Work From Home in these Unprecedented times of COVID-19

By Shivsankar Barik 23rd April, 2020

With the onset of the pandemic of COVID-19,  situation has become very troublesome over last few weeks for business and customers alike. The effects of COVID-19 have been shaking up the entire world and forcing us to change our behavioral pattern on a massive scale. Most organizations are trying to enable work from home to continue the rhythm of business and there are tons of articles which help you get started in that journey.

Most of the articles we have come across talks about the technology and infrastructure requirements that one needs to effectively work from home. However, from our experience, technology and infrastructure are just tip of the iceberg. The softer side of getting adjusted to staying at home and ability to focus on work with the other personal responsibilities is big challenge. In addition, when your life support systems are off it makes it that much more difficult. Below are some images which will illustrate what we are talking about.

work-from-home

To put it in words,

  • Working with kids, pets and any dependents  can be a serious challenge.
  • Constant updates of news of COVID-19 can create a lot of stress and anxiety around safety of your near and dear ones.
  • Not having an organized office setup, working from a makeshift arrangement can be a deterrent to productivity .
  • Expecting everyone follow a same routine or work timings might not work.
  • Working alone without  face to face interaction can reduce productivity levels severely.

We at Inovar chose to work from home from the first week of March’20, long before India was put under a strict lock down as health and safety of our employees and their well-being are of are of paramount importance for Inovar.

We have recognized these softer sides of getting work done and have been empathic to our teams which has work wonders for us. Just being open to opinions and making decisions democratically goes a long way to manage things. In addition,  our home network (esp. Internet) was never designed to withstand the unprecedented load, creating frequent loss of connections or slow network speed in every part of the country.

These issues create frustration and stress to the best of us (read as: seasoned WFH experts). I would urge every leader to be cognizant of these facts and always remain alert to handle these scenarios.

  • Always remember to ask your team member their current situation before asking why something didn’t get done.
  • Please connect with your customers and explain them that these are unprecedented times, and everyone should work together to achieve mutual goals.
  • Set at least day long task and less frequent check-ins.
  • Try to be empathetic to their situation and maintain work-life balance.

We live in an Employee First world and it’s said, “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers”. I think it’s the best mantra right now in these testing times.

#statysafe #staypositive #achievewonders

Shivsankar Barik

A leader and technologist with over 20 years of multi-disciplinary experience. He has worked in delivery, operations as well as people management. He specialises in market research, analysis, offshore business delivery, etc

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