‘We ran drills where the entire team would work from home to prepare for any chinks in our WFH processes. As a founder of an early-stage startup, I was most concerned about productivity, communication, and coordination.
At Railofy, we have put in place a lot of apps and tools to help our teams, likefor project management, Google Meets and Hangouts for team meetings or presentations, AnyDesk for remote access, Slack for team communication, Bitbucket and GitHub for code management, Calendly for, Google Drive and Amazon AWS S3 for document sharing and a private wiki for knowledge management. I feel that it is essential to create a home ‘workplace’,’ he told ET Panache.
Tips to work
Sanghvi offers some tips to work better. ‘Identifying a serviceable, dedicated space that allows you to feel, operate, and be seen (at least online) as a remote professional is vital. It speaks volumes to coworkers and your team to see you dial in from a consistent location—rather than from a couch one day and a sofa the next. Also, working from your bed or dining table doesn’t allow you to put forth your best effort and it’s simply not sustainable. At a minimum, ensure that you have an ergonomic desk and chair. I personally have my own ‘workplace’ set up in our home den room. I personally feel it is very important to dress up for WFH. Including your face like one of those tiles on the team, calls send a subtle message about your professionalism. It says that you’re committed and ready for work. Over and above that, dressing up keeps away any sense of tardiness or lethargy,’ he shares.
Challenges of times
Now, as the work-from-home experiment stretches on, Sanghvi can see some cracks starting to emerge. ‘Training is tougher. Hiring and integrating new employees is more complicated. I sometimes feel that younger team members aren’t developing at the same rate as they would in offices, sitting next to colleagues, and absorbing how they do their jobs. In the virtual world, we can no longer rely upon casual, organic opportunities to connect with others. We spend a lot of time on our knowledge management and sharing platform – our private Wiki. We also do bi-weekly full team calls where we discuss critical projects and new ideas. The key to working from home is clear communication and knowing exactly what’s expected of you. Have clearly defined expectations for day-to-day. We follow the Agile methodology and do daily stand-up meetings, to this end,’ he says.
It is very easy for the boundary between personal and professional lives to blur if not vanish completely in WFH. Work hours and overtime are becoming fairytale concepts, feels Sanghvi.
‘I am a firm believer in time slotting. I set up time slots for everything. On weekdays, I wake up early and work out. We then spend family time together on the breakfast table daily. After that, like any workday, I get ready and go to my home ‘workplace’ and the day begins with our team stand-up meeting. I have a strict shut-off time for work in the night followed by family time at the dinner table. Later in the night is reserved for spending time with friends (virtually). Weekends are sacred! I take time on weekends to spend with my family and on home improvements,’ he says.
Sanghvi works out as regularly as possible at home using online videos. ‘I follow a few fitness bloggers on YouTube and I also use the Fitternity App. On weekends, my wife and I go for walks on our terrace. Living so close to the beach in Mumbai is a luxury, which we try to make the most out of,’ he shares.
Sanghvi found a great deal of satisfaction and a sort of serenity in working with his bare hands. ‘In the lockdown, I have picked up a little bit of gardening, carpentry around the house and the odd dabble in the kitchen to whip up some favourite recipes,’ the 35-year-old says.
During the lockdown, Sanghvi has been spending mainly on furniture and other equipment to make WFH more comfortable and sustainable like an ergonomic chair, laptop stand, wide dual screen monitors, Wifi printer-scanner, and a lot of plants.
‘You will be surprised at what difference a little green in your workspace can make.
Since the Covid scare began, most of my discretionary spending like vacations and eating or drinking out has been completely curtailed. So a lot of these additional savings are currently going into stock investments,’ he says.
Sanghvi and his family have replaced their heavy-duty home appliances with more energy-efficient ones as well as set up smart devices for home automation.
‘Since we all have been home for so long, we tend to notice a lot more small home improvements. We have done more home improvements in the last few months than we have in the last few years,’ he ends.
Acing Lockdown Fitness: How Zoomcar CEO, Vinati Organics Head & Other Bosses Have Kept Them…
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Lockdown Fitness Challenge
Not to shy away from difficult situations, these bosses share how they stayed in shape while stuck at home: