Workspace odyssey: Returning to work in a new world

A band jamming over video calls, an entrepreneur moves office to her dining table: What going back to work means in a pandemic
By: Madhu Kapparath, Naini Thaker
Published: Aug 1, 2020
6.Jitendra Sarda & workers_006

Image by : Aryan Sarda

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  • Workspace odyssey: Returning to work in a new world
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  • 6.Jitendra Sarda & workers_006
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Nagpur: Jitendra Sarda, director, Shri Vyenkatesh Casting

"Work is tiresome and requires long hours," says Jitendra Sarda, director, who resumed work about two months ago. For him, a typical week includes travelling four times to a stone-crushing unit in Pachgaon, 22 km away. For the rest of the week, he travels to a dolomite mine in Sausar in Madhya Pradesh, where work is expected to begin soon. Although operations had stopped completely in the first month and a half of the lockdown, demand started picking up as the economy reopened. "But demand has again nosedived, partly due to the monsoon and also due to the infection spread." Like most businesses, Sarda's is facing a crisis of labour; and an increase in diesel prices has led to a rise in production costs. "While there are no Covid-19 cases in Pachgaon, we ensure the workers are safe and take appropriate hygiene measures," he says, adding that during the lockdown the staff lived in nearby quarters so that they didn't have to leave the property.