WFH now stands for ‘Work From Hills’
Coronavirus Update, Feature Articles

WFH now stands for ‘Work From Hills’

August 24, 2021

After being cooped up inside, professionals break the monotony of indoor existence

One of the positive sides of COVID pandemic is that it has given the flexibility to professionals to Work From Home (WFH) avoiding meeting people while in transit to their offices and also ‘Work From Hills’, amidst nature. 

 Many professionals, especially from the IT sector have figured out how to escape the confines of life on the grid. They have moved to cooler climates, working full-time out of hill-stations and also from plush resorts and by the side of reservoirs. While it is a financially draining proposition, they are not minding much to spend for cleaner air, safe zones and of course greener grass and good food.

 They prefer to work amidst greenery, where birds chirp and dragonflies say hello in cottages amidst coffee estates, walking paths and unlimited supply of piping hot coffee and farm-fresh food. They enjoy the views, log on to workstations, complete the eight or nine-hour shift or wrap up early sometimes and then enjoy the view, walk in the forest and relax under the stars.

Cashing on the trend is the resort, home stay and tourism sectors who have adjusted to the new set of guests and business where bored-at-home youngsters are going with their bag, baggage and laptops to work and vacation. 

 The trend has also given birth to new words to the pandemic lingo like ‘workcation’ (work and vacation), ‘staycation’ (holiday spent in one’s home country) and also ‘daycation’ (enjoying all the benefits of a resort without staying overnight). 

 IT professional from Bengaluru Aditya Kamat has been working remotely from beaches, under the cover of trees and also basking under sunshine. He had shifted to Pollibetta in Kodagu where he stayed at the Porcupine Castle Resort with a friend and worked from there. Now he has moved back to Bengaluru. 

Work inspiration

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“I always feel fresh and though I am here, I am connected to my office during work hours. Greenery, cottages with good facilities and a reliable WiFi connection inspire work and also improves productivity,” he told Star of Mysore. 

 “I have worked hard for over 10 months as my company was launching a B2B product and I had to be in Bengaluru for emergency calls, online sessions and meetings. Now I have taken a break and I have been doing just supervisory work since a fortnight. I am in Kodagu as it was practical for me to club work with vacation,” said Charitha, a product head at a Cloud Computing-based tech company. 

There are guests who are officially and unofficially working from resorts and cottages. “I cannot reveal my identity as my company policies bar employees working from resorts and hill stations. We are expected to work from home,” said another IT professional who is into systems and security at an IT company. 

Free from cramped spaces

“Nothing can substitute working, sipping a cup of hot coffee and eating bajjis and pakodas amidst mist and rain. My house in Bengaluru is a single bedroom but expensive one as we are closer to my daughter’s school and our offices. As we both were working from home and my daughter was attending online classes, all three of us needed space and it was not possible in my house. We booked a cottage for a month and we are comfortable here,” explained Mythri Reddy, who has come with her family. 

“I went to Bengaluru last week for an emergency meeting and we are going back at the end of August as offline classes for my daughter begin,” she said. 

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Anila Paul, one of the Directors of Porcupine Castle Resort, told SOM that they had started renting out cottages and rooms since last year as there was a huge demand. “People come here to stay for a minimum of three days to a maximum of a fortnight or a month. We have 33 rooms and WiFi is available all over with a speed of 50 to 100 mbps. All the guests are given support and all rooms have views. Other facilities include walking amidst coffee estates, swimming pool and poolside workplace,” she said. 

Money does not matter

A typical one-month stay in a cottage (with a bedroom, furnished kitchen, a balcony with a view,                       electricity and WiFi) comes anywhere between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 1 lakh. But for many, money is not a problem as it’s less riskier and peaceful staying in resorts than in concrete jungle amidst COVID and a constant cacophony of traffic. 

Cheeyanda Sathya, who owns Ibni Springs Resorts, too said that he has been hosting professionals ever since the WFH concept gained momentum. “We have private waterfalls near workstations and also fishing time. We have a host of rejuvenation ideas after tiring work sessions,” he said. 

Travel enquiries

Vikas of J.D. Travels, Bengaluru, has been getting lots of enquiries for work and vacations in Kodagu and other places like Chikkamagalur. “The basic thing they ask for is a good WiFi network, good food and a comfortable stay. I have directed many to Kodagu after giving contact details. They come in their own vehicles and SUVs. Cottages are preferred by working couples and also children who have online classes — all of them work in one cottage with food, snacks, coffee and of course natural views,” he added.

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