As the offices and workplaces try to juggle back to pre Covid work arrangements , there are some organisations who have made a tangible shift in their work culture , there are some who are still weighing the pros and cons and then there are some which have eased into the hybrid mode quite seamlessly.
When I look around at the homo sapiens struggle post Covid , I see one member of my family who is enjoying Work from Home to the hilt – it is my pet black Labrador at home , royally named Sultan.
Sultan has been working from home ever since he was a puppy. As a pup he worked through several slippers, socks, door stoppers , furniture pieces and pyjamas . He worked through them with the enthusiasm of an intern . He would grab every opportunity and run away with whatever his eyes could sight . He would then sit intently for a couple of minutes and work at his problem from every angle , with the trademark enthusiasm of a new joinee.
Then slowly he noticed that he began to be left home alone. The family members started spending longer periods of time outside the home and he was expected to fend for himself within the home. After a few days of tantrum throwing , sulking and a few heebie jeebies , he realised that it wasn’t so bad after all. There was cold water within reach , extra biscuits laid out on the counter , super extra bone treats when the adults got home . And all he had to do was shift between sofas and cool corners , chew a sock if he felt bored , bark if the neighbours bell rang and do some yoga stretching. Sometimes the adults would also do CCTV calling , (that’s what he thought he had heard huh !) Some screen in the house would come alive during the day and he would hear his name being called . But that was quite ok. He responded whenever he felt so , he ignored whenever he felt so. Working from home was not bad at all.
And then came the Covid 19 and the human era of Work From Home. Suddenly he found a shift in routines. There were fewer morning scrambles and shouts – rather the Mister , the Missus and the sister were all over the house. They had taken up his favourite sofa corner , his favourite chair and even the spot in the balcony. He heard strange human talks like “ Oh my God ! I am living in my home finally” . Upmteen zoom calls made him realise that this is what the sapiens call as Work from Home.
Well, things changed around at home. The family ate 3 meals in a day , which meant even more cheat food for him. They snacked a lot during the day , which meant even more tit bits of food.
The adults call it Cognitive flexibility , Sultan displayed canine flexibility.
He learnt even more tricks using baleful eyes and zero eye contact when being admonished. He learnt to trade his favourite seat for his favourite chewies. He learnt how to get even more attention – whenever the sapiens pressed unmute on the zoom , he learnt to go woof woof. He knew that this would get him the best treat possible! He learnt when to give an extra hug and an extra dog lick to the sapiens – and that was mostly when he saw the sapiens sitting and talking to the shining screen for hours on end. And whenever he did that , he knew it was a Centre stage moment for him. There would so many oohs and ahhs from the pygmy faces across the screen. He learnt to shrug off attention like a habituated screen star – he would flick his mane and slide off the human lap with aplomb. Point to be noted – he was learning a lot while working from home.
And then he heard that the dance of the Covid was slowly ebbing , like the retreating monsoons. There was a lot of talk about getting back to office across the dinner table . What was earlier a discomfort zone for the homo sapiens, it had actually become the comfort zone.
Not taking any sides , he really did not understand what the fuss was all about. He had always worked from home and never really knew another mode of working. He seemed to sigh – Perhaps the less you know , the better it is !
Just like the office, the Home also needed to feel its people. And at the pace at which the Mister , the Missus and the sister had been working in their offices – Hell ! they might not even have built a home – had it not been for him.
For who ? For the Canine ?
You heard that right . For Sultan – the canine who has always loved working from home !