Gaurav Choudhary, our Engagement Manager, talks about the challenges and changes involved in working from home. This is our second edition of Notes from Home; if you missed the first one, you can get the essence in the post below.
Planning, Cooking, and Time Management
How does it feel to work from home on an extended basis?
The initial days were tough, as the week mostly went unorganized. The pandemic news played a big role in my not settling down to work. Gradually, I accepted this as part of life. Then I started to streamline my day in more formal ways.
This was the first time in my 13-year professional career that I’ve spent more than a week at home with my family – and that without any special occasion. When you’re together during festivals, its less “us” time and more about the work related to the festivities; time flies and you come back with a heavy heart and a lot of emotions. But this WFH gave me some real quality time to spend with my family.
I had a huge realization as well. I realized that my mom and dad are getting older and we were only giving them a 15- or 20-minute phone call a few times a week. It’s heart-crushing! Now I spend most of my free time and weekends just having random discussions with my parents. I can see the smile on their faces, which is nothing but a blessing.
What do you do to stay productive when working from home?
As I said before, the first few weeks were haphazard. But later I started following the clock, getting ready and starting work around 9:30 in the morning. I plan my day better to ensure that all my work is sorted, that I’m available for my team and any client calls. These are set in advance, but I like to insure against any last-minute changes. Starting my day on time has really helped me stay productive and full of energy.
How do you strike a balance between work and family?
For me, my clients are in the Asia-Pacific and North America regions, so most of my days and evenings are full of meetings. Even though we are at home, we’re still working. Finding that balance is hard.
Still, [as team leaders,] this is what makes us who we are. We have a responsibility to go that extra mile to ensure that the rest of the team, especially junior team members, can have some breathing space. Whatever time you have, it’s up to you to bring the best out of it. So plan well and execute without fear!
How do you de-stress yourself while working?
I love cooking – that’s an open secret. During these tough times, I cook a lot. Previously I wasn’t often able to cook for my family, so me cooking for them was very pleasant. And they appreciated it whole-heartedly, even when my cooking wasn’t up to the mark!
I also started reading again, which was something I hadn’t done in quite some time. I bought some new books, subscribed to some podcasts. And, of course, there was some Netflix as well.
Have you pursued new hobbies or learned any new skills during the lockdown?
I haven’t started any new hobbies, but I have brushed up on some old ones – cooking, reading, music, and photography.
Do you have any suggestions for smooth sailing during this WFH period?
Planning and time management. They will take you far. Also, stay active