Last year, in many ways, our lifestyles changed as the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. The ‘New Normal’ that was repeatedly discussed on public platforms transformed the way we negotiated with life and its experiences. One of the key spaces where the pandemic had its biggest impact were our workplaces. The privileged few, belonging to the sectors which could make a relatively comfortable transition to work from home/online, had the benefit of staying back in their domestic spaces and reducing face to face contact to decrease their chances of getting infected by the virus.
However, the essential workforce for the pandemic, such as sanitary workers, doctors and nurses, ASHA workers, transportation workers etc., had to carry on with their daily jobs, often without PPE kits, adequate resources or regular wages. Additionally, even for people who had the liberty to work online, they too had to arrange for various technological tools and a consistent internet connection to conduct their day-to-day professional chores.
Beyond these spaces, the household too transformed for many women who performed domestic work, either at their own homes or at their employers’ houses. The burden of housework fell disproportionately on their already breaking backs due to the presence of more members at home than usual. Furthermore, the various processes of following instructions to keep everything sanitised took additional toll on their fixed errands.
These changes, more often negative than positive, directly or indirectly had an effect on people’s mental health, workplace conduct and policies and these also blurred the segregation of work and leisure. For a lot of people, it also meant loss of their jobs and their colleagues and peers who failed to cope with these challenges due to their relative marginalisation in society. On the other hand, for others, their workplaces and colleagues became spaces for mutual support and understanding as they shared their anxieties and workload around the ‘New Normal’.
Also read: The Colonialism At Play In The Female Workplace Fashion
For January 2021, FII is looking for article submissions on the topic of Work and Workplace, to highlight the profound changes that our workplaces may or may not have undergone and the effect that these changes have had on our personal and professional lives and ways of living in the time of the pandemic.
Here are some possible pointers which might help you write your articles,
- Intersectionality (Caste, Gender, Sexuality, Class, Ethnicity, Disability)
- Mental Health In The Workplace
- Women in the Workplace
- Learning or Re-learning Technological or Digital Tools
- Working Online
- Working in the COVID-19 Battlefield
- Housework and Domestic Space as A Workplace
- Family and Peers
- Loss (Jobs, Friends, Acquaintances, Colleagues)
- Leisure and the New Normal
- Positive Changes in the Workplace
- Access to Gadgets and Services
- Gender Based Violence and Abuse
- Workplace Law and Policy
- Media Representation and Pop Culture
- POSH and sexual harassment at the workplace
You can send us your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. This list is not exhaustive. Please feel free to write about other topics, which we might have missed listing.
Also read: ‘Period Leave’, Period. Unlearning The Bias Against Menstruation At Workplace
We understand that some of you might be uncomfortable writing about your personal experiences. You can let us know in your submission mail whether you would want to remain Anonymous when we publish your articles.