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Home / News / Business Of Life /  How Gen Y is breaking the work-from-home monotony

By the sixth month of the covid-19-induced lockdown, Mansi Kala was fed up of turning different corners of her Dehradun house into a workspace. The monotony was making the IT professional “lazy", so were “home clothes". So, in August, when public places were opening up, Kala hit upon the idea of working out of a café, a 15-minute drive away from her place, that had turned into an informal co-working space for its patrons.

The 29-year-old, who works with a London firm, now spends at least five hours three days a week at the café. “I can focus on my work there. See, you are efficient only three or four hours a day, so I plan it in a way where I am at the café and can give my 100%," says Kala, who used to go five days a week till December owning to increased workload.

Similarly, Varsha Chopra, 32, a communication consultant with an IT company in Pune, frequents a nearby Starbucks outlet in Panchkula whenever she needs some work-related inspiration. “Although I have a separate office space at home, I have a seven-year-old daughter, in-laws, and the relatives drop by often. None of them understand the concept of being available at work 24/7," says Chopra, who moved back to her in-laws home in Panchkula in August.

She says some time away from home helps her brainstorm and draft her work schedule for the next week. Seeing other people work on their laptops, Chopra says, keeps her motivated.

Like Kala and Chopra, many young professionals in cities across India are finding ways to change in their remote-work setting to stay productive and creative.

For Elim Panda, 29, who works with Gurugram-based recruitment company Tagged, working out of a café she visits at least twice every 10 days, doesn’t help with her productivity, but “if I am doing a routine execution task, where cognitive skills are not required, I prefer going out. It’s a good break." Panda, who returned to her hometown Bhubaneshwar from Gurugram in July, even invites friends, who have also moved back from other cities, to work together. “It’s like group study," she says. While Panda ends up spending about 600 each time she visits the café on food, she believes it’s a small price to pay for her increased work efficiency.

The demand for co-working spaces is also increasing. Indore’s Ruchika Motwani Karda, 29, a human resource professional, has recently started going to a co-working space.

“I was feeling bored working from home, so I thought of trying this. You get an office feel here, and the environment is interactive," says Karda, who is paying for the seat in her personal capacity. Karda comes five days a week, spending nine hours. The “hybrid model", as Karda describes the arrangement, helps her physically demarcate work and home space as well.

Some have even taken a drastic step of renting a place, even if for a short duration. For instance, working away from home was the only way Shubham Malani, 25, could get any work done. Malani, who works as growth lead at Bengaluru healthcare startup Clinickk, returned to his hometown in Gumla, Jharkhand, in November. Living in a joint family of 14 people, and with preparations underway for a cousin’s marriage, Malani realized there were too many distractions to work efficiently. So, he and his cousin, who was facing a similar issue, decided to rent a small space close to their house and turn it into a makeshift office.

“It was really about 300 sq.ft room on the terrace of a residential building. We put a table and a few chairs, got a high speed internet connection and were good to go," says Malani. Since it’s a small city, Malani said they spent 5,000 for the rent and office set-up. “This was hardly anything considering the rents in Bengaluru," says Malani, who used the space for two months before returning to Bengaluru.

While the percentage of hotdesking by individual professionals working out of a co-working space is miniscule from revenue point of view, it’s still noteworthy, say space providers.

Sawan Laddha, founder of Indore-based co-working space Workie, has observed a rise in hotdesking by professionals last month. Those who get the cost reimbursed by the company, take the monthly pass costing between 4,500 and 7,500. “Those who have been coming here said that working from home felt isolating," he says.

Anand Vemuri, CEO of 91springboard, however, believes it’s a “temporary trend. Eventually, more companies will start calling people back to the offices. So I think it’s a temporary thing."

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