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Working From Home Digital Life Hacks

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In the last one year, we at Charity Digital, learnt so much about working from home and the possible digital life hacks. Here we want to share some small pieces of advice that can help you remain productive, maintain a good work-life balance, and ensure that you step away from the home office when necessary. Schedule […]


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Our Uneasy Love Intimacy With Work In a Pandemic

Our government could have paid people to stop working and stay home, where they could not catch the virus. They did not. Instead, they told service workers they were essential and sent some of them out to risk their lives working.

“This is the life that could not stop working. Even when everything else stopped working, and despite everything else going crazy, we prioritized work. Our love, our life; the love of our life.”

We were forced to choose between our health and our jobs. Most of us chose our jobs. And when companies shut down and jobs vanished, the unemployed among us had to pry vanishingly tiny benefits or go out and find new jobs.

Those of us who were lucky enough to have jobs that could be done from home, brought our work into our living rooms, our kitchens, and our bedrooms. We challenged ourselves to meet and even exceed our pre-pandemic goals, against unfavorable odds. Despite everything, we prioritized work.

We have treated work as something to be taken home and cherished. Work became our lover. And this year, we took it to bed.

In year 2011, Melissa Gregg published a three-year ethnographic study of the professional lives of a group of knowledge workers in Brisbane, Australia. It was titled, Work’s Intimacy. Gregg’s study found that as mobile technologies like laptops and smartphones and wifi proliferated, and as jobs became more precarious and subject to mass layoffs, office workers had begun to experience their entire lives as work-centric.

An Identify and Culture Crisis That Fuels An Uneasy Love Intimacy With Work

There is an identify that our job gives us. For example, the joy of been seen as a competent and dedicated professional. Then our culture makes us disposed to spend our leisure hours thinking of work, and feeling obligated to it. Technology adds to it by providing an added incentive to just go ahead and do that work, no matter where we are or what time it is.

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If work is assessed as infidelity, it will score high. The time spent engaged in work-related tasks regularly rivaled or came at the expense of other experiences. We obsess over our jobs because we know we can’t count on them. So we keep thinking about them after we leave the office. And in the end, we find ourselves unable to get them out of our minds, like a bad boyfriend.

Withholding attention from our work and from our screens may make us feel guilty, as though we are somehow cheating. But that shouldn’t be surprising. We’ve been taught to treat work as a loved one. So turning our attention away from it, to other and more valued objects, would be a kind of adultery.

Work is not just in our homes all the time now. Work has very literally gone to bed with us. And work wants to have a serious talk about where this relationship is going. But we do not have to be trapped in an endless, stifling love affair with our own labor. We can build our lives around other things. Things that matter more to us – our loved ones, our communities, and the world in which we live.

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