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Some lockdown changes worth preserving, say Chennaiites

Since March 25, the city has been in different states of lockdown. Even with tapering numbers, Chennai remains indoors to fight the spread of the virus. With lives changing over the last 100 days, Chennaiites feel that at least some things about lockdown life are worth preserving.

Some lockdown changes worth preserving, say Chennaiites
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Sarthak and Ashaa

Chennai

With several companies closing their physical offices, many have taken to working remotely from homes. This has changed the work lifestyle quite a bit, say working professionals. From smooth operations to difficulties in communication, work from home is a varied experience for many.

According to Sarthak Krishna Dev, an engineer, working from home has been a very productive endeavour. “When it comes to my field, working from home has fewer distractions. There’s no chit-chat or anybody disturbing you when you’re working and you meet deadlines faster. Given how long we’ve managed to keep this up for, we are looking at implementing this permanently in our office,” he said.

Many companies have embraced the shift to the digital, with time management and communication applications becoming more popular within companies to improve efficacy. Online meeting now the norm, many feel that the technology must update itself to cater to the rising demand to provide better quality products.

To meet the changing demand of consumers during the shutdown, many companies have been forced to alter their business strategies from a company-specific model to a community-specific model. With many expecting the shutdown to continue until the end of the year, working professionals have already made the necessary adjustments to their practice.

“We started SAA’s Wardrobe Styling in the first week of April, where we creatively style customers with the clothes they already have in their closet. All the proceeds go towards paying our staff, who are unable to work during the shutdown. Since custom-made clothing is close to luxury during these times, we had to shift our focus as designers to cater to the changing market that’s predominantly virtual,” said Ashaa Vigashini, creative director of SAA.

The professional is not the only sphere that has changed. Now bound to their homes, several have taken to ways to entertain themselves through hobbies and activities. From taking online classes and seminars to getting back in touch with old hobbies, many locals are tapping into their learning and creative instincts.

One such person is Tasneem MK, who dusted off an old microscope in her home and began examining slices of vegetables underneath. “I am a Biotechnology graduate, and due to the lack of jobs in India, I took a break. During that time, I fell out of touch with the subject. Now, however, I got a chance to go back and relive that passion I had for the subject,” she said. From cooking to sewing to drawing to dance, many have taken up long-lost hobbies or newfound passions during this time.

Social interactions have shifted to the digital space, with video conferencing apps like Zoom becoming a household name. However, such social interactions are no substitute for the real thing, say a few. “I moderate five weekly Zoom conferences with my family and close friends. The problem is that people have become fatigued with the process. At first, people would dress up for meetings, but that energy is dying down. As someone who loves going outside myself, it is understandable why people are getting tired of being stuck in the same space,” says Vinod Reddy.

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