The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has been tremendous. It started from China and has been spreading out to many countries including Nepal. In such circumstances, the Government of Nepal’s decided to gradually lock down all over Nepal. Our company, Antarprerana Pvt. Ltd. too had to cancel official travels and programs and to finally close the office.
To continue the works and to ensure resilience, we sat in for several meetings to adopt a new work pattern. And our company decided to switch to 'Work from Home' model to ‘Work from Home’ mode. It was something of a new experience for the entire team.
For me, it was an opportunity to gather all the past experiences and devise solutions to orient and to smoothly transit the team from ‘Work from Office’ to ‘Work from Home’. It was a moment to consolidate and develop ‘Work from Home’ process for the company as a way to cope in this pandemic situation.
Now that two weeks has passed, we are adjusting to this new work pattern. Reflecting the first few days, initially it felt good to be at home. For me, it is a place where one can relax and rejuvenate with dear ones. Prior to the lockdown, I had limited time to rest at home. The only weekend, Saturdays, would pass in the blink of an eye.
But this time, it is a different experience for a long period. Even though I am with loved ones, all relaxed and at the same time, fulfilling roles and responsibilities at home, I have to stay alert to work, to plan to pass on, to supervise and monitor works, and also to communicate virtually inside and outside the company. A whole lot of things here: trying to balance personal and professional lives in the same place, called ‘home’. I felt a sense of chaos internally.
In addition, the external ‘noises’ of frequent COVID-19 notifications in social media, news portal, the same repeated words from family and relatives, were all too overpowering. It was really difficult to switch to ‘Work from Home’ mode and really easy to lose concentration doing ‘Work at Home’.
After much introspection and deciding to limit myself to external noises, I did not have any other option other than to prepare daily routines as I did at office. So, I have been working back and forth to ‘Work at Home’. (I often, at times, consider it a part of taking ‘breaks from office works’) fulfilling personal responsibilities at home and ‘Work from Home’, meeting professional responsibilities for the company.
Complying the dos and don’ts of COVID-19 at home, I must say, I have been productive at work, learning new tools and also spending quality time with the family. Most important, I have been following my husband’s footsteps towards a healthy diet.
I would also say not all are blessed to have such support at both personal and professional lives. I am grateful to my family members (Gaha Niwas and Parajuli Niwas), who understand my aspirations, my work and also to the company heads, including the team who are lively and supportive.
In this adverse situation, irrespective of the internal noises and external noises that continues to play, or, whatever life unfolds at you (be it, juggling between ‘Work from Home’ and ‘Work at Home’), it is important to stay strong and safe with the ones, who stand by you.
Stay Safe, Stay Stronger.
Have hope and let's cope with COVID-19 together.
A personal reflection of Narayani Gaha, a recently married career-oriented Nepali woman of Kathmandu sharing her personal and professional experiences during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
April 3rd, 2020