The COVID-19 outbreak has changed how countries, businesses, and humans function.
Earlier on, in an attempt to hamper its spread, most countries evoked social distancing as a norm. This has directly impacted the way everyone goes about their daily routines - be it as a country or as a business. As countries gear to combat this pandemic, so are businesses.
Businesses are rapidly evolving to accommodate these testing times. What used to be a 9-5 job now seems to be fully remote. What required long meetings and huddling together in a room now translated into Zoom meetings with everyone shouting, "can you hear me?", on repeat.
There's no denying a sudden shift can cause a lot of confusion - be it related to work, communication, productivity, employee morale, or even mental health. But this can be minimised or negated on the whole. This is how we at Fyle are trying to navigate through the whole wfh process while ensuring everyone is safe, and our product is up and running.
Sides of the same coins, advantages, and disadvantages.
Speaking as someone who'd any day prefer working from a cozy corner of my room, wfh can still get daunting. Thus, there is no hard line you can draw between advantages and disadvantages for remote working.
For instance, our content team is curling up in lofty armchairs with coffee mugs to create pieces on remote working. Meanwhile, our coders are kind of missing their 194 active tabs on 2 huge monitors.
It will take all of us time and due diligence to master the wfh process.
We are social animals; we love to chat, eat, and get distracted. Often, tight office schedules limit us from getting carried away with a TV series or even water cooler conversations. Just the fact that we're in the office, with office clothing adds a sense of order in our lives. But what happens when we end up comfortably in our jammies with all the time in the world?
Here are some instances you might be familiar with when it comes to working remotely:
Interestingly, the whole Remote Working scenario is a lot like cooking. It may seem fancy, luxurious, and even therapeutic. That is up until you start. Once you start, there's a whole lot of measurements to keep in mind, precise time intervals to act upon, and dreadful taste tests that await.
It’s not easy to make concrete distinctions, you need to tailor your schedule to your comfort and style of working. Your work and private life must blend in perfectly, like your ingredients, to make a healthy lifestyle.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance
Often, working from home can mean blurring boundaries between your personal and professional life. It is very easy to slide to the extreme ends, i.e., being extremely distracted or being permanently at work. To strike a balance is an art. And the artist, you.
By definition, work-life balance is the level of prioritisation between personal and professional activities in an individual’s daily life. But this definition makes more sense when you can make clear distinctions:
- I’m in office = Work life
- I’ve signed out = Personal life
However, with technological advances that have made being “always available” possible, the distinction is blurred, rather, negligible. You keep in touch with your family at work and bring work home. That’s just how it works.
Nevertheless, permanently working from home is a different ball game altogether. With the COVID-19 pandemic making remote work the “new normal”, checking if you have a healthy work-life balance can be tricky.
First things first, remote work DOES NOT mean:
- Working after office hours
- Working perpetually
- Working less than usual
As trivial as it might seem, it has a huge impact on all stakeholders involved. Neither overworking nor underworking help either parties. It takes time to figure this out, but here's something to get you started.
WFH Guidelines for beginners:
- Maintain checklists, so you Never Lose Track of tasks
- Keep your workstation away from your bed
- Stick to your usual work routine
- Do not squeeze hobbies into working hours
- Do daily sync-ups with your teammates
No one size fits all. Hence, you will need to customize your plan, depending on your individual needs. Here's what some of our teammates do while working from home.
Akhono's Golden Rule:
We, at Fyle, follow this religiously. This practice helps you check your work hours and keeps your teammates in-the-know.
“Schedule everything on your calendar. This helps you take adequate number of breaks, and your colleagues always know when you’re available. Don’t compromise work or personal time. Calendar is key.”
Bharadwaj's smart planning:
"Define a workspace. Set boundaries with everyone at home.
If you're in your dedicated workspace, you are not to be disturbed."
"Play games and do non-work calls with your colleagues when you want a break. It helps maintain relationships; it is also relaxing and great fun!"
How do you keep the team together?
Siva, our co-founder says, “A few days after we started fully remote, there were a few murmurs about people missing fun activities and catch-up over chai. So we created an open chai-time zoom channel where people show up with tea/coffee/snacks and discuss non-work stuff.”
Here's a sneak peek:
Work from home has been an integral part of Fyle’s culture. Our operations are designed to accommodate remote work while ensuring both employee well-being and business continuity.
However, keeping business as usual amidst the precarious situation COVID-19 has pushed organisations all over the world into is tricky. Click here to learn about Fyle's business continuity plan.