The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the adoption of ‘Work From Home’ model by many companies and professionals. While this has allowed continuity of work, it has significantly impacted family relationships and dynamics.
Impact of WFH
- Economic relations: WFH gives women much-needed flexibility to balance their work and traditional domestic obligations. Such financial independence has the potential to alter unequal economic relations between man and woman in the family. However, only a few women can avail WFH opportunities, given the existing gender digital divide.
- Domestic division of labour: WFH has allowed men to participate in household works.. However, it is expected that both share domestic responsibilities. Otherwise, non-working women continue to bear the burden of unpaid care work.
- Family relations: WFH allows workers to spend time with family enhancing communication and improving family relationships. However, WFH maylead to work-family conflict.
- Children: WFH facilitates parents to fulfil their role in socialisation of their children. However, limited interaction with fellow children and increased exposure to digital products has caused psychological problems in children.
Work From Home has been a mixed bag for family relationships. While bringing some families together, for others it has been a source of tension. Its impact depends on factors like nature of work, financial security, physical space in homes and pre-existing relationship dynamics. Balancing work and personal life remains key to maintaining healthy families in these times.