Babita Baruah
Mar 23, 2020

WFH diary: Thoughts on remote working

The author expresses personal learnings and some un-learnings, since she moved to remote working

WFH diary: Thoughts on remote working
My husband and I often laugh about how different our work lives are. 
He is a graphic designer and artist, who has worked solo for most of his life. I, on the other hand, the die-hard office goer. 
There have been times when I feel he has more freedom. Setting his own work codes and rules of engagement between professional engagements and commitments, and his personal life.
I never envy him though. I like the routine and the mobility, the ability to meet and connect in person.
So it’s only natural that the past days have seen both of us share notes.  From him, I have borrowed tips on how to dress up for work mode every morning, take the planned breaks, have a goal set for the day, stay hydrated, not forget to take quick walks within the house. From me, he is learning how technology can create and keep virtual teams connected, how collaboration, ideation, debate, reviews , presentations across multiple locations can happen seamlessly. It's nice to see how we have both acknowledged that the two have similarities, but also differences.
Remote working or work from home is not quite the same for large teams where team work is not just a strong quality and ethic, but  part of a process and a key parameter for success. Compared to individuals or set ups that have been structured around this or similar ways of working. 
Here are some personal learnings, some un-learnings, since we went remote.
  • Keep the hours like we do on a regular day at work. 
  • Take the breaks. 
  • Spark conversations. Join conversations. 
  • Stay hydrated. 
  • Laugh. 
  • Debate.
  • Ideate. Create. 
  • Inspire. 
  • Provoke. 
Be on video mode, whenever possible. I used to prefer voice over video, but have now understood that it makes us feel closer and more connected. 
This is a time where our values and culture are at test. A time where empathy, kindness run hand in hand with innovativeness.
And a time to be conscious as a collective, in the way we communicate, as individuals, and as professionals. 
Until this is behind us, it’s a change in mode and location. 
Not in spirit and scope.
Wish all the readers health and happiness.

Babita Baruah is managing partner at GTB India. The views expressed are her own, not those of the organisation.
Campaign India

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