Like many of us living away from home, when the boarders opened the call to get on the next flight home was front of mind. However, how easy is it to pause life in NZ for a few months to gain that much needed personal and family connection? Supriti Elizabeth Singh, a Customer Service Coordinator placed by Tribe, was faced with this very challenge when the time came for a long awaited visit back to her home. She shared how she navigated this with the help of a few key elements.
How we arrived here
When Covid-19 first arrived, little did we know just the mass havoc it could create. With the rise in case numbers and casualties, the world was looking at alternate ways to safeguard their employees whilst keeping their operations going. Working from home wasn’t a foreign concept, just one that was not widely accepted. Presumably because the world had gotten used to a certain style of work- one that involved working in-person from office, amongst people and in teams. In all fairness, working from office does have its perks, the endless chatter with office colleagues, shared lunches, team building exercises, the ability to ask for help in person and the charm of having a routine that involved getting out of home to a designated office space meant most people would not carry work back home with them. When you left office for the day, you effectively signed off from your professional self and switched to the personal. For most people that meant being able to be fully present for all the wonderful things that happened outside of work, be that birthday’s, special occasions or just the small moments that spark happiness.
But all of that changed when covid-19 hit, the world had to adapt the way it worked and fast. Unfortunately, this meant not many industries survived, this led to unemployment, financial struggle, and global upheaval with disruptions in supply chains but the one positive thing that emerged was a work culture that was more open to the idea of working from home. In fact, that became the new norm. Companies and their employees quickly adapted to the new model of working from home. Of course, this had its own challenges, keeping most of our IT professionals occupied whilst it was being set up and trialed but a fair few companies continue to operate this way. We became more accepting of a world where one could log in for work from the comfort and safety of home. This did have its own downfalls though, being unable to switch off from work mode, missing out on the little joys of being home around the family and struggling to demarcate the professional from the personal.
The importance of the personal and its impact on the professional.
Finding the Balance
But times had changed, and people adapted rather quickly. That's one thing about the human species, in the face of adversity we do adapt and when covid hit that is exactly what we did. We adapted once again! So, when the opportunity arose for me to travel back to India in May, I wasn't sure how open my boss would be to the idea of continuing to do what I did in New Zealand from India. And as skeptical as I was about the idea, my boss certainly wasn't. It had been four years since I had been home; that's an awful lot of time to stay away from the people you love. But I was fortunate enough to have a boss who understands the importance of the personal and its impact on the professional. The one thing we all wish to achieve at the end of the day is being able to do justice to both the personal and professional. It is a fine balance and hard to come by, but the idea of working from home has just made striking this balance a lot easier.
Once all the tiny details were worked out, it was time for me to bid adieu to NZ and say hello to India for the next four weeks. I was aware that this was not going to be an easy feat, especially since I had chosen to work NZ time while I was in India too but that was a sacrifice I was more than happy to make. That meant logging in at 3 am IST, but it also meant being awake when the family woke up in the morning, being able to work while having breakfast around the table with my parents and sister. For me, there's no better way to start your day than being surrounded by your loved ones.
Putting it into Action
Working as a Customer service specialist for my current company is a challenging role and no two days are the same, but that is what I love about this role, it is dynamic and fast-paced, and I am constantly being challenged to do more. I do have to give credit to my colleagues and my boss for how easy they made the transition from working in my NZ office to working from the comfort of home in India. If you are lucky, like I was, you'll have the support of a team that allows you the flexibility to log in at your convenience and is accommodating of changes no matter how short the notice is. Most people don't realise the flexibility and freedom that the WFH model has brought about, and like me, you will probably be able to work no matter what part of the world you are in.
Like they say, the world is your oyster & not just when it comes to playing but when it comes to working too. All one requires to continue doing what they do, is the right mindset, a can-do attitude, a supportive employer and of course the most important- a fast and stable internet connection. It doesn't matter if that entails working from your bedroom, living room, a café, or yacht. Your options are endless! When I first got onboard with the idea of working from home & by home, I mean a different country I thought it would take some getting used to but just as quickly as we adapted to working from home in the first lockdown, did I adapt to working in a different time zone.
The freedom and flexibility that once would not be considered by employers are now encouraged. These hybrid models of work are increasingly becoming popular & I would urge you based on my own experience to take it on if you are fortunate enough to have an employer who offers you this. Like Alex Muench says, "Remember to enjoy the freedom of being able to work from anywhere and the flexibility to adapt your work to your life rather than the other way around."
With the balance between work and personal more important than ever, choosing the right employer can be the key to finding that balance. Tribe Customer Service and Contact Centre team work with some incredible clients, get in touch with the team today.