There is a lack of ventilation because most office buildings do not have windows and many aren’t running ACs
GURUGRAM: For Siddhartha Losalka, a recruiter for leadership roles, the return to his office space — a co-working facility in Udyog Vihar — felt surreal. “It was like being on the sets of a post-apocalyptic movie. The roads had almost no traffic. In the office, there were barely a handful of people in a building that otherwise has nearly 650 people working out of it,” he said.
Losalka takes a cab to office every day. The commute that would normally irritate him because of jams and bottlenecks has become a breeze. But to him, it has underlined the strangeness of it all, rather than the comfort.
While most people continue to operate from home, a section of the workforce has been regularly or intermittently going to office since Unlock began in June.
Handshakes, hugs out at workplaces
In the middle of the pandemic, the act of going to office has helped bring a sense of “normalcy”, some regular office-goers told TOI. However, there’s nothing normal about the routine, whether it’s empty avenues leading to the office, team meetings tinted with apprehension and an omnipresent fear of contracting the virus. Moreover, there is no place for camaraderie — handshakes and hugs are out — making the return to work an unfamiliar and vacuous experience.
Getting to the workplace is a challenge too. In the absence of public transport, people have to either take a cab or drive, both of which are expensive options. “Since Metro isn’t running now, I take a cab and end up spending up to Rs 1,000 each day on the commute,” said Sameera Satija, an auditor with the Centre.
Many people travelling from Delhi or Noida to Gurugram have been facing this problem. Some of them used to carpool earlier, but are now apprehensive and are putting social distancing before travel budgets. Vikas Kakran, a digital marketer, drives all the way from Sonipat to Aerocity for work.
However, most people TOI spoke to said they would rather go to office than be at home with the monotony of the work from home routine that began in March beginning to take a toll.