Is the Future a Work-from-Home World?
In many parts of the world, the covid19 pandemic necessitated that governments institute stay-at-home lockdowns. This, in turn, forced many employers and educators to restructure their businesses and schools so that employees and students could work productively from home. It is becoming clear that unanticipated consequences have been created, including the very real possibility that the temporary stay at-home world may be morphing into a permanent work-from-home world for large segments of society.
The New York Times, on May 21, 2020, wrote: During a staff meeting that was live-streamed on his Facebook profile, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, assured workers that as many as half of the company’s more than 48,000 employees would operate from home within a decade. ‘It’s obvious that Covid’s life has changed a lot, and that definitely includes the way most of us work,’ said Mr. Zuckerberg. ‘I think that remote work will also be a growing trend after this time.”It’s obvious that Covid’s life has changed a lot, and that definitely includes the way most of us work,’ said Mr. Zuckerberg. ‘I think that remote work will also be a growing trend after this time.’ Another trend that has been accelerated by COVID-19 is telemedicine. To treat patients during the COVID-19 crisis, physicians have by necessity greatly increased the use of telemedicine. Many project that the use of telemedicine will continue to rapidly grow. A May 19, 2020, article in Tech Republic states: “For years, we’ve been telling physicians that there will be more virtual visits every day by 2024 than visits in person. The date was brought forward by COVID for two years, maybe three years.” We know some doctors who are already practicing telemedicine from their homes.
Let’s look now at a Hindu perspective on the trend to work from home. Remote working gives more time, as there is no need to commute. Many live far from their office or school and spend significant hours each day in transit to and from work. With these extra hours in the day, we see four opportunities here to improve life.
Enhancing the Home Shrine
The first is: what better place to put some of that time than in strengthening the home shrine. It is traditional for Hindu homes to center around a special space set aside and maintained to create a temple-like environment in which we perform puja, read scripture, meditate, perform sadhana, sing bhajans and do japa japa. Guru, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, stressed the shrine room’s importance in many of his talks. He knew how it could uplift and inspire. Here is an excerpt from his writings: “All Hindus have guardian devas who live and lead, guard and protect their lives on the astral plane. In the temple, the great Mahadevas often sent their deva ambassadors to the houses to reside with the devotees. For these permanent unseen visitors, a space is set aside, a room that the entire family can join and sit in and inwardly interact with these refined beings who are committed to preserving generation after generation of the family. Their own ancestors are some of them. To attract these deities, a token shrine in a bedroom or a wardrobe or a niche in a kitchen is not enough. In one’s wardrobe, one will not host an honoured guest or make him or her sleep in the kitchen and expect the guest to feel accepted, valued, cherished. Since childhood, all Hindus have been taught that a visitor is God and they treat any guest who comes to visit royally. When they come to permanently live in the house, Hindus often regard God as God and devas as Gods. The vibration of your home shrine can be strengthened by regularly going to a local temple. Then, when you come home from the temple, light an oil lamp in the shrine room. This action would bring the religious atmosphere of the temple into your home, taking devas who were at the temple right into the home shrine mystically. From the inner world, they are able to bless and direct family members and reinforce the religious power of the household.
A second opportunity from not commuting is to spend more quality time with the children. Also, working at home, your schedule may be flexible, allowing you to be focused on your career when the children are at school and be free when they are home. Gurudeva put great emphasis on family gatherings and suggested holding a once a-week “Monday Home Evening.” The Monday Home Evening, is observed by many religions, including the Hindus. The family members get together on Monday evening, Siva’s day, cook a wonderful meal, play games together and appreciate each other’s good qualities verbally. This is an evening, where the TV is not switched on. On that day, they do not fix any problems. They just love each other, and everyone from the youngest child to the oldest senior, has a voice. It’s a family reunion, one day a week when everyone looks forward to seeing their mum and dad at home. That does not mean if Monday is skipped, it will be on Tuesday or some other day. Family home night is always on Monday, and everyone’s life has to adapt to that this form of behaviour is defined as true wealth by Gurudeva. Because of their careers, many families find that even this is unlikely. People now assume that they have to have two incomes, three incomes, to be well off comfortably. Money, often very quickly, is gained and lost. As rapidly received, often as rapidly lost. What is Wealth? Wealth is a many-faceted diamond. Money is one facet of wealth, but it is not the only one. This is a great asset, a happy family that loves each other. Another great wealth is doing things together and loving doing things together.
Creating a Balance in Life
A third opportunity is to find more richness and balance in one’s life. Time spent commuting may displace important activities such as a half hour a day of physical exercise. The stress of modern life can be reduced by exercise and by the regular practice of hatha yoga asanas in the home, something that is impossible in most offices. Stress can also be reduced through simple meditation techniques. More time can allow for healthier meals to be prepared and for enriching activities such as local cultural events, outings and learning adventures.
Serving the Community
A fourth opportunity is to give some of this gift of time back to the community. Seva projects can be arranged in which all family members participate. The importance of seva, selfless service, is best impressed on the mind of youth by actually doing it. A great benefit of performing seva is that it offsets the spirit-diminishing emphasis on materialism, working with the singular purpose of building wealth for one’s immediate family. It is suggested that if there are no formal Hindu seva projects in your region, then extend the search for activities related to environmental change, disaster relief, or the provision of clothing, food and care for the poor to the general community. “Pramukh Swami Maharaj of BAPS advised his followers in the aftermath of the devastating 2001 Gujarat earthquake: “When people are experiencing difficulties and sorrows, our Indian practise is to give them solace. We believe that we are serving the Lord Himself by serving human beings. Of course, by working from home, there are many more possibilities made. We hope that these four ideas will catalyze your innovative thinking about new ways to enhance the spirituality of the home, boost your well-being, and support the broader community while strengthening family relations.
- Home: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fthumbor.forbes.com%2Fthumbor%2F960x0%2Fhttps%253A%252F%252Fblogs-images.forbes.com%252Fbishopjordan%252Ffiles%252F2018%252F09%252Fadult-attractive-beautiful-935743-1200x800.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.forbes.com%2Fsites%2Fbishopjordan%2F2018%2F09%2F14%2Fwork-from-home-jobs%2F&tbnid=rvb01Jsw8Oww_M&vet=12ahUKEwjc_JrCjp3tAhW0FbcAHecOBIoQMygNegUIARDIAQ..i&docid=BQtZJOkQqwUfOM&w=960&h=640&q=work%20at%20home%20jobs&ved=2ahUKEwjc_JrCjp3tAhW0FbcAHecOBIoQMygNegUIARDIAQ