The Struggle of Young Workers
The Dilemmatic Relationship Between Working from Home and Wellbeing in The Digitized Era
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our perception of a way of life as health protocols and social-distancing restrictions have become the baseline in the last two years. This profound change surely shapes new habits especially those from the working class in the context of Indonesia. Many occupation fields are encouraged to apply for the Work From Home (WFH) policy to limit physical contact that potentially drives a mass spread of COVID-19 at work. However, adjustment to this new regulation is not always as “healthy” as it may sound. Our research explores the dilemmatic side of working from home among young adult workers who came from different fields of expertise (private and public sector) and how it affects their wellbeing, both subjective and objective. At the beginning of 2021, it is undeniable that social media became the biggest communication tool used by 61.8% out of the total Indonesian population (Kemp, 2021). Using the netnography method, this research aims to examine the use of social media as a coping mechanism, as well as a medium for self-actualization and staying connected with others. Instead of avoiding the negative effect of working from home, we argue that overcoming hardships and recognizing the meaningful purpose of life in times of uncertainty is essential to achieve the optimal state of wellbeing, which is in line with the concept of eudaimonic wellbeing (Lopez, 2009; Macaskill and Killen, 2015). However, the eudaimonic concept stated by Aristotle also highlights the importance of knowing one’s full potential development, which later will be criticized in this study in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our study shows that understanding and practicing self-actualization is a step that should be done to reach the state of full potential development. Well-being is a relatively new issue in anthropology. Hence, we attempt to fill in the gaps by bringing into attention cultural perspectives when talking about eudaimonic wellbeing in the digitized era; how mediated practice on the internet is conducted to attain pleasure and self-development. In addition, the finding of this study may provide insight for individuals and organizations to develop effective intervention strategies that take into account unique needs and experiences.