I have a confession to make. Last year when the pandemic had just started, the prospect of working from home had me kinda excited. The reason was simple: I could finally go back to my hometown and spend a lot of time with my family! Of course, I did not anticipate that it could go for an entire year or more.
While working from home was alright, it took me just a week to realise that all this while I had been taking my co-workers for granted. Given that we all used to meet every single day at the office, I never realised the important role they were all playing in my life. The post-lunch walks, the quick gossip sessions, our Swiggy orders....suddenly I was missing it all. And so were they! It didn’t take us long to reach out to each other, and before I knew it, we had an informal WhatsApp group.
Suddenly, it wasn’t about just work anymore. From everyday frustrations to our romantic lives, we were discussing it all. And while the pandemic might have raised a lot of challenges, it also gave me the gift of amazing office friends. Here's how it transpired for us as a group:
By now all of us have realised that working from home is tougher than it sounds and for me, some of these days were really tough initially. This is how a lot of my colleagues and I cultivated the habit of appreciating each other’s work and small as it sounds, it has actually worked wonders. Every time a colleague picks up a funny quote from my story and sends it to me saying how much it made them laugh, it legit makes my day.
So my editor and I are crazy Bigg Boss fanatics and are constantly writing about how we share a love-hate relationship with the show. But before that, we discuss. Every time something bonkers happens in the show (which is often), I instantly text her and we discuss how it has boggled us in our own unique ways and mix that together to write epic stories. Super fun and works like a charm for all my Bigg Boss stories!
Nothing, I repeat nothing, brings co-workers together as memes do especially if they apply to your work life. Well, let’s just say that I am friends with a colleague who knows where to find just the perfect ones and she can find shit tonnes of those. Long story short, no workday is too serious or sad anymore, all thanks to Instagram, office memes, and the friend who sends them. I wish her long life and a BIGGGG appraisal. *wink*
So two of my office friends broke up with their partners in the past year. I, myself, had a lot of figuring out to do. And these were things that we really couldn’t discuss at home. Add to it all the work (that never stops in a media house) and of course, we were nicely lost. Obviously, the friends who were working with me, understood it better than anyone else. Each time, things got too messed up for any of us, we just connected over a conference call and cheered each other up.
But then there were days that were equally hard on all of us. In the initial months, the pandemic was quite harsh on media houses and while POPxo did all that it could to ensure our sanity, there were days when despair hit us too hard. These were days when we called each other to rant (sometimes, cry) for hours. You won’t believe me, but it really helped.
The pandemic has been an anxiety-provoking time. Add to it the crazy slew of people who decided to get married amid the madness. Well, I am in my late 20s and have a lot of shaadi pressure from the fam which is increasing by the day given that I am at home all the time. Well, I have nights when I cannot help but reach out to my office bestie and tell her about how all of it is making me anxious. And trust me when I tell you that all it takes is one reasonable text from her for me to feel better.
Okay, so seven people in my team contracted COVID-19 in the past year. And throughout it all, we kept exchanging notes. I caught the virus after everyone and it was 'coz of everything that my office fam had told me that I didn't panic (and I panic easy). Yes, some of us had a really tough time with the infection but going through this phase together and ensuring that everyone was doing fine and getting tested on time, really kept us going and also, brought us together like a family.
All in all, not only did the pandemic taught me to value my office relationships but also helped me find a family at work and for that, I am truly grateful. Seriously ladies, what would I do without you? I love you all!!!
Featured Image: Instagram