Working from home has never been tougher than this

'I often miss benefits like creativity and innovative thinking'

Over the past few weeks, we have all witnessed adverse effects of the Covid2019 pandemic. In order to flatten the curve, a nationwide lockdown was declared by the government last month. In this current situation, for office-goers like us, work from home has become the norm to ensure business continuity. 

Working from home has never been as tougher before. In our communications industry, it is all the more challenging to solely depend on digital mediums including WhatsApp Texts, conference calls, Zoom calls, to name a few, to manage work, especially when you are in charge of multiple clients, business development, and dealing with many people in a day. 

In our business, communication is paramount, whether impromptu meetings with my team or brainstorming for ideas for our clients or keeping a track of our competition or catching up with clients. However, remote work needs extra communication. When you work remotely, continuous communication becomes key to ensure smoother and effective functioning, which can be stressful.  However, my organisation, Wizspk Communication & PR, has undertaken various measures so that the work processes become smoother for all employees such as Monday morning calls to plan for the week and Friday calls for the weekly wrap up. Furthermore, our HR team has stepped up their game and has been constantly coming up with new ways to create a seamless working experience for us. They have been regularly organizing virtual training sessions, webinars, etc. They are hosting some fun activities too to keep us motivated and help us escape the routine drudgery of life at home.

When you look from a brand’s perspective, many brands have altered their communication strategies to reflect the current times. As their communication partners, we must help them adapt their messages to the interests of their audience and on-the-ground realities. Taking the right actions and finding the right message can be challenging, especially in a fast-changing situation. Therefore, it’s critical for us to keep abreast of the latest developments to be able to help our clients navigate this period of uncertainty. We have to have our ears to the ground in order to recommend content and communication plans to tailor them to the changing needs of their consumers right now. It also becomes utmost important for us to provide accurate information and keeping people connected.

Working in isolation can be lonely.  As a remote worker, I often miss benefits like creativity and innovative thinking which occur when people are working together in the same room.  Also, team cohesion suffers in remote work arrangements. What I Miss Most Working in this current pandemic is the interaction with my team, co-workers, clients and friends at workplace.  I miss brainstorming in-person with co-workers, the trips to the pantry to fix myself cups of coffee, lunch and coffee breaks, fun conversations during these breaks, and the rush to finish work and reach home on time. And even, commuting to office and back home despite the heavy traffic! 

However, I believe it is imperative for us to be indoors and safe, and do so especially in support to our frontline fighters who are risking their lives to fight the pandemic and ensure our safety.

I’ll stay home as long as the government and the health authorities advise. But honestly, I can’t wait to go back to work.

(The author is head – business development and strategy, WIZSPK Communication)

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