Work from the mountains (WFM) or work from the hills (WFH) is trending fast in India as IT professionals, businessmen and others are opting for long stays in hotels or guesthouses located in a peaceful place close to the nature in the picturesque Kullu-Manali.
Imagine working from a place amidst snow-capped high mountain peaks and lush green deep valleys with cold breeze kissing your face. The chirping birds and sound of glacier-fed water streams refreshing your mind. Fast-flowing rivers and glacier-fed waterfalls just in the neighbourhood. You enjoy your work while having a cup of ginger tea during sunrise and sunset. You are working like office but it is more like a holiday trip.
This seems to be an otherworldly imagination. But just a thought of all this make you excited and full of energy, forgetting everything about Covid-19 pandemic. But this is true as a large number of people from metros and other cities are already working from mountains.
Hundreds of queries are pouring in every day where tourists are looking for an ideal location with good internet connectivity. Such professionals want to make their room or balcony or the courtyard a temporary workplace. Many IT companies have asked their employees that they can work from home since December 31. The work from home concept is working fine for lakhs of employees in India. But, work-from-home is now less popular than work-from-mountains.
The boredom of working from home can be super-excited if you change your home temporarily to the mountains. WFM or Work from Mountains is a new trend in the country and Kullu-Manali has emerged as the best destination as the area has very few Covid-19 cases and people here are giving warm welcome to the outsiders.
What is Work from Mountains (WFM)
Work from Mountain or Work from Hills (WFH) is a concept of working while on holiday amid Covid-19 pandemic. This is an all-new form of work from home where the home is temporarily shifted to the mountains. This way the boredom of working from home is killed and you are energized to accomplish your new assignment without any obstruction.
In many areas where Covid-19 has caused panic, and the areas are being made containment zones, working from office or home is putting mental pressure. People are looking for a safe and peaceful place to work from. People are also craving for a holiday trip as they want a break from the hectic works and six-month-long lockdown. In work from mountain concept, they book a hotel, guesthouse, or homestay for a long stay so that they could work from there.
In some cases only working people are staying alone or with their friends or colleagues, in other cases working people are coming with their spouse or the entire family. They can have their meal ordered from the hotel, guesthouse, or homestay or can even cook their own in some cases.
Apart from work, you can take out some time for sightseeing in popular or least visited tourist places. You can get to know about the local pahadi culture and traditions.
Which property you should choose for Work from Mountains?
If you are coming especially for work purpose (WFM), you should choose a hotel away from the hustle-bustle of the towns so that you get a chance to encounter the natural beauty without getting disturbed. Make sure from the landlord if they have working broadband or the hotel has a proper 4G network. Also, get information about power outage routine and power back-up facility. If you are coming for a long stay, you can get a better deal.
What is requirement for Working from Mountain?
The hotel, guesthouse or homestay owners are ensuring that you get uninterrupted and fast internet. They will tell you in advance about all available options like broadband, wifi or 4G network. You will be told in advance about available mobile networks (eg Airtel, Jio, BSNL etc.) so that you can make or receive business phone calls 24X7. Some properties have power back-up while others will not have to support your system in case of a power outage. You will get a proper chair and table and electric sockets.
Do I need a special permit for Work from Mountain?
No, you need not to obtain any permit for working from the mountains. Even you need not to have any permit to travel to Kullu Manali. As per Himachal Government notification dated September 17, 2020, tourists can enter Himachal without registration or without the need of an e-pass. Tourists need not bring Covid-19 negative report. So pack your bag and head to the hills.
Which places are best for Work from Mountains in Kullu-Manali?
Kullu district has hundreds of villages and most of them offer scenic views and have their unique culture and traditions. Hotels, guesthouses, and homestays are available everywhere in the district. However, most people are preferring to visit the rural area of Manali (Dhungari, Nasogi, Kanyal, Simsa, Old Manali, Goshal, Shanag, Solang, Burua, Aleo, Jagatsukh, Shuru, Prini, Bran, Haripur etc.), Manikaran, Kasol, Jibhi, Tirthan, Banjar and Shoja.
Work from Mountain concept hit in Kullu-Manli
The concept of work from the mountains (WFM) is gaining popularity among tourists, especially businessmen and professionals, who are thronging remote locations of Kullu for long holidays.
The occupancy rate in hotels, guesthouses and homestays in Jibhi, Tirthan valley and some other remote tourist-friendly locations of Kullu has reached up to 40 per cent. Most of the accommodations in these areas are expected to be fully occupied from this weekend. Many tourists are coming for long stays. Some have even booked rooms for several weeks or months.
After work from home, work from mountains is a new trend. Techies from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and other cities are the main customers. According to hoteliers and homestay owners, they are making sure that the area has uninterrupted internet, phone and power connectivity. They want to make their mountain and valley facing rooms their temporary workplace.
Jibhi Valley Tourism Development Association president Lalit Kumar said, “All accommodations will be fully occupied from Saturday onwards. Most of the tourists are coming for long stays. While some are coming to enjoy the tranquility and scenic beauty of the area, others are coming for working from the mountains.”
The hoteliers expect that this trend will continue till year-end or until Covid-19 panic ends. Tirthan, Jibhi, Shoja, Banjar, Kasol, Manikaran and nearby areas have hundreds of hotels and homestays. All of them are getting good number of advance booking. Tourists, who are coming for WFH, are generally opting for property away from the towns and crowd.
According to Lalit, both Jibhi and Tirthan took the right decision to open for tourists from September 5. “We did a lot of marketing and assured both tourists and villagers of safety from the Covid-19 by ensuring sanitisation, not allowing tourists with symptoms, keeping the hotel staff in hotels and maintaining distance from locals and strictly following the government SOPs. This is working out for us,” he said.
A large number of enquiries are pouring in from tourists from all parts of the country. Tourists want to spend some time in peace away from Covid-19 panic. To woo the tourists, hoteliers have offered heavy discounts on the room tariff.
We are taking care of all needs of our special travellers who are coming for “work from mountains”. Such clients are generally coming for long stays. We have both hotel and cottage options available for them. We have four room cottage option with private garden, two living rooms and even kitchen options for a group of working people who want to stay together but separate from other tourists. We have hi-speed wifi and all mobile networks with 4G connectivity are available in all the rooms. We have a power back-up support. Our hotel is away from the main city. Our location is best in Manali which offers view of snow-clad mountain ranges: Ludar Thakur, owner of Hotel Snow Peak Retreat, Manali.
Meanwhile, the number of tourists is increasing in Manali but the inflow is not steady. Most of the hotels are still closed. Many hotels will open from October 1 but a large number of hotels will remain closed this year.
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