With a large part of the world now in a virus induced lockdown, India made no exception and took precautionary measures to announce a 21-day lockdown on the night of the 24th of March.
A hidden boon or bane – a rapid move towards a digitised India and a promotion of a remote working culture within corporate India. In many ways, its something that is not alien to the gig economy, but the concept of work from home is now a ‘forced norm’ and its something that many industries and teams are trying to grapple with.
Having been a part of an organisation that promotes agile working, fortunately for our team – it’s been a way of work that we’ve been dabbling with since January of this year. Though I’m not particularly a fan of this style of work, primarily due to my people-loving nature, as a business professional, its something that will form more of a necessity in adapting to changing environments and creating future proofed teams.
With agility being an intrinsic part of our DNA – as one of the company values, here are my top three tips to cope with what is a new way of working for many in corporate India, coming from my learnings over the past few months:
Create a dedicated workspace
While working from home, its essential to craft out a designated workspace. This essentially creates a mental shift in your mind for you to know when to toggle between ‘work mode’ and ‘chill mode’. You could use your study, children’s room, a small corner in your living room – any spot that you can make your work zone, but creating this zone will help get you into the mindset to boost your productivity. Tips like waking up, dressing up and entering your work zone, helps set in a routine and is easy to create mental switches to avoid fatigue.
Turn ON your video during calls
Remember the rule that communication is only seven per cent verbal and 93 per cent non-verbal. In a world where we are promoting physical distancing yet virtual proximity, it is important now more than ever to ensure that non-verbal cues are not missed to effectively connect with your teams and people you work with. Following a principle of mandatory video during calls ensures not just an effective translation of your message, but in also replicating the presence of your colleagues seated in an office bay – to virtually simulate that part of the environment.
Effectively manage your downtime
The saying “All work and no play makes Jack a Dull Boy” can definitely be validated in a work from home set up. It is crucial to effectively manage your downtime to avoid a burnout. This also has positive effects in keeping your mental energy levels healthy and helps boost creativity and productivity. Off late I’ve been binge watching a TV show based on trial science called Bull. Use your time off effectively to do things that relax you such as reading a book, watching a movie, chatting with your friends and most importantly getting in some good quality time with your family.
George Bernard Shaw famously said “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”. While we are indeed thrust into a new environment, it is important to know that we are all in this together. We must use our time well to upskill and upgrade ourselves as we overcome new challenges together!
The author is director, data sciences at Dentsu Aegis Network, South Asia.