Our chickens have come home to roost. Years of procrastinating on household chores, financial balancing, retirement planning, staying in touch and burying dreams – have finally caught up with us. Today, one miraculously has the time to do things that have remained undone, to say things that have gone unsaid, to enjoy family not just friends, to celebrate life not living, to look within not without, to pause life instead of rewinding/fast-forwarding and to think more and act less.
Working from home is indeed a blessing in disguise. It has given us cause to reflect, to appreciate what we took for granted and to be thankful for what we have. In more tangible terms it has allowed us to leapfrog the technology adoption learning curve and figure out (with assistance from our children/spouses) how to use Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype to continue to transact daily business. Yes, it may feel a little disconcerting at first but once you leap over the first hurdle, there is no looking back.
I prefer to reclass 'working from home' as 'home-work'. Because in the absence of domestic help and in the presence of strict self-quarantine rules, one now has to shoulder one’s share of household work as well. Think of it as character building and team building as you lend a helping hand in sweeping and swabbing and scouring, watering plants, walking the dog, dusting, cooking and cleaning. And rest assured, your boss is doing the same as well. As is his boss. In other words, this period is a great leveler – remember that the bigger the house, the greater the cleaning surface so be delighted and finally content with what you have.
Here are a few pointers to make your homestay an Airbnb experience
• Be comfortable and casual but remember that you’re on call. Create WFH norms for yourself – routine, clothes, home office (no fly zone for family members)
• Embrace your new working regimen – it is akin to high intensity interval training with bursts of activity followed by periods of recovery. Remember to warm up and cool down as stretching yourself in todays times is key to staying fit
• Stay adaptable and flexible. Build in redundancies to account for poor phone signals, call drops, intermittent internet coverage and dropouts during calls/meetings. Remember life is a googly (not google) so suit up to bat accordingly
• Go back to basics – circulate meeting minutes with clear deliverables, accountabilities and timelines. Be punctual, concise and courteous. In other words, be everything your spouse always wanted you to be
• Leverage this unique situation to strengthen the core of business and brainstorm on how to come charging out of the gates when opened
• Above all stay positive, stay connected and stay safe. Remember that prevention today is the only cure so observe self-quarantine and social distancing (digital too!) norms
I would have penned a few more lines but it's lunch break so need to go and prepare lunch for everyone. After all an army marches on its stomach and I sense a mutiny brewing in the family ranks…….
The author is head - regional TV Network, Viacom18.