vein just because there was a lack of felt need and a resistance towards learning something new. Advancements in information communication technology (ICT) and compelled changing expectations of the hour most of the work organizations had shifted their traditional boundaries and became “flexible” work organizations and working hard to enabling their employees for becoming ready to work from home. In India Jobseekers are now searching for jobs which presents a stable work from home choice with ample resources for secluded working as per Google trends in the past few days-

Though COVID-19 is a phase which is not going to stay here forever, but it really worked as an eye-opener to all of us regarding our preparedness for uncertainty. Change is the only permanent thing in this world and preparedness for change is considered to be the best strategy to sustain during turbulence.

As per the statistics presented through various media sources it’s been reflected that somehow academics in thrust of maintaining the traditional teaching practices, legged behind in the preparation for this sudden change which is leading towards more stressed knowledge workers. Though few of the academicians took this change as a challenge and explored more and more interesting yet promising ways to attract students towards virtual classes.

Grabbing the attention of students and getting them stick to our lecture is a challenging task and it becomes tougher when we don’t have control over them as it happens virtually. During such gloomy phase, technology proved to be the best companion and made us realized that we are already equipped with the resources; the need is to utilize them. As per the small online survey conducted for academicians (School, Colleges and Universities) in UP & Uttarakhand, virtual classrooms got adopted and implemented by not only by the big universities in the region but by most of the school and college teachers.

Few of the statistics gathered from academicians as respondents are as under:-

A. I am very much comfortable in sharing my notes with students and opting:- 

Above graph shows that 48% of people stepped in to leave their comfort zones and considered this change to be exciting. Those positive interpretations of change result in positive emotional reactions, such as happiness and satisfaction, which result in greater employee productivity. 

But in contrary to above explanation, out of about 48% respondents those who were using online virtual class Apps for smooth conduct of their classes more than 65% said that their productivity in WFH mode got decreased, reasons might be unexpected response from other side or frustration caused due to lack of technical know how .

B. Finding it very difficult to conduct classes online and making my students understand my topics well:-

Out of 48% respondents those who were using online virtual class Apps for smooth conduct of their classes had shown their comfort in conducting online classes but few of them were not actually convinced as to whatever got delivered during virtual classes got well taken by the study.

C. I am finding it more interesting to work from home as i am being able to get flexibility of conducting/stretching my sessions:-

An ability to have more time and a superior time elasticity to balance work and concern errands seems to be the most lucrative bonus of work from home. Work from home by and large grants better sovereignty to the employees for doing their work, and how they handle their lives and other tasks. But above graph reveals just opposite picture, probably because we are so very dependent on others for our time management that everything actually seems in mess during WFH days.

We are very well equipped with the resources and technology but it’s neither being utilized by the individuals nor being enforced by the academic councils. Students in present era are more tech-savvy as compared to their faculties and they prefer tech-enabled teaching/learning practices. Academic institutions now a day’s encouraging their students and faculties to attend/develop MOOCS whereas no provision for practicing and/or learning these technological skills got made by most of the institutions. Those who took lead they are doing it out of their own interest.

Our response of opting WFH as a strategy is Reactive in nature. Being Proactive is considered as ones attitude towards the world. It expects and individual/organization/system to own the responsibility for their condition. Proactive stratagems are planned to look forward to possible dares. Its near to impossible to predict every possible challenge so no organization can be proactive every time. However, whatever is being practiced and implemented by the academic institutions presently could have been done earlier.

References:-

  • https://blog.smarp.com/change-management
  • Emerald Insight
  • “Two cheers for the virtual office”, Sloan Management Review
  • https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache
  • https://www.cnbctv18.com/economy/indian-firms-struggle-to-deal-with-work-from-home-scenario

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