A man’s home is his castle, his sanctuary, a place he can be himself. Here, when I say “man”; it applies to a woman or child, too. So, it is believed to be.
When he goes outside to do battle with the world which is his work (a person that come to mind is Hagar the Horrible [cartoon comic strip], a Viking, whose work is to go out and battle. He is both a fierce warrior and a family man—with the same problems as your average modern suburbanite.) and comes home after that, he would and should expect a sense of peace, of rest, of comfort.
A man’s home is where he leaves the outside world, outside, by turning off (easier said than done… I hear yer), his escape as you may.
If he is married and has children, they will bring him joy. His young kids may clamour all over him for his attention, wanting to share their joys of what they did in the day.
In my “hey” day, when my daughter Laura, was 3, 4, 5 years old; she would come and sit in my chair beside me in the living room, just to be with me. She would do the same with her mother, my wife Jeannie; too.
The recent Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years, saw an invasion of sorts by corporations, when employees, entertainers, even businessmen; had to work from home.
While working from home, the line separating work from after office hours becomes blurred.
It may have been seen as a novel idea to work from home at the beginning. Employees thought that by being closer to their children at home, they would have additional time with them. Employees were relieved that they did not have to travel to & fro their offices or workplaces, thus avoiding the usual traffic snarls that would greet them each day on the road, thus saving at least an hour, each way at the very least. It would mean they could sleep in just that little bit longer before getting ready from work and they would not come home fatigued by the traffic jams they would meet on their way home.
But then, people who live or co-shared their homes with employees working from home; could not really do the things they would normally do at home, when these employees were away, working in their offices and elsewhere. Employees were expected to have their homes “turned over to their companies”, during meetings like zoom and Skype meetings. This meant noise and distraction free from co-habitats and children.
Working from home also meant that there was no reason not to squeeze in additional online meetings by two or three hours. Which meant more internet data and electricity usage – the cost all to be borne by the employee. What more, if there were several people working from home at the same time? “Work from home” would spill outside in the porch and garden.
If only there was a balance?
When the shift was made for employees to work from office again signaling that the pandemic had become an endemic, there seemed to have been a sigh of relief from all round. Most employees were happy about getting back to the office, even bracing the long traffic jams to the office and back. Children and other members were happy to have their homes back to as it was.
All in all, there has to be a clear line drawn between work space and home space. The ideal is to get the best working environment for the employee which in turn improves productivity; and a home, where one gets to rejuvenate, and at the same time, be with the rest of the family, not just physically; but also to share their lives with them.